It has the makings of a bizarre movie script, and one day will probably be made into a movie. But unlike the puerile comedy of the recent controversial movie about North Korea, The Interview (2014), the story of South Korean movie director and his movie star wife's abduction by agents of the North Korean regime is true. In 1978, the then Supreme Leader in waiting, wanted to kick-start a movie industry in the Peoples Democratic Republic of North Korea, and so arranged for the kidnapping of the famed director and star of South Korea.
Eventually brought back together at a dinner in Pyongyang, after San-ok had spent years in a North Korea prison for an escape attempt, Kim Jong-il lavished money and resources on them, under his plan to make the North Korean movie industry a great propaganda machine for his country. In total San-ok made seven movies under the watchful eye of Kim Jong-il, who acted as executive producer. But the one movie that stands out is the 1985 Godzilla style monster movie Pulgasari. Loosely based on medieval Korean folklore, it tells the story of a giant monster that leads a farmers revolt on the king. But the monster eventually turns on the people, until a peasant girl pleads with him to stop. Finding his conscience, Pulgasari explodes into a thousand pieces, and gives birth to a new "regime". Sorry I mean, "monster". There is an allegory hidden in the wonderfully terrible movie. It can be read, that even under the strict "guidance" of Kim Jong-il, San-ok was making a political statement about the North Korean regime. That the monster Pulgasari was a metaphor for the Kim dynasty in the country.
Along with San-ok, the regime managed to persuade well known Kaijū movie makers from Japan to come to North Korea to help in the making of Pulgasari. Even convincing actor Kempachiro Satsuma, the second person to wear the Godzilla suit, to play the part of Pulgasari. The ranks of the production team swelled to around 700 people, and the movie seemed destined for some kind of international success.
Weird Retro Fact: Read the side-by-side comparison of the two Korean movie monster, in our article Yongary Vs. Pulgasari: The Korean Movie Monster.