For some of us, we like bad movies. Bad movies can be entertaining. Thus, even though it would be a small one, there was an audience for films like 2001 YONGGARY and D-WAR: DRAGON WARS. For those who are American, you might even have a taste for THE LAST GODFATHER, the only English-language entry of Shim Hyung Rae’s Younggu series.
Sadly, we might have seen the death of his brand of Korean cinema, meaning the possibility of no D-WAR 2, which some wanted to see. If you check, the official website has been shut down (the main Younggu-Art side along with the official D-WAR and 2001 YONGGARY sites).
Late October, it was reported that 43 employees of Shim Hung Rae’s company - Younggu-Art - were suing him for $790,000 in non-paid wages. It was to be paid with money received from the auctioning of the 1,655 square meter building which housed the company. The building was sold by Hyundai Swiss Mutual Savings Bank, (Younggu-Arts’ collateral security holder) and was bought by a developer - the only bidder. 3 month’s wages and 3 years severance pays would be paid through the profit made from the auction, with the rest going towards Shim‘s debts. Turns out Shim had borrowed 1.1 billion won against his company, something confirmed by the Financial Supervisory Service. This could be one of many tales of company funds being used inappropriately. Stories of gambling addiction revealed by former employees aren’t making things better.
Turns out that this is not the actual death of Younggu-Art. That happened back in 2009.
Back on July 19, 2009, Shim said he was shutting the firm down - claiming to be $36 million dollars (41 billion Korean Kwon by today‘s exchange rate) in debt. That isn’t the worse of his troubles. In May of 2009, Hyundai Savings Bank filed complaints in regards to 4 billion won in loans/interest. Four months later, a high court made it that Shim had to pay 2.5 billion won. The case is pending at the supreme court. In separate auctions, Shim’s two homes (one being a Hyundai apartment in Apgujