In the early 1980s, Kim Jong-il, who had not yet succeeded his father as ruler, was not happy with the quality or propagandist thrust of the North Korean movie industry. Despite kidnapping Shin Sang-ok in 1979, it wasn't until four years later that Kim Jong-il plucked him out of the prison camp where he was languishing and offered Shin Sang-ok the chance to make movies. Kim Jong-il would allow the South Korean director to make movies for North Korea and grant him an annual pay cheque of $3m as well as whatever counted as freedom within North Korea's isolated confines. In exchange, Shin Sang-ok had to claim he moved to North Korea of his own free will, renounce Capitalism, and never leave the country to shoot movies without permission of the government and a contingent of guards. Failing to follow these rules, could mean further imprisonment or death.
One of the films Shin Sang-ok produced was Pulgasari, a Godzilla ripoff with a confusing North Korean ideological bent. Set in ancient Korea, an evil king is oppressing his people, but they are saved (kind of) when a blacksmith's doll -- Pulgasari -- comes to life and leads the people against the oppressive government. However, Pulgasari seems to turn on the people. To bring Pulgasari to life, Sang-ok was allowed to get production assistance from the monster masters at Toho in Japan. Pulgasari is even played by Kenpachiro Satsuma, the Godzilla suit actor from 1984-1995.
I always wanted to review Pulgasari, so you can expect to see more of Pulgasari on ALL MONSTERS BLOG! in the near future.