masterly master lee

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

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). So in order to be able to go back home from the US, Shin made a propaganda movie about Kim Hyeonheui  김현희,  the North Korean terrorist who blew up a South Korean plane and got caught doing it (never a good idea and especially not if you end up in the hands of the South Korean intelligence service as a North Korean spy). She was put on trial, confessed and was convicted. Instead of giving her the death penalty, she was used as a propaganda tool: her book Tears Of My Soul was an indictment of the North Korean regime and she was forced to appear and tell people how bad the North was (Master Lee doesn’t understand why the government doesn’t let him handle it; he guarantees instant success). Part of the propaganda, Master Lee found out when he watched this piece of excrement in the physical shape of a DVD disc, was this movie. It’s called Mayumi, because her fake passport had ‘Ma Yumi’ on it. It ‘stars’ Kim Seora 김서라 who never made another movie (figures) and George Kennedy! Where the heck did they get him to play in this atrociously bad, bad, bad piece of celluloid waste? Is he a member of the World League Against Kim Il Sung or what? What on earth could persuade an established actor to participate in this orgy of propaganda and cinematic abuse? The Master was lost for words (doesn’t happen very often, but of course he wasn’t lost for punches or kicks, he never is) when he saw that the plane taking the sky in one of the first scenes actually had been a prop used on the Thunderbirds series four decades ago! OK, maybe not four decades, but you get what the Master means (or else just ask him to come and explain it to you…). This is a serious embarrassment for pulp. Low-budgets, crappy clichéd scenario’s, bad acting: the Master doesn’t care. But government interference with movie making? The Master was so upset he kicked this piece of devil’s dung right back to where it belonged in the first place (no, he’s not going to go into details, because that might upset the readers. Suffice it to say that the local thug who had been harassing the nice old lady downstairs now walks with pronounced difficulty and won’t be sitting down any time soon).

Kim Hyeonheui when arrestedAnd what’s up with the ‘virgin terrorist’ thing? Does it mean that Ma Yumi never had a shagging session (being a top secret North Korean agent who even in real life was not unattractive and rumored to be pledged to North Korea’s top spymaster) with one of her colleagues because she would have eaten them for breakfast? And had she been sexually liberated, would the title have been Promiscuous Territorist Mayumi’s Apocalypse? Or Lascivious Terrorist Mayumi’s Apocalypse? What does the (perceived) state of her hymen have to do with her propensity to blow up planes with people in them? Does it perhaps refer to the fact that this was her initiation into terrorism? The Master doesn’t know and quite frankly he doesn’t want to know either. He’s got better things to do, like straitening out that local thug.


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