Not a film I think I could persuade many people to see simply by telling them what it's about. Especially not if I then added that it has but one female part − circus freak Su-ni − and that it's packed with almost unrelenting scenes of point-blank cruelty and other kinds of oriental ickiness, much of it with a geeky, homoerotic edge.
And yet on exiting the premiere in 2003 Chanwook-Park described this as "the best Korean film ever" and, if you discount his own Oldboy and my own favourite A Tale of Two Sisters, he's probably right. It's mad, bad and utterly brilliant.
There is a constant stream of visual comedy going on in the background and one or two foreground gags that had us in near hysterics. ("Cuckoo...") There are also moments of astounding invention - such as Lee Byeong-gu's startling resucitation courtesy of Kang Man-shik's infuriated stompimg.
Jang Joon-Hwan claims the idea came to him from two sources, an article describing how some people had come to believe that Leonardo de Caprio is an alien, and his conviction that Misery had failed to retain enough audience sympathy for Kathy Bates's character Annie Wilkes. And Save the Green Planet is indeed an improvement on Stephen King's tale in that it is just as darkly hilarious, and yet is also deeper and ultimately more moving.