APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Computer haekjeonham pokpa daejakjeon (1983)

April 4: Remake, remix, ripoff — A shameless remake, remix or ripoff of a much better known movie. Allow your writing to travel the world (we recommend Italy or Turkey).

Also known as Savior of the Earth or its Western remix Space Thunder Kids — which also has parts of The Cosmos Conqueror (which takes from Giant Robo), Raiders of GalaxyProtectors of Universe Savior of the Earth, Solar Adventure, Space Transformer, Cheolin samchongsa and Defenders of Space  — this movie may claim that it’s about Dr. Kim, Sheila and Keith saving the world from Dr. Butler, but a casual watch will tell you that this is Tron.

The English dub of this is incredible, because it feels like it was made by two guys in a tunnel, as it’s somehow too loud and too quiet all at the same time.

Keith is kind of the hero, despite being very annoying, and spends much of the movie playing a version of Galaxian before being blasted into the video game grid and being beat on by Joe, who is probably the most characterized black man that’s been in a cartoon since the 1930s. Joe whips everyone around him and forces them to play GoAsteroids, Pac-Man and other video games but just like the world of Bridges and Boxleitner, these games are real.

Keith — or Ki, I mean, who knows with this dub — escapes into the desert as he battles Joe in a racing game, which ends up with them drinking in an oasis together, captured by the tiny and annoying Bbik Soo-ni or Princess Sandy who falls for our protagonist and wants to keep him all for himself, but then he explains that he has to save the world, so she introduces him to her eyepatch-wearing pirate sister Odin who for some reason has a submarine that would not look out of place on Space Battleship Yamato and at the very same time, it looks like Nintendo’s Radar Scope, a game that failed in the U.S. and was replaced with the reason we probably still know Nintendo thanks to its success, Donkey Kong.

Maybe they’ve also ripped off Captain Harlock‘s Arcadia. Who knows. Because Odin, beyond being the sister of the miniature princess, could also be the twin sister of Space Adventure Cobra‘s Sandra. The movie does get the Japanese influence right, because characters either look realistic or absolutely cartoony beyond belief and the two animation styles, when mixed, are very jarring. Oh yeah — the Saviors costumes also look like they come from Lensman.

At the end, as Keith leaves, he’s given a computer disk or frisbee — or come on, it’s an identity disk — by Bbik Soo-ni and that’s what destroys Sark — or you know, Dr. Butler — and that’s how we get through this 70 minutes of Korean animation.

Director Su-yong Jeong also worked on Transformers The Movie and the TV series. He also directed a Bible-based TV series, Jesus: A Kingdom Without Frontiers and the movie Yesu, which one imagines comes from that show. IMDB lists Roy Thomas as the other director and that’s linked to the comic book writer and I call IMDB kayfabe on that.

This is definitely something, I’ll tell you that much.

You can download this movie from the Internet Archive.

I learned about this movie from Ed Glaser, author of How the World Remade Hollywood, which you can buy from McFarland Books. Here’s a fun video he made about it.

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