The Unreliable Narrators watch…Pulgasari!


Welcome to the second episode of the Halloween edition of “The Unreliable Narrators Watch…” with your hosts, the Unreliable Narrators. This week, we’re watching PULGASARI, a giant monster movie made in North Korea. A rice/gluten golem animated by a blacksmith, Pulgasari eats iron and grows to about 800 feet and – well, this is a movie you have to see to believe.

Warning: the following contains SPOILERS!

Dramatis Personae

Chia, Chris, George

chialynn [8:07 PM] PULGASARI!

chris [8:07 PM] PULGASARI!

george_galuschak [8:07 PM] PULGASARI!

chris [8:08 PM] SPROCKET

chialynn [8:08 PM] Flicks!

george_galuschak [8:09 PM] horse

chialynn [8:09 PM] That’s promising.

chris [8:09 PM] Mount Fuji? wha?

george_galuschak [8:09 PM] PULGASARI, the man of the hour!!!

george_galuschak [8:09] er, monster

chris [8:09 PM] someone cranked the output

chris [8:10] sounds like video game music

george_galuschak [8:10 PM] this is lookin’ like a cheapie!

george_galuschak [8:10] Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla, maybe?

chris [8:11 PM] I actually had a pitch for a Godzilla movie about a stem cell monster from South Korea vs. a Taepodong Colossus from North Korea

chris [8:11 PM] it would look like a fucked up animated Burning Man

george_galuschak [8:11] peasants!

chialynn [8:11 PM] Grunting!

george_galuschak [8:11 PM] manly sweating!

chialynn [8:12 PM] So, the lead actress there is the kidnapped wife of the kidnapped director.

chris [8:12 PM] ooh

chialynn [8:12 PM] The woman being sexually harassed by those manly blacksmiths.

chris [8:12 PM] I have double subtitles

chialynn [8:12 PM] Novy is screaming “Stop zooming!”

george_galuschak [8:12 PM] the blacksmith guy looks like he lives the role

chialynn [8:13] Ah, exposition dump.

chris [8:14 PM] as you know, Inde

george_galuschak [8:14 PM] okay, sudden scene shift!

chialynn [8:14 PM] MOAR exposition.

george_galuschak [8:14 PM] INDE the Barbarian!

chris [8:15 PM] This seems like a weird mix of wuxia and kaiju

george_galuschak [8:15 PM] he’s wearing a purple headband. purple headbands are so 80’s!

george_galuschak [8:15 PM] it looks like he’s going to the TRIXTER WHITE LION show!

chris [8:15 PM] when was this made, actually?

chialynn [8:15 PM] 1985!

george_galuschak [8:15 PM] manly hugging!

george_galuschak [8:16 PM] they’re getting choked up but they can’t show it BECAUSE THEY’RE MANLY MEN!

chris [8:16 PM] enjoy these arsenic-laced canteloupes

george_galuschak [8:16 PM] the governor has the best mustache I’ve ever seen

chialynn [8:16 PM] The director and his wife got divorced in 1976, then they got kidnapped, then Kim Jong-il “suggested” they get remarried in 1983.

chris [8:17 PM] I want his hat

chialynn [8:17 PM] It’s a good hat.

chris [8:18 PM] if this one of those films where the monster shows up in the last 10 minutes, we’re screwed

george_galuschak [8:18 PM] a lot of them are wearing headbands, I notice

chialynn [8:18 PM] None of these peasants is wearing a color that would have been available to a medieval peasant.

chialynn [8:18 PM] Well, maybe that grey. But none of the others.

george [8:18] looting and ransacking!

chris [8:18 PM] they’re taking her wok?

chris [8:18] how rude

george_galuschak [8:19 PM] what evil!

george_galuschak [8:19] look at all the evil

george_galuschak [8:19] evil, evil, evil!

chialynn [8:19 PM] Oh, I see the gang unit is here. “All of these teenagers are bandits!”

chris [8:19 PM] ouch

chialynn [8:19 PM] Kettle drums. That’s how you know it’s really serious.

george_galuschak [8:20 PM] that ‘youth’ is about 40 years old

chialynn [8:20 PM] Is that… a shoe?

chialynn [8:20] Aw, Inde sacrificed himself for her wok.

chris [8:21 PM] it’s as windy as the Lovecraft town last week!

chris [8:21 PM] wind is a sure sign of bad goings-on

george_galuschak [8:21 PM] TORTURE!

george_galuschak [8:22] ‘Hurry up and beat him!’

chialynn [8:22 PM] That is a also a very fine hat.

