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G.P. 506 (2008)

  Tags: g.p. 506, guard point 506, Ho-jin Jeon, Hyeon-jae Jo, korean, south korea, Su-chang Kong, undead, walking dead, Young-hoon Lee, Zombie Movies

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Su-chang Kong
120 minutes
Ho-jin Jeon, Hyeon-jae Jo, Young-hoon Lee

R-Point writer/director Su-chang Kong returns to the genre to deliver what I believe to be the first South Korean zombie film. Leave it to the Koreans to take a simple zombie story and turn it into a two-hour murder mystery. This is why I love Korean cinema -- they are great storytellers, from their romances, dramas, and even their horror. They know how to tell a story and tell it better than most of Hollywood.

Like I said above, this is Korea's take on a zombie story with Su-chang Kong at the helm. I enjoyed his previous effort, which proved that the man uses the right atmosphere and characters to drive the story. This film is no different. Also known as Guard Post 506 or The Guard Post, we once again follow a military backdrop, where a group of men from the South Korean army are sent to investigate the troubles that occurred in one of their many guard towers across the North/South Korean border.

Once there, they discover that every single member of the unit has been killed and all that remains is a single soldier holding an axe and completely covered in blood. The only survivor and prime suspect, we follow the lead investigator as he attempts to put the pieces of the puzzle together and determine what exactly happened that lead to the deaths of the entire unit. We eventually find out that the men were infected with something that caused them to act out violently towards each other, with little-to-no knowledge of their wrong-doings.

Aside from the strange markings the virus leaves on the victim's skin, it worsens over time eventually killing the person and essentially turns them into what we can consider zombies. Despite being a zombie film, we really don't see much zombie action at all. At one point a man is run over by a vehicle and continues to crawl his way towards another man's ankle and we see another zombie walk around causing trouble, but there's no zombie horde or even much of any biting or tearing of limbs. In fact, whether this is a zombie or not can also be called to question since it mostly just plays out as a mystery, with a majority of the story told through flashbacks.

Either way, Su-chang Kong once again proves that he can deliver a great moody horror story. Even though we don't get typical zombie action, there's still a good amount of blood and some gore here and there, but nothing too excessive. Although I would have liked watching the dead men simply get up and start biting all the investigators, it never happened, and the direction the movie actually took was an interesting one anyway, especially for the sub-genre.

This was an interesting take on the zombie sub-genre that turns the usual mold into a thick character and story-driven mystery. Worth a check if you like a good story, but look elseware if you want some zombie action.

Posted on October 22, 2009 - 11:16pm | FrighT MasteR