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[PICK] Memories of Korean Comedy Dramas

Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

 

This article will introduce works that have left meaningful moves in Korean comedy films with offbeat humor such as ingenious and unique materials, characters who reject mediocrity, outspoken lines and actions, and productions that satirize irrational reality.

 

The Quiet Family (1998)

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Credit: Myung Film

The story takes place when the family who are thrilled about opening a cabin face a chaotic moment as guests who visited commit suicide one after another. The movie brusquely depicts the process of the family trying to cover up, but end up committing murder. It is director Kim Ji Woon’s debut film, and the start of the long relationship between him and Song Kang Ho, who he has worked together for four times until The Age of Shadows in 2016. At the time of the release, the movie attracted 340,000 viewers in Seoul.

 

Attack The Gas Station! (1999)

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Credit: Cinema Service

It is the best work of director Kim Sang Jin, who directed several hits with comedy films from the mid-90s to early 200s. It revolves around four hooligans who raid a gas station for no particular reason in the middle of the night. The movie is also considered a legendary comedy work that has produced many buzzwords such as “I only hit one!” and “All of you, put your head down.”

 

Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)

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Credit: Cinema Service

It is director Bong Joon Ho’s feature debut film that depicts the disappearances of puppies in an apartment complex. Through a chase between a part-time lecturer who is sensitive to dog sounds and an employee of an administration center who dreams of winning an award for bravery, he satirically captured the moral insensitivity, hypocrisy, and unreasonable reality of modern people, and was recognized for his skills.

 

Guns & Talks (2001)

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Credit: Film It Su Da

This black comedy, directed by Jang Jin, depicts an incident that four professional killers undergo as they receive a risky contract for murder. Within the stories of killers, clients, and police chasing after them, it captures the contradictions and absurdities of the harsh modern society. Maybe it’s because of the extraordinary cast, the movie attracted 2.23 million viewers nationwide and became a box office hit.

 

Save the Green Planet! (2003)

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Credit: Sidus Corporation

It is one of the best cult films to come out of Korea. Recently, the news about a Hollywood remake was made public, drawing attention. It tells the story of the main character, who believes that the earth is in danger due to an alien invasion, kidnapping a ruthless businessman, believing that he is an alien. The conflict between the two as the main character tortures the businessman in the most unusual way catches the eye.

 

To Catch A Virgin Ghost (2004)

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Credit: SHOWBOX

The story takes place when Seok Tae, who stole diamonds and betrayed his organization, gets involved in a car accident ina rural village. It’s the debut film of director Shin Jung Won, who built up his career with B movies that are rare in the Korean film industry. The movie became a box office hit with an unconventional attempt to combine horror with comedy.

 

The President’s Last Bang (2005)

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Credit: MK Pictures

Like The Man Standing Next, which was released earlier this year, the movie deals with the “10.26 incident.” The film portrays stories of people involved in or were caught up in the murder of the president without knowing a thing on the day of October 26, 1979, in black comedy. It focuses on the subordinates, including the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, rather than those at the core of the power.

 

Dachimawa Lee (2008)

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Credit: SHOWBOX

It is a feature-length work that developed short films that were popular in the 60s and 70s. It openly advocates B movies’ sentiments, including cheesy literary lines, exaggerated actions, and post-synchronization. The film depicts the performances of the chivalrous fighter Dachimawa Lee.

 

Crush And Blush (2008)

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Credit: Big House Vantage Holdings

It is the debut film of director Lee Kyung Mi. The movie comically depicts the process of a main character suffering from Idiopathic craniofacial erythema, a medical condition of uncontrollable and frequent facial blushing, trying to win the heart of a man she has had a long crush on. Gong Hyo Jin showed passionate performances as Yang Mi Sook with rustic fashion, disheveled hair, and fussy tone.

 

How to Use Guys with Secret Tips (2012)

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Credit: SHOWBOX

The story takes place as Choi Bo Na, who is always wishy-washy, acquires a videotape of “How to Use Guys with Secret Tips” by chance. The process of her change with the tape is depicted pleasantly. The movie was loved by comedy movie fans with Lee Si Young’s wacky and cute charms, Oh Jung Se’s perfect portrayal of bluff-filled top star, Park Young Kyu’s presence, and cartoon-like productions, all combined together.

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