chialynn [8:23 PM] We’re trying to figure out if this was shot on Super 8.

george_galuschak [8:24 PM] wow, these people are evil

chris [8:24 PM] probably converted from PAL or SECAM on an early Betamax

george_galuschak [8:24 PM] I thought that dude was gonna give him the finger

chialynn [8:25 PM] As with the movie last week, I’m very confused about the geography.

george_galuschak [8:25 PM] gravel pit

chris [8:25 PM] Rude! She could have busted her rice bowl

chialynn [8:26 PM] “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.”

george_galuschak [8:26 PM] SHE’S THROWING FOOD AT HIM!

chialynn [8:26 PM] Are you… flinging rice balls at your father?

chris [8:26 PM] Good aim!

george_galuschak [8:26 PM] FATHER has 80’s hair!

chris [8:26] They kind of look like KISS

george_galuschak [8:27] or POISON, maybe

chialynn [8:27 PM] Dude, don’t play with your food.

chialynn [8:27] Not when you’re starving and your daughter got beaten for bringing it to you.

chris [8:27 PM] His dreams are crushed! Like so many pulverized rice balls

george_galuschak [8:27 PM] he’s monologuing!

chialynn [8:27 PM] He’s making a food golem?

chris [8:28 PM] that would be awesome

chris [8:28] a GLUTEN GOLEM

george_galuschak [8:28 PM] he made a little PULGASARI

chris [8:28 PM] oh he made a pulgasari!

george_galuschak [8:29 PM] DRAMATIC DEATH SCENE!

chialynn [8:29 PM] So… He made it out of food, but it’s a spirit made of iron, because he’s a blacksmith?

chris [8:29 PM] fortified with iron and 8 essential vitamins

george_galuschak [8:30 PM] wait, they’re out of prison now?

chialynn [8:30 PM] I think they were just delivering food to prison.

chris [8:30 PM] she’s got an awesome feudal tailor

george_galuschak [8:30 PM] what’s that sound in the background?

chialynn [8:30 PM] Sonar?

chris [8:30 PM] radar!

george_galuschak [8:30 PM] it sounds like a truck backing up

chialynn [8:31 PM] Ah, magic blood!

george_galuschak [8:31 PM] hey look at that

chialynn [8:31 PM] Claymation!

george_galuschak [8:31 PM] DRUGS!

chris [8:31 PM] it’s like Otto

chialynn [8:31 PM] Oh, it eats iron.

chialynn [8:32] “It’s so cute” he says.

chialynn [8:32] It just ate all of your sister’s needles, and now you’re naked.

george_galuschak [8:32 PM] PULGASARI needs some warm milk!

chialynn [8:33 PM] He’s a growing monster!

george_galuschak [8:34 PM] maybe he went through the open door

chris [8:34 PM] the door is wide open! where could he be?:??!

george_galuschak [8:34 PM] are they the only two people left in the village?

george_galuschak [8:35] Damn, INDE again. that darn kid is nothing but trouble!

chris [8:35 PM] kettle drums!

chris [8:36 PM] there’s a certain irony in this being about people being oppressed and held against their will…

chris [8:36] IRONy

chialynn [8:36 PM] Right?

chialynn [8:36] Oh, I see what you did there.

chris [8:36 PM] I didn’t mean to, but I’ll take credit

chialynn [8:36 PM] Novy totally called that.

george_galuschak [8:36 PM] they’re going to chop off his hand and he’s still sporting the purple headband!

george_galuschak [8:36 PM] PULGASARI saves the day!

chialynn [8:37 PM] He’s getting so big! They grow up so fast.

chris [8:37 PM] he’s evolving

george_galuschak [8:37 PM] did that dude win that hat at the Ren Faire?

chialynn [8:37 PM] I laugh! I laugh at you with my painted bird!

chris [8:38 PM] the other guy’s hat is like the egyptian crown, without the bowling pin thingy in the middle

chialynn [8:38 PM] I have to give these actors credit. They’re committed to the bit.

chialynn [8:38] Stick it with the pointy end!

chris [8:39 PM] they should do a teamup movie with MINYA

george_galuschak [8:39 PM] he does sort of look like Minya!

george_galuschak [8:40] Come on, sing the Mothra song!

chris [8:40 PM] did they really have hoes like that?

george_galuschak [8:40 PM] boy, PULGASARI is stupid

chialynn [8:41 PM] Aw, it’s playful!

george_galuschak [8:41 PM] FROLICKING WITH PULGASARI!

chialynn [8:41 PM] And hungry!

chris [8:41 PM] frolicking music!

