If you’ve ever wondered where the term “exploitation film” came from, it referred to the way low-budget films featured content that was made to be exploited in marketing. It’s sort of a blanket category, and it covers most low-budget films with edgy content. The films screening at the Korean Cultural Service’s most recent series of Korean Movie Night in New York City certainly fit the bill. So if you haven’t had your fill of Asian exploitation films from the Japan Society’s Shintoho Mind Warp series, you should definitely check out these films, which will be playing in Tribeca through March and April. The series features four films, Young Gun in The Time, Bloody Fight In Iron-Rock Valley, Invasion of Alien Bikini, and The Neighbor Zombie, which were all shot on budgets between $4,500 and $45,000, pretty impressive feats in modern day filmmaking, even abroad.
Hubert and I saw Bloody Fight in Iron-Rock Valley back at last year’s New York Asian Film Festival, and though we didn’t love it, we found it to be a decently compelling low-budget revenge film. Certainly worth seeing for the price of free, because if you recall from previous series announcements, entrance to all screenings is free, albeit first-come, first-served. I can’t speak to the quality of the other films (except for Invasion of Alien Bikini, but I don’t really know how to speak to the quality of that one, other than to say it’s absolutely worth seeing), but they should be an interesting time at the very least, if not necessarily a good one.
More information about both the series and the films can be found below.
Micro-Budget Genre Invasion!
The Korean Cultural Service has previously offered up plenty of micro-budget cinema, as well as the best in Korea’s genre offerings… but this Spring, we’re combining the two – and delivering New York four of the country’s most exciting micro-budgeted action, science fiction, and horror films!
Studios around the world are notorious for toying around movies, breaking away from directors’ visions and creating projects that will appeal to the masses. Micro-budget films, financed by brave individuals rather than companies, offer the total opposite: creative, strange, and boundary-pushing movies that no studio in their right mind would create! We’re talking about wildest, weirdest genre films you can imagine – from Korea’s undisputed kings of micro-budgets!
Get ready for an invasion, New York City… because you’re about to go up against crazed criminals, lovelorn time travelers, brain-hungry zombies, and a pair of extra-terrestrial beachwear! It doesn’t get much stranger than this!
MARCH 12 – YOUNG GUN IN THE TIME (2011)
Invasion of Alien Bikini director Oh Young-Doo and star Hong Young-Geun re-team for this intense dramatic adventure, presented by Kaizo Hayashi, director of Japan’s Yubari Film Festival.
This time around, Young Gun is a detective drawn to a mysterious woman with a startling personal request. After turning her down, he follows the starlet out of his office, only to see her killed in a violent car accident. Traumatized, he’s soon shocked to see the same woman appear before him, begging him to find a way back in time, so that he might save her life. Young Gun has only three days to complete his task… but first, he’s gonna need to find a time machine!
Financed for an amazing $45,000, more than half of Young Gun in the Time’s budget came from a Yubari cash prize!
MARCH 26 – BLOODY FIGHT IN IRON-ROCK VALLEY (2011)
Writer/director Ji Ha-Jean turns the Korean revenge film on its head with this outlandish 2011 spectacle, featuring a wild new take on a tried and true genre. When a nameless man is sprung from prison, he embarks on a bloody, vengeful mission to take down a criminal known only as “Ghostface” – spiraling himself into a series of wild, violent quests that leaves no one who meets him unscathed. A fragmented narrative and smooth jazz soundtrack made Bloody Fight in Iron-Rock Valley one of the most surreal adventures you’ll ever embark upon.
A huge hit at last year’s New York Asian Film Festival, this $35,000 film took “Best Korean Independent Film” at Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival and won “Best Asian Genre Film of the Year” from the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation!
APRIL 16 – INVASION OF ALIEN BIKINI (2011)
New York Premiere
Young Gun (Hong Young-Geun) is a virgin vigilante, determined to do the right thing as he wanders the city streets at night. A self-proclaimed protector of the people (and occasionally picking up the wayward scrap of trash), he risks his life for the good of his oblivious metropolis. One night, after saving a lovely young woman and bringing her back to his apartment, Young Gun’s chastity becomes threatened: it turns out the lovely young woman is not of this Earth, and here one and only mission while here is to procreate and save her species!
A hilarious mix of comedy and science fiction, this raunchy, sexy romp from director Oh Young-Doo was shot for an unbelievable $4,500 – employing the assistance of family, friends, and anyone he could find to help bring his hilarious vision to life!
Join us for the New York Premiere of this critically-acclaimed indie gem, but leave the kids at home – this one’s a bit racy!
APRIL 30 – THE NEIGHBOR ZOMBIE (2009)
Why should Americans have all the fun when it comes to zombie outbreaks? In this tongue-in-cheek 2009 thriller, Seoul is overrun with the walking dead – and the government says it’s time to wipe them out! A six-part comedy/horror anthology from four cutting-edge indie directors, The Neighbor Zombie follows an unbelievable outbreak as it spreads throughout Korea, examining the various people it affects in weird, wild ways. Shot for an amazing $18,000, it embodies the pinnacle of what a talented group of filmmakers can accomplish if they put their delicious, juicy brains together!