masterly master lee

a home for forgotten and famous korean pulp, its heroes, its heroines, and its pulpeteers

Archive for October, 2009

Fate 숙명 2008 review

fate6Can you say ‘overacting’? Then you can say Fate. Violent glares, emotional outbursts, screaming contests, ten minute swearing sessions, extreme action, one man beating up tens of tough gangsters, overcooked romantic (?) liaisons, sentimental flashbacks… Read the rest of this entry »

Private Eye 그림자살인 2009 review

private eyeWhat is it about Korean soundtracks that makes them instantly recognizable? Is the ever-present accordion? The dramatic yet light-footed rhythm of the intro (think dancing bears), the canned strings? The Master isn’t sure (which as you know doesn’t happen very often), Read the rest of this entry »

Kill The Shogun 무장해제 1975 review

1killtheshogunzu0In 1592, the Japanese shogun Hideyoshi failed in his attempt to invade Korea (and later, China through Korea). This Hong Kong kung-fu thriller is loosely based on that historical incident. Since the real Hideyoshi is not an issue, and kung-fu is the star of the movie anyway, historical narration does not overpower the action. Basically, the movie shows the Koreans fighting the Japanese against all odds Read the rest of this entry »

Virgin Terrorist Mayumi’s Apocalypse 마유미 1991 review

Mayumi_(film)No, this is not a porn movie. It is as bad as a porn movie, though. Worse actually, because it trades the hanky panky for government rhetoric. It’s propaganda porno. It’s essentially what legendary director Shin Sang-ok 신상옥 had to do before being allowed back into South Korea after his forced stay in the North (no, don’t get the Master started on this). Read the rest of this entry »

Hera Purple: Devil Goddess 헤라버플 2001 review

hera1A great beginning for the movie publicized as ‘the sexiest and most shocking movie in Korean cinema history‘: a naked crucified body. Then a priest in a church, looking increasingly frightened by two books in front of him that are leaved through by an invisible force, stopping at a page with a picture of Greek goddess Hera. And it gets better. Very pretty ajumma Yi Hyerim Read the rest of this entry »

Rainbow Eyes 가면 2007 review

Rainbow Eyes didn’t immediatelyrainbow1 appeal to Master Lee and the box it came in didn’t help (come on, how many contrasting colours can you get away with?). When he put the disc in his trusty DVD player he had his thumb firmly on the fast-forward button. But lo and behold, he never touched it! Read the rest of this entry »

The Terrorists 테러리스트 1995

mlm terrorisatA gangster movie with Choi Min-su (Choe Minsu 최민수)? Master Lee is paying attention. Choi Min-su is one of the few truly believable gangsters out there in movie land. Not as believable as the Master, of course, but that would be asking too much, wouldn’t it now? It starts off well… really fake-looking camera shot of police trainees storming through a wood, screaming their lungs out (and screaming “we’re underpaid extra’s… no f*#&$ing way we’re gonna sound convincing to you!). Read the rest of this entry »