george_galuschak [8:41 PM] I love a good rake in the morning

george_galuschak [8:41] WAIT PULGASARI COME BACK

chris [8:41 PM] he took their iron and bounced

chris [8:42 PM] betcha he comes back at last 10 feet tall

chialynn [8:42 PM] They’re beating an old lady.

george_galuschak [8:42 PM] wow that’s unpleasant

chialynn [8:42 PM] What is wrong with these people?

george_galuschak [8:43 PM] purple headband is back

chialynn [8:43 PM] They’re drilling with wooden weapons. That’s a good idea, when there’s an iron-eating monster around.

chris [8:43 PM] unless its skin is hard as iron

george_galuschak [8:44 PM] wow, Ninja shit

george_galuschak [8:44] MOTHER just killed a man

chialynn [8:44 PM] I just can’t take anyone seriously when they pop up over a wall like that.

george_galuschak [8:44 PM] put a gun against his head

george_galuschak [8:44] pulled my trigger now he’s…nevermind

chialynn [8:45 PM] That was… um… some fight choreography.

chris [8:45 PM] They should have kidnapped Wo Ping while they were at it

george_galuschak [8:45 PM] where’s PULGASARI?

chris [8:46 PM] he’ll be back at just the right moment

george_galuschak [8:46 PM] okay, movie’s over?

chialynn [8:46 PM] You’re really just going to leave your buddy on the steps to get skewered?

george_galuschak [8:46 PM] didn’t they just kill the bad guy? That was the king, wasn’t it?

chialynn [8:46 PM] Some friends you are.

george_galuschak [8:46 PM] he’s got a swell hat

chris [8:46 PM] their hats rival the Catholics

chialynn [8:46 PM] Meet the new Boss.

george_galuschak [8:46 PM] GENERAL FUAN!

george_galuschak [8:47] holy shit it’s GENERAL FUAN!

chris [8:47 PM] oh no, dude, don’t wear metal armor

chris [8:48 PM] Maru Mountain!

chialynn [8:48 PM] We will go to the mountain!

chris [8:48 PM] Bring the goats!

george_galuschak [8:48 PM] love the animal sound f/x

george_galuschak [8:48] baaaa

george_galuschak [8:48] mooo

george_galuschak [8:48 PM] neigh!

chris [8:48 PM] just need some howler monkeys

george_galuschak [8:48] they can borrow them from DUNWICH!

chialynn [8:48 PM] Just an army of farmers? We’ll show you just an army of farmers!

chris [8:49 PM] Ah, the old “follow us into the mountain pass” trick

george_galuschak [8:49 PM] generic battle scene!

chialynn [8:49 PM] That’s a lotta logs.

george_galuschak [8:49 PM] those are some rocks

george_galuschak [8:50] the purple headband strikes!

chialynn [8:50 PM] Run away!

george_galuschak [8:50 PM] hey, it’s a SPEAR MACHINE!

chialynn [8:50 PM] “Is that the best you can do?” “Sorry, general, no.”

chris [8:51 PM] the fight music sounds a little like a bastardized “Ghost riders in the sky”. listen next time it comes on!

george_galuschak [8:51 PM] not even an insect?

george_galuschak [8:51] horse head!

chialynn [8:51 PM] The Godfather’s around here somewhere.

george_galuschak [8:51 PM] do you see all this hardship, kids?

george_galuschak [8:52] why are they doing that to the trees? eating tree bark?

chialynn [8:52 PM] I think that’s the implication.

george_galuschak [8:52 PM] LET’S DIE BRAVELY!

chris [8:52 PM] … and then Pulgasari showed up and ate everyone’s iron weapons, and they would fight NO MORE

george_galuschak [8:52] hey, the howler monkeys are back!

chialynn [8:53 PM] They followed us from Dunwich!

george_galuschak [8:53 PM] they migrated from DUNWICH

chris [8:53 PM] awesome sfx

chialynn [8:53 PM] There are too many soldiers in this scene.

george_galuschak [8:53 PM] is this guy on steroids?

george_galuschak [8:54] well, here’s the kidnapping scene we’ve all been waiting for

chris [8:54 PM] “Can’t you wait?”

chris [8:54] our hero!

george_galuschak [8:54 PM] holy shit, it’s PULGASARI!

chialynn [8:55 PM] His eyes glow now.

chris [8:55 PM] He left Minya in the dust

chialynn [8:55 PM] He’s like a brother to them now.

george_galuschak [8:55 PM] Wow, Pulgasari’s put on a few

chialynn [8:56 PM] “He’s very smart.”

chris [8:56 PM] iron is heavy

chris [8:56] Yippie aye ay

chris [8:56 PM] Yippie aye oh

chris [8:57] he’s a protector like Gojira

chris [8:58 PM] so why didn’t gramps make like 10 of them?

chris [8:58] no animals were harmed during…. Yeah right

george_galuschak [8:59 PM] watch PULGASARI squash that annoying kid

chialynn [9:00 PM] Oh, no. Sister!

chris [9:00 PM] I like the noose braids

chialynn [9:00 PM] Pulgasari will save her!

chris [9:00 PM] he’s like a scaly minotaur

chialynn [9:01 PM] Purple headband!

chialynn [9:01] Oh, insult the monster. That’s bound to help.

george_galuschak [9:01 PM] HE’S GENERAL FUAN!

chialynn [9:01 PM] Now she’s trying to protect Pulgasari.

george_galuschak [9:01 PM] Pulgasari is having an internal debate!

chris [9:02 PM] he can fit in that cage?

chris [9:02] set fire to an iron beast?

george_galuschak [9:03 PM] he’s actually made of rice

chialynn [9:03 PM] How is a flimsy little cage going to hold PULGASARI?

chris [9:03 PM] all that iron had to go somewhere, unless he’s pooping it all out

chialynn [9:04 PM] Nobody wants to clean Pulgasari’s litterbox.

george_galuschak [9:04 PM] GODZILLA would kick this thing’s ass

chialynn [9:04 PM] Run over there! Now run over there! No, over there!

chialynn [9:04] PULGASARI!

george_galuschak [9:05 PM] yeah they just made him hot

chris [9:05 PM] ooh will be breathe fire now?

chialynn [9:05 PM] Now he’s made of steel.

george_galuschak [9:05 PM] he’s boiling them all to death

chris [9:06 PM] frogs in a jacuzzi!

george_galuschak [9:06 PM] it’ll be so much fun when he turns on the villagers and eats them

chialynn [9:06 PM] He’s still hot!

chialynn [9:06] And grumpy!

chris [9:06 PM] Did she just say something about a quesadilla?

george_galuschak [9:07 PM] PULGASARI’S had enough of your shit

chialynn [9:07 PM] “Yes, I can stand. Not like I just got burned alive and boiled.”

chialynn [9:08] “We’ll dig a pit and throw rocks at it. That’ll work.”

george_galuschak [9:08 PM] INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC!

chialynn [9:09 PM] And trebuchets.

chris [9:09 PM] Onward, proletariat!

george_galuschak [9:09 PM] this compares favorably to a lot of the Godzilla oeuvre. Very plot driven

chris [9:10 PM] flaming rocks! Now we’re talking

chris [9:10] They work about as well as their modern missiles

george_galuschak [9:10 PM] dudes, have PULGASARI go first!

chialynn [9:10 PM] I guess the fire made him even bigger?

chris [9:10 PM] Lure it inside? I’m pretty sure that’s where he’s headed

george_galuschak [9:12 PM] abs of iron!!!

chris [9:12 PM] aw

george_galuschak [9:13 PM] stole that scene from Godzilla

chialynn [9:13 PM] Aaaah, not the architecture!

george_galuschak [9:13] That is straight of Godzilla.

george_galuschak [9:14 PM] never fear, GENERAL FUAN. has a plan!!!

chialynn [9:14 PM] Oh, hey. The second actor to wear the Godzilla costume worked on this film!

chialynn [9:14 PM] That might be him in the suit now!

george_galuschak [9:14 PM] first I’ve heard of the priestess

chialynn [9:14] I see the Ren Faire denizens have returned.

chris [9:15 PM] a religious ceremony?

george_galuschak [9:15 PM] well, that’s a bummer

chialynn [9:16 PM] They drove him off a cliff with their drumming and their floaty sleeves!

chialynn [9:16] Stupid hippies.

chris [9:16 PM] he even sounds like a steer

chris [9:17] That’s a shitload of rocks

chialynn [9:17 PM] I wonder if there’s any iron in those rocks?

chialynn [9:18] Oh, Inde.

chialynn [9:18] You’re a mess.

george_galuschak [9:18 PM] COME ON, INDE, DON’T QUIT!!!

chialynn [9:18 PM] Always going missing.

chris [9:18 PM] Oh, no!

chialynn [9:19 PM] So… That happened. Nobly.

george_galuschak [9:19 PM] He died with his PURPLE HEADBAND on!

chris [9:20 PM] It’s the new whore!

george_galuschak [9:20 PM] drunken revelry!

