Monday, November 28, 2011

Shaolin vs. Frankenstein: Damon Foster's latest opus!

Independent filmmaker Damon Foster clowns around in Rancho Mirage, CA, while working on one of his many movie projects.

Poor Hyung-rae Shim.

Not only does it seem that the South Korean auteur's filmmaking career has reached an ignominious end, but everyone's favorite Kaiju Kut-up Damon Foster has spoofed three of Shim's Younggu films in a new comedy compilation called Shaolin vs. Frankenstein.

If the title sounds familiar, that's because Damon released Shaolin vs. Terminator in 2004. Although unrelated, Shaolin vs. Frankenstein is every bit as funny as the previous entry in his "Shaolin" series.

The film features appearances of Yongary (from 1993's Younggu and the Dinosaur Juju, not Shim's better-known CG-fest Yonggary from 1999/2001), Golden Bat, and a bevy of Universal horror icons (Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man) whose likenesses are so poor that they'd make Paul Naschy giggle.

As seen in Shaolin vs. Frankenstein: Yongary rampages in South Korea!

Overall, Damon does a commendable job in weaving together three unrelated Younggu movies and making the story lines intersect. The plot is actually pretty easy to follow, which can't always be said about other patchwork movies imported to the U.S., such as Mighty Jack and Time of the Apes.

Believe it or not, he looks worse in the CGI version.

The one major criticism of Shaolin vs. Frankenstein I can make is that, despite condensing three separate movies down to their most interesting parts, it still manages to be pretty boring at times. This is not so much a criticism of Damon's work but of the source material. The movie comes alive when it's parodying the juvenile onscreen antics. When it's (more or less) playing things straight, my attention wandered. Shim's man-child schtick wears thin quickly, and when Damon isn't poking fun at it, the proceedings get a bit agonizing.

You can see for yourself whether Shaolin vs. Frankenstein would be up your alley by watching the trailer here. It does have its share of colorful action scenes, wacky characters, and funny jokes (all courtesy of Damon), so it's worth a peek. It's certainly no Hot Dogs on the Run, but it's not trying to aim that high.

So please visit the official Damon Foster Web site and buy, buy, buy!

(Note: As of this posting, Shaolin vs. Frankenstein isn't listed for sale, so contact Damon directly to order your copy.)

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