"I didn't want to have to resort to external fertilisation but you leave me no choice,
and I've heard that humans ejaculate when they're strangled to death..."
Young-gun (Hong Young-guen) is a self-styled 'City Protector' who has taken it upon himself to rescue the innocent from violent or unscrupulous characters. On saving a beautiful young woman called Monica (Ha Eun-jeong) from being viciously beaten by three men, Young-gun takes her to his home to make sure she really is ok, but as they begin to get to know each other it becomes increasingly clear that she isn't quite what she seems. For Monica is, in fact, an alien from outer space who can only get pregnant by a human virgin on one specific day, and has decided that Young-gun is the perfect candidate to impregnate her.
Though Young-gun has taken a vow of chastity and is resolutely determined not to have sex until after he is married, he is largely unaware of Monica's increasing desperation, but is soon to come face-to-face with the twisted, tortuous depths to which she is prepared to stoop to elicit his sperm...
Invasion of Alien Bikini uses its narrative of a predatory extra-terrestrial female endeavouring to become pregnant by a virginal human male to contrast old-school Korean social ideals (man as protector and provider, the importance of chastity before marriage) with those of the present day (women being on a far more equal footing socially, more open about sex and even willing to take the initiative sexually) and, as has been the case in so many Korean genre comedies over the years, derives a great deal of its humour by from the inversion of the classic roles of males and females within relationships: From Young-gun's standpoint - though initially excited by Monica's seeming attraction to him - her overt sexuality, her predatory attempts at seduction and her willingness (quickly turning to desperation) to become pregnant outside wedlock would be utterly 'alien' to him, even if she wasn't from outer space.
Conversely, Monica simply can't understand Young-gun's reticence to impregnate her, especially since he would clearly find the experience deeply pleasurable, and she ultimately decides that she has no choice but to physically force him into disregarding his old-fashioned ideals, regardless of his vehement protestations.
Thus an increasingly violent, yet humorous, battle between the two (both human vs. alien and classic ideals vs. modern perceptions) ensues over Young-gun's chastity.
There are numerous genuinely funny and well thought out moments throughout Invasion of Alien Bikini - from the simple play on words within Monica's name to the out-of-the-blue appearance of a medical professional to explain the sexual benefits of massage - and though several (such as the aforementioned word play on Monica's given name and surname) are specifically Korean in nature and subject, they are universally easily understood and appreciated.
However, from the outset of Invasion of Alien Bikini, the shadow of perhaps the most famous Korean film of this genre looms heavily over proceedings to the extent that I hesitate over whether to say Invasion of Alien Bikini owes it a debt of gratitude, or an apology for plagiarism. That film is, of course, Save The Green Planet (2003 - Directed by Jang Jun-hwan):
Not only do both films deal with the concept of extra-terrestrials and the possible destruction of the Earth, but both also feature copious amounts of torture (in Save The Green Planet, torture of a perceived alien by a human, while Invasion of Alien Bikini almost inverts this in its depiction of a female alien's torture of a rather hapless human male) and, in fact, a number of scenes in Invasion of Alien Bikini have strikingly similar elements to the equivalent segments in Save The Green Planet - for example: Young-gun getting ready to head out to protect the city compared to Byeong-gu's preparations for the kidnap of businessman Man-shik; the hilariously twisted, off the wall methods of torture in each film etc. - and while it should be said that Invasion of Alien Bikini largely succeeds in spite of this, the constant, almost subconscious, reminders of Save The Green Planet simply underline the fact that Invasion of Alien Bikini could never hope to hold a candle to its illustrious predecessor.
Ok, Invasion of Alien Bikini deliberately sets out to be a B-movie and never really tries to be anything more, but even so...
While credit should indeed be given to Invasion of Alien Bikini for its success in merging fairly graphic brutality with humour throughout the majority of its running time, there is one scene with which I have rather an issue: Having been subjected to numerous violent, tortuous (and genuinely funny) attempts to elicit his sperm, Young-gun eventually manages to escape from his 'shackles' and begins to fight back, repeatedly punching Monica brutally in the face for a number of minutes until she finally passes out - badly bruised and covered in blood - at which point he begins to have sex with her unconscious body. Regardless of the fact that the scene speaks of hidden skeletons lurking beneath the surface of the outwardly pure and pious, and even though the underlying implications fit with the overall themes present, to my mind there is just something that feels inherently wrong with the depiction of a man repeatedly beating a woman so viciously, and I can't help but feel that any required commentary could easily have been made with equal effectiveness in a far less nasty, misogynistic and mean-spirited manner.
Young-gun's decision to then violate Monica while she's unconscious can, frankly, only be described as rape and no amount of juxtaposition of Young-gun's past with his psychologically scarred present can ever be justification enough for its inclusion... period.
If this scene was intended to be memorable, shock and/or offend it certainly served its purpose but, sadly, from that point on I was left with rather a bad taste in my mouth.
The conclusion of Invasion of Alien Bikini is a fairly stylised affair, relating proceedings to an ancient Chinese proverb/legend but, effective enough though it is, it nonetheless never really manages to recapture the humour, strength and promise seen in the early stages of the film.
Hong Young-guen, Ha Eun-jeong, Seo Byeong-cheol, Choi Yeong-jo
Director: Oh Young-doo
Starting out as a genuinely funny and stylishly brutal sci-fi B-movie, Invasion of Alien Bikini is sadly marred by one rather misogynistic, mean-spirited scene and, to my mind, never fully manages to recover its early promise.