The Making of Yonggary/2001 Yonggary

Godzilla wasn't the only daikaiju to go stomping through Asia! From Rodan and Mothra to Yongarry and Gappa, discuss other JAPANESE/ASIAN kaiju films here!

Moderator: Controllers

The Making of Yonggary/2001 Yonggary

Postby G2KMaster » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:10 pm

It is nice to finaly be on this forum. When I originaly registered, it did not take my password though registration was done correctly and finaly through some changes, I am on here. For my first post, here is something which I know is not well known: An in-depth making of Shim Hung Rae's Yonggary and his "director's cut", 2001 Yonggary. I wrote alittle something a while ago which compiled years of research into once single document which I am proud of and has started my writing frenzy. Enjoy!


1999 was a big year for Kaiju. It was the year the highly acclaimed by critics and fans Gamera series was coming to an end with Gamera 3: Incomplete Struggle (which has been compared to the original Gojira numerous times). It was a year when GINO was erased as Godzilla 2000 was released. And it was the rebirth of the new wave of Korean Kaiju films which is still having an effect today. And it was one critically bad film which saved Korea's kaiju and has such bought classics like "Gwoemul" (The Host) and action packed flicks like D-WAR: Dragon Wars. The film is called Yonggary, or in America and some European countries Reptilian. The film has reached the 10 year mark, did not stand the test of time, and yet is talked about to this day. But how can a film do all of this? This is what the first English making of document on this film shall explain.

Before 1999, there were only three essential kaiju films from Korea: The Great Monster Wangmagwi (1967), Pulgasari (1985) and last but not least the most respected of these films: Great Monster Yonggari (Yongary Monster from the Deep)(1967). And that is all we knew. Little did we know that since Pulgasari (1985) that a company called ZeroNine Entertainment and it's sub-division Younggu-Art (Younggu-Art is now a fully separate corporation from ZeroNine, but still gets backing from them) was making monster films. And they were all made by Korean Comedian Actor Shim Hyung Rae (or Hyung Rae Shim, however you prefer) and his character Young-gu. And his character is a famous character, who has been subjects to parodies of Rambo, Dracula, and kaiju films/TV series. In the late 80's, Shim Hyung Rae decided to take his character into his own hands and make various films. All of them were low budget films usually spoofing Japan's Super Sentai (AKA Power Rangers), Yongary itself, and even Jurassic Park. But none of these films never came to be released into US soil and have not been upgraded to DVD legally. But these low-budget films gained Hyung Rae Shim a cult status and a very wealthy man. And in 1997, Shim Hyung Rae, still following his kid friendly formula, decided to do what Peter Jackson wanted to do with King Kong: remake his favorite giant monster film Yongary.

This project, at face value, had a great deal of potential. Korea's cinema was monster starved and most of Korea's films were either thriller, comedy, or drama, therefore lacking a variety of genres for the audience to see. Second, it would be the first kaiju film to have all the monsters be rendered through CGI(computer generated imagery), a technique that helped make the dino sequences in the "Jurassic Park" films look fairly realistic. It also would have been successful with it's English-speaking cast hence a supposed money earner for Korea's film industry. But most of all, it would help modernize Korea's film industry. And while most of this failed some of it was succeeded. This film started Korea's special effects usage. Filming on Yonggary started in 1997 at a school near Kimpo Airport, also where shooting started. The school building, which was abandoned, was two storied and adjacent to restaurants. What a start for Korean SFX! Instead of using foreign FX houses, the production team turned the school into that. The bottom level was used for SFX shooting and out of what technology they would buy, CGI effects on the second level.

As the first Korean studio to do it's own CGI SFX on it's own without help of foreign FX houses, this was a revolutionary and good thing to happen to Korea's film economy, regardless if the SFX came out bad or not. However, Shim Hyung Rae did say,“We knew how to do special effects in theory, but not in practice. There was no one to ask about special effects in Korea.â€

Postby skiddish » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:23 am

That's great information. Especially the stuff about the CGI consisting of suits covered up by CG. But I'm confused about the method they used to do that.
Did they paint over each frame of video or something?
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:19 pm

Postby G2KMaster » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:28 am

skiddish wrote:That's great information. Especially the stuff about the CGI consisting of suits covered up by CG. But I'm confused about the method they used to do that.
Did they paint over each frame of video or something?

Yes. I plan on posting some pics later, but that is why it looked so bad. Unlike the animation for Gollum, they did not put markers on the siuts or a digital model to copy, but paint over each siut. Though in a part where Yonggary breaks the bridge, YOU CAN SEE THE SIUT!!!!!

In case anyone asks, I love Yonggary no matter how bad it is...

Postby G2KMaster » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:15 pm

The promised pics...

Took 2 months to make the mothership!

The model buildings were made of metal and cement materials, making
the destruction scenes harder to do due to more force was needed to
destroy the buildings.

Shooting of the begining cave scene

Shim Hyung Rae beside the green Yonggary siut. A gray one was also made. The siuts took 6 months to make. The siuts would be filmed and during editing will have digital images placed over them.

A non-digital image covered Yonggary on a korean LG commercial

Shim Filming a scene

Shim going over CGI redos for the quasi remake of Yonggary 1998, 2001 Yonggary AKA Reptilian. In 2001 Yonggary, the Mr. Mills character was added along with new music and reshoots of all military base shots, from a dark green/black colored base looking more traditional army base to the more modurn sci-fi looking one.

An-Hong Kim, Cinematographer, checking out the camera during one of the dig site scenes at the begining.

Diagram of Cave Scene:
First we have while screen (not green screen) shooting:

Then we have the CGI image minus the cast:

Then the final image, with additional lighting:

The making of the life sized Yonggary skeleton that ate up the budget:

Postby Flame of Udin » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:47 pm

This article actually made me dust off my old Reptilian DVD, that I bought back when it came out, watched once, then stored it away trying to forget I ever bought it, and gave it another play.

Honestly, it's not as terrible as I remembered. I mean, its terrible (jet packs? really?) but Yonggary himself is decent enough and actually found quite a few shots that looked great. I am surprised that even this movie completely blows away the crap that The Asylum produces....and this is an almost decade old movie.

I still would like to know what the designers were smoking when they designed that enemy monster. The thing seriously looks like it was designed by a 5 year old with a box of crayons.
User avatar
Flame of Udin
Heisei Godzilla
Posts: 1825
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 8:53 pm
Location: Delray Beach, Florida

Postby G2KMaster » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:33 pm

I would love to answer thoes questions, realy I would. But sadly most newspaper/press sites in Korean and American have deleted all records of this film. All of which I have painstakingly written for my passion of this film is all that there is known, in Korea and America.

Yes, I love this film.

Return to Rodan, Yonggary, and Gappa. Oh, My!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest