masterly master lee

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

Masterly Gallery of the Masters of Pulp

Here we honor those rare beings who attained the masterly level of Master of Pulp. As the original Masterly Master, it’s at Master Lee’s discretion to recognize who has attained this exalted level.

Master Lee (personal name is a well-kept secret):

masterlee.jpgA 10th degree Dan in Tae Kwan Do, Hapkido, Tang Soo Do, and Hwa Rang Do, Master Lee is a one man army against an army! Left for dead by the Korean mafia, Master Lee is hell bent on getting even with those who dared tangle with him!

Master Lee is not merely a fighting machine, but he is also an avid collector and connoisseur of pulp, popular culture and of course of popular music. Convinced that Korean pulp and pop have the potential to entertain and enlighten the great unwashed of this earth, he has dedicated himself to the promotion of pulp, Korean pulp that is.

Master Park (Park Chan Wook 박찬욱):

master-park.jpgHe is the master of vengeance and suspense and gave us some of the best movies ever made: JSA 공동경비구역, Sympathy For Mister Vengeance 복수는 나의 것, Old Boy 올드보이 and Sympathy For Lady Vengeance 친절한 금자씨.

Master Park redefined vengeance in his famous vengeance trilogy, lifting it from the depths to which it had sunk in superficial revenge flick such as Death Wish and restoring to its place as a fundamental trait of human action. In Old Boy, Master Park scaled the heights previously only visited by the likes of Sophocles.

Master Bong (Bong Jun-ho 봉준호 ):

master-pong.jpgThe master of the belly-aching laugh, Master Bong stood at the helm of Barking Dogs Don’t Bite 플란더스의개, Memories Of Murder 살인의 추억 and The Host 괴물.

If Master Park, for all his innovative visual artistry, is a classic director, Master Bong surely is a director of things not yet seen. He commands a rarely seen and quintessential contemporary ability to combine the absurd, the comical, the tragical and the horribly suspenseful. Each movie he makes redefines or even creates a genre.

Master Ryu (Ryu Seung-wan 류승완):

master-ryu.jpgHis younger brother Ryu Seung-beom 류승범 should also be mentioned here. Together they almost singlehandedly (?) reinvented the pulp genre when making Die Bad 죽거나 혹은 나쁘거나, Dajjimawa Lee 다찌마와 Lee, No Blood No Tears 피도 눈물도 없이, Arahan 아라한 대풍 대작전, Crying Fist 주먹이 운다 and City Of Violence 짝패.

Master Ryu grew up with movies and that shows. His works are feasts of cinematic references, solid acting and exuberant action. After Die Bad, it seemed no one could ever produced another gangster movie and not look stupid (until Master Ryu himself did, of course), Arahan may very well be the most entertaining movie ever and Crying Fist is the final word on boxing movies. His brother starred in all of them and the day may come when Master Lee decides to honor the Ryu family with a second Master of Pulp conferment.

3 Comments»

[…] gut-wrenching movie from director Park Chan Wook 박찬욱 (referred to by Master Lee in private as Master Park), instead he got this whatchamacallit movie that looks like a Park Chan Wook movie, but just […]

  Death Medical wrote @

I was just wondering what the header background picture is from “cropped-untitled-3.jpg”
And maybe you knew of something cool to recommend pulp / cult maybe 70s similar to Lady Snowblood 1973 (Japan) or anything awesome….
Thanks for your time!
DMD

  masterlymasterlee wrote @

Dear Death Medical,

Thanks for your message (and apologies – !!! – for the very late reply). The background picture is from Shadowless Sword (with the lovely Yoon So-Yi). I will ask my fellow disciple to reply to you regarding a recommendation; I am sure he can think of something scrumptiously pulpy.

With best wishes,

One of Master Lee’s disciples…


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