In South Korea, a family gathers for the wedding of an astronaut, however, the astronaut is called back to duty to monitor a nuclear test in the Middle East. The test triggers an earthquake that shifts the epicenter to the heart of Korea. The authorities initially withhold this information from the public until they’re sure the quake strikes but once the earthquake has reached the Hwanghae province, the authorities impose martial law for the area.
During the earthquake, a photographer takes pictures of the ground splitting, which reveals a giant creature that is moving inside of the ground. The photographer manages to get away but crashes his car due to the quake. The photographer manages to reach the authorities and deliver the photographs of the creature before succumbing to his injuries. The authorities name the creature “Yongary”, after an old Korean fable about a monster that was connected with earthquakes.
While South Korea is being evacuated, the military is dispatched to the Inwang area in order to attack Yongary but with no success. Illo, a young scientist, decides to go to Seoul to find a weakness in Yongary. His girlfriend, Soona, opposes this but he goes anyway. Soona and her younger brother, Icho, pursue Illo to try to stop him. Yongary eventually reaches Seoul and causes complete destruction. During the rampage, Illo and Soona lose Icho and walk around trying to find him.
The military suggests using guided missiles against Yongary but the authorities fear the missiles might do more damage than the monster and may destroy the landmarks of old Korea, however, the authorities decide that Korea’s future is more important and agree to use the guided missiles. Icho manages to escape through the city’s sewers and reaches an oil refinery where he finds Yongary drinking oil and gasoline. Icho turns off the main valve which causes Yongary to go berserk and destroy a tank that triggers a chemical reaction that makes Yongary itch and scratch.
Icho then returns to Illo’s house to tell him what happened at the refinery. Illo then reveals this discovery to the authorities and urges them to not use the guided missiles because they will give him more energy but his claims are brushed off and they proceed with the missile plan regardless. Illo then goes to work on a chemical to defeat Yongary using a precipitate of ammonia.
Yongary is then struck with Illo’s ammonia and missiles, which is enough to put him temporarily to sleep, however, Illo believes the ammonia needs more work. Icho takes a light device from Illo’s lab and shines it on an immobile Yongary, which triggers him to wake up. To Icho’s amusement, Yongary then begins dancing but then returns to his rampage.
Illo loads the finalized ammonia onto a helicopter and dumps it on Yongary in the Han River, where Yongary collapses and dies. The following morning, Illo is commended for his role in defeating Yongary, however, he cites Icho as the real hero for providing him with the information of Yongary’s eating habits. In the end, Icho expresses that Yongary was not evil by nature but rather, just simply looking for food.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Ki-duk Kim
- Written by Yun-sung Seo
- Music by Jeong-guen Jeon
- Cinematography by In-jib Byeon
- Special Effects by Kenichi Nakagawa
- Screenplay by Ki-duk-Kim
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Yeong-il Oh as Ilo
- Ted Rusoff as Voice of Ilo
- Jeong-im Nam as Suna
- Sun-jae Lee as ???
- Moon Kang as ???
- Kwang Ho Lee as Icho
- Cho Kyoung-min as Yonggary
- Main article: Yonggary (1967 film)/Gallery.
- Main article: Yonggary (1967 film soundtrack).
- Great Monster Yongary (대괴수 용가리; South Korea)
- Yongary, Abyss Monster (Yongary, Monstre des Abysses; France)
- Yongary the Greatest Monster (Yongary il più Grande Mostro; Italy)
- Godzilla, Monster of Terror (Godzilla, Monster des Schreckens; West Germany)
- Great Monster Yongkari (America)
- Monster Yonggari (America)
- Monster Yongkari (America)
- Yongary, Monster from the Deep (America)
- Yongkari, Monster from the Deep (America)
Theatrical Release Dates
- South Korea - August 13, 1967; October 9, 2011 (Pusan International Film Festival)
- West Germany - September 1, 1972
- Italy - 1974
- In the West German release of the film, "Godzilla, Monster des Schreckens", Yonggary is incorrectly named Godzilla throughout the trailer, movie, and even in the title itself.
- The original Korean version of the movie is partially lost. Only fourty-seven minutes of the film remains.