chialynn [9:20 PM] Stately dancing!

chris [9:20 PM] step to this

chialynn [9:21 PM] Mustache has an idea.

chialynn [9:22] PULGASARI!

chialynn [9:22] He’d never leave his sister to fend off the REAL monsters alone!

chris [9:22 PM] Oh, I thought she was telling Pulgasari, “it’s me, THAT woman”

chialynn [9:23 PM] He’s gotten even bigger! There was iron in those.

george_galuschak [9:23 PM] PROGNOSIS: WE’RE ALL FUCKED!

chris [9:24 PM] that sounds… dubious at best

george_galuschak [9:25 PM] Hey, it’s LION GUN and GENERAL GUN!

chialynn [9:27 PM] I’d love it if one of those guns was also an iron spirit.

george_galuschak [9:27 PM] why 104 PULGASARIS?

chialynn [9:27 PM] They spared no expense on explosives!

george_galuschak [9:28 PM] reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg!

chialynn [9:28 PM] Like half their budget went to pyro.

chris [9:28 PM] I like the lion cannons

chialynn [9:28 PM] And half the rest to historically inappropriate fabrics.

chialynn [9:29] Was that… a kazoo noise?

george_galuschak [9:29 PM] Right back atcha!

chialynn [9:29 PM] Does he breathe fire through a kazoo?!

chris [9:29 PM] walls won’t hold PULGASARI

chris [9:30] he’s got swagger, I’ll give him that

george_galuschak [9:30 PM] King Hat Head is running away!

chialynn [9:31 PM] I like the eyeballs.

chris [9:31 PM] fuck this building

george_galuschak [9:32 PM] yeah, hide behind the curtain

chialynn [9:33 PM] So, wherever they’re celebrating is some distance from these ruins, I’m guessing.

chris [9:33 PM] they messed up the smoke during the stop motion

george_galuschak [9:34 PM] is he picking his teeth?

chialynn [9:34 PM] He’s got somebody stuck in there.

chris [9:35 PM] haha subtitle said, “Whatsa matta him.”

george_galuschak [9:36 PM] will it start eating people?

chialynn [9:36 PM] That was not an awkward cut. At all.

chris [9:37 PM] this is an interesting wrinkle

chialynn [9:37 PM] “He’s our savior, but he’s eating us out of house and home!”

george_galuschak [9:38 PM] TWELVE STEP MONSTER PROGRAM!

chris [9:37 PM] how long can they keep shoveling iron at him?

chris [9:37] oh, he’s going to sacrifice himself for the good of the proletariat!

chris [9:38 PM] wait, an anti-international aggression message?

george_galuschak [9:39 PM] Bang-A-Gong!

chialynn [9:39 PM] Get it on! Bang a gong!

chialynn [9:39] I keep getting distracted by the wrinkles in the monster suit.

chris [9:39 PM] Return to the rice from whence you came!

chialynn [9:39 PM] He’s supposed to be made of iron! Iron doesn’t sag!

chialynn [9:40] Oh, dear. What’s he found to eat now?

chris [9:41 PM] nice freakout effect

george_galuschak [9:41 PM] what are the villagers going to do with a 80-ton PULGASARI?

george_galuschak [9:42] oh, never mind

chris [9:42 PM] rockslide!

george_galuschak [9:42 PM] sort of a bummer ending

chris [9:43 PM] I sort of liked it, though. “You outlived your usefulness. Now quit bumming us out.”

chialynn [9:43 PM] But wait!

chialynn [9:43] There’s Baby Pulgasari!

george_galuschak [9:44 PM] good movie!!!

chris [9:44 PM] that was much better than I thought it would be

chialynn [9:44 PM] Yes, better than I expected.

chris [9:44 PM] for some value of better

chialynn [9:44 PM] A slightly higher budget would have been helpful.

george_galuschak [9:45 PM] HE WAS TURNED TO STEEL

george_galuschak [9:45] IN THE EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD

chris [9:45 PM] in the great magnetic field

george_galuschak [9:45 PM] RUNNING AS FAST AS THEY CAN

chialynn [9:45 PM] Maybe it’s like the steel on the Titanic—strong, but brittle.

george_galuschak [9:45 PM] PULGASARI HAS HIS REVENGE

chris [9:45 PM] Don’t tell James Franco. He’ll make a movie about the behind the scenes story.

george_galuschak [9:46 PM] they tried to kill him with a cage they set on fire, a big pit filled with rocks, a woman with a white shawl and THE MIGHTY LION GUN, but PULGASARI died of indigestion!

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