Another day, another zombie movie. It seems like we just made a list of sinister shows that included too much zombie content, and we have yet another. Gangnam Zombie joins the likes of Train To Busan, Happiness, All Of Us Are Dead, Kingdom, and so many more zombie shows and movies of the past few years. While there’s no denying that Korea really knows how to shine through with zombie movies, this one may be one that is forgettable at the least and comical at best. Gangnam Zombie tackles some important taboos in Korean society but just brushes over them without any real thought. After finishing the movie, it feels like they were forced in there on a whim. Also, the film could’ve done without the inclusion of the Coronavirus which appears to be done in poor taste and no real connection to the plot. Anyway, let’s get straight into Gangnam Zombie.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Gangnam Zombie’?
While trying to steal some jewelry from what looks like an export vehicle, two men are interrupted by a feral cat that bites into the neck of one of the men. We know what comes next: the man turns into a monstrous zombie and bites his partner. While doing so, he trips and falls into a body of water, which leads him to the building where Hyeon-Seok works. Hyeon-Seok is a budding YouTube star who works with a company that is trying to make it big in the YouTube scene. His boss, a colleague, and an editor all work from an office in this particular building, where they haven’t paid rent for three months. Hyeon-Seok has a little crush on the editor of the team named Min-Jeong, and since it’s Christmas Eve, he’s planned to take her to a concert at night. He meets Min-Jeong on the street near the office, where she’s trying to argue with some men who spiked a woman’s drink. She doesn’t know those women or the men, but she feels the need to interfere. Seeing the men not backing down, Hyeon-Seok shows off his taekwondo skills and puts them in their place. Min-Joeng is unimpressed and also rejects his offer to go to the concert. In the meantime, the zombie monster (because he has vampire teeth and claws like a cat) has begun his work in the building.
The landlady of the building is doing her rounds, and it turns out Hyeon-Seok’s boss hasn’t paid rent for three months. The team also hasn’t been getting paid for these three months. On top of that, the man touches Min-Jeon inappropriately at work, but because she has no experience or college background, she really needs this job for experience, so she doesn’t say anything. The landlady realizes her building is infected and tells the security guard to lock all doors so nobody can come in. She wants to make sure word doesn’t get out about the building having zombies because she’s trying to sell it. If something like this is known to people, the value of the building will come down drastically. When she comes to Hyeon-Seok’s office asking for help, the boss realizes they can make some viral content with the zombie attack. At the same time, the landlady also says if they are able to catch the zombies, they won’t have to pay the three months’ rent.
Hyeon-Seok agrees, and they head out to record the zombies. Of course, they can’t last long before being hunted down, and Hyeon-Seok’s senior colleague is turned into a zombie. At the same time, the first infected person shows up and can physically fight with Hyeon-Seok and beat him even with his national-level taekwondo skills (which we hear about a lot). After a lot of running Min-Jeong and Hyeon-Seok are the last people standing. Min-Jeong wasn’t even able to call the police because the landlady had stopped her from doing so and thrown away her phone.
‘Gangnam Zombie’ Ending Explained: Did Hyeon-Seok Get Bit?
After a lot of chasing and running, the two of them end up on the first floor with no escape. Hyeon-Seok puts Min-Jeong in a car that is on display in the middle of the floor. He tells her he’ll distract the zombies so she can stay there safely. The plan fails quickly, though, as all the zombies swarm the car and try to get in it. Hyeon-Seok climbs on top of the car and tries to ward them off. Finally, he manages to jump off and get the zombies to come to where he’s standing by creating a ruckus. He gets pushed down by one of the zombies, and it looks like it’s going to be the end for him, but Min-Jeong comes to the rescue using a fire extinguisher that miraculously gets the zombies to get off of Hyeon-Seok. Hyeon-Seok comes out completely unharmed, and they escape to the basement. There, zombie no. 1 shows up again, and this time Hyeon-Seok and Min-Jeong team up to fight him off. They know that nothing can kill them, but finally, when Hyeon-Seok has the chance, he tries to smash the zombie’s head in with a baseball bat. In the meantime, the landlady, who is also turned now, shows up and bites Hyeon-Seok.
Or so we think, because she doesn’t happen to have any teeth of her own, and so the dentures come off on Hyeon-Seok’s leg, leaving him unharmed. This time it was Min-Jeong who hit her on the head, and an embarrassed Hyeon-Seok tried to leave the building hurriedly. They open the basement door and leave without shutting it. The movie ends with zombie no. 1 getting up again and getting out of the building through the open door, followed by a visual of all of Seoul to give us a picture of how many people could be infected by the one man. We can assume that Hyeon-Seok and Min-Jeong would call the police, but it seems they may be too late. Of course, the movie tries to lightly touch on the topics of capitalism and fame as we see the people chasing after viral content, and the landlady doesn’t want the police to be notified so that she gets the full value of her building. It’s also quite ridiculous to see a zombie fighting back with the skills of an action hero and also being able to do dance stunts just because he was a dancer before the infection. We understand that the film is labeled action comedy, but we’re really not sure it does a decent job on either of those fronts.