Bicheongoesu [War of the God Monsters] (1985)

(aka, The Flying Monster, The Undead Beast)

War of the God Monsters is a curious oddity, an almost legendary lost South Korean film from the mid-Eighties which was rarely seen and never distributed outside their country.

Not, that is, until this year, when SRS Cinema released an extremely limited number of DVDs and VHS tapes.

However, despite that, one thing is true:

You may have seen this film before

Well, at least the cool bits with the battling Kaijus.

Now I have to admit that I do question whether or not this one really qualifies as Kaiju Eiga film as it is mostly a story about a scientist so obsessed with his theories that he hardly pays any attention to his daughter, about a reporter who comes just for a story but ends up attached to the girl and becoming her “big sister,” and the usual skirmishes with each other we expect from the stars of a Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn Romance (even if no one seems to have told the stars about it).  But, after more than half the movie is over (and a short teaser at the beginning), the giant monsters do finally show up.

Now, for all the talk about our scientist being a dinosaur expert who is expecting the icecaps to melt (global warming, you know) and release all those frozen dinosaurs trapped in the polar ice, the creatures do not look at all like dinosaurs, particularly not the silliest one of all, which more or less looks like a bat with two starfishes for wings (and uses two suit actors, one in each “wing”).

Now if you had any question about where these beasts first appeared, it would be answered when you first get a good look at the silver and red jets we see fighting them.  Only the Science Patrol flew aircraft like that!

Or, in this case, “MAT Patrol.”

They were “borrowed” from The Return of Ultraman, a series often referred to as “Ultraman Jack“, which was the third series featuring those big guys in red and silver neoprene from the M 78 Galaxy.  Mind you, Jack doesn’t put in an appearance in this film, nor do any of the other Ultramen.  We just get a bit of monster action, and lots of Phantom Jets on wires, shooting at them.

But don’t worry, it isn’t allowed to interrupt our Romance film for very long.

Look, if you love Kaiju Eiga films as much as I do, then you know your are going to have to watch this one.  But I’m sure, if you’ve seen a selection of the non-Toho giant rubbery monster movies out there, you know what to expect by now.

Well, except for the forty minutes or so of romance film before the monsters finally deign to put in their first big appearance.  That’s different.

I’ll confess to a certain sort of affection for this thing, but I’ll confess that I was getting a bit impatient long before those Kaiju finally decided to amble into the story.

Although that bat thing is so bizarre that it almost makes up for that.



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