Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Volcano High 2002


Directed by Kim Tae-kyun

Korea In Korean with English subtitles
118 minutes 35mm



Jung Ahn-chul, Kim Tae-kyun. Based on a story by Suh Dong-heon


Choi Young-taek


Goh Im-pyo


Park Young


Jang Hyuk
Shin Min-ah
Kim Soo-roh


Hyper-kinetic and hilarious, the year’s best martial arts F/X extravaganza is also the year’s wildest high school movie. At Volcano High the weather is always on the verge of apocalypse, the chalk ricochets around the classroom like bullets, and the students ricochet around the walls in telekinetic battles for martial arts supremacy. After 17 years of chaos, Cold-Blooded Venom, the ambitious vice-principal, calls in The School Five, masters of student suppression. The battle lines are drawn and Kyung-soo, our bleached-blonde hero, expelled from eight schools for failing to suppress his awesome powers, stands in the middle, barely able to restrain the explosive power that surges through his body. Neo-techno meets neo-Gothic in the eye-popping design; the breathless energy of a charismatic and funny young cast merges seamlessly with the energy of the effects and the jokes never let up.

“Far livelier, wittier and more coherent than anything of this sort recently made in Hong Kong, Volcano High also has a trump card up its sleeve: it’s the perfect antidote to Harry Potter.” — Tony Rayns