Saturday, December 4, 2010

Foreign Fears: The Good, The Bad, The Weird (South Korea) (2008)

review by Steven M. Duarte

This month is a bit of a departure from our usual foreign horror films spot light as I focus on a foreign spaghetti western from South Korea. The film stars Kang-ho Song who you might remember from The Thirst and The Host. The basic premise of the film follows three main characters who are referred to as the Good the Bad and you guessed it the Weird. The character known as the weird is a thief who comes across a treasure map while robbing a train. Not knowing what he has he ends up pursued by both the good and the bad who know about the map. As a homage to the Italian Spaghetti Westerns of the 60’s the films is full of long shootouts, stand offs and close ups of the characters eyes. The character the Weird provides some comedic relief while the bad truly comes off as being a ruthless bad ass.
The film is said to have one of the highest budgets used for a South Korean film and the production really shows. The gunfights are well done and the battle towards the end if full of big explosions that were used to seeing in American action films. One lure that the film has going for it is its reluctance to let the viewer know just what the treasure is. The contents or type of treasure is not revealed until the very last scene. Is it a room full of gold or a useless trinket from a lost civilization? I recommend this film for fans of westerns or just fans of foreign films in general.

--Steven M. Duarte