Save the Green Planet

Starring: Shin Ha-Kyun, Paek Yun-Sik and Hwang Jeong-Min
Tartan Asia Extreme
RRP: 19.99
TVD 3512
Certificate: 18
Available 28 March 2005

Byung-Gi is an ordinary young man. He believes that all of the Earth's social ills are the result of evil aliens. That's why he knows that, unless he can meet the prince from Andromeda before the total lunar eclipse, planet earth will be destroyed. However to meet the prince he must find an extraterrestrial representative living on earth. So he kidnaps the most logical suspect; the boss of a multinational company and thus begins a battle of wills between himself, as he tries to uncover the secret alien plot to destroy the earth, and the boss, who thinks Byung-Gi is nuts...

Save the Green Planet is possibly the only movie that you could say is like a combination of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Red Dragon.

This film has been available on Korean import for about two years. Having gained a certain reputation for being 'a crazy film' among Asian film fans, it got a limited cinema release in the UK and has finally been released on DVD.

It is a film about aliens but it is also a film about how someone's past can dramatically affect their current state of mind. Byung-Gi is a likeable character and always seems to borderline on the edge of sanity, the reason why he is the way he is becomes clearer as the film goes on. The problem that I did have with this film is that all of the funny moments disappeared halfway through the film. Don't get me wrong, this is a very poignant piece of work but it would have benefited from a little more humour. The torture scenes are pretty much standard fair for an Asian extreme film but a good dose of humour brings you around from some of the nasty things that happen on screen.

Byung-Gi is a tortured soul and whilst I don't want to give away the ending, you do begin to understand why he takes the extreme measures that he does. I do recommend this film, but as I said, it does lose pace halfway through. Personally I think this was Korea's attempt at making a cult film.

I was lucky enough to purchase the Korean limited box-set a while ago. Included in this was a bottle of the chemical that Byung-Gi rubs on his victim's feet. If you do watch the film, just to give you an idea, it's a kind of cross between TCP and Witch Hazel. And if you don't know what I'm going on about then I suggest you watch it so you can sympathise with the poor kidnapped man.

The picture quality on the disc is very good (as I have come to expect from Tartan) and the sound is in Dolby digital and a stonking great DTS track, time to crank up the sub on your cinema system.

Extras on the disc include a directors commentary, deleted scenes, cast and crew interviews and a behind the scenes documentary.

This is a good film and definitely worth renting, and if you like it then I suggest you go buy it. And that's because its a crazy film.

Simon Lee

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