History

The 3 Ninjas Escape Communism

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You may have heard of Shin Sang-ok, the pioneer South Korean filmmaker who was kidnapped by the totalitarian regime in the north so it could have a world-class director of its own. What I didn't realize until I read this link-rich Metafilter summary of his career is where Shin turned his talents after he finally escaped communist captivity:

While in the United States, Shin used the pseudonym Simon S. Sheen, and he lived in Southern California for some while. Under his newly assumed name, he worked on the three 3 Ninjas sequels, the last of which featured Hulk Hogan.

I recommend reading the whole account, which also includes some interesting info on the harsh regulatory regime that Shin endured in South Korea. Bad as those rules could be, I suspect Shin missed them terribly once he'd been shanghaied to the north.

Elsewhere in Reason: John Gorenfeld recounts Kim Jong Il's attempts to make North Korea an artistic powerhouse.

Bonus YouTube clip: Shin Sang-ok in America.

Discs! I remember those.

[Hat tip: Bryan Alexander.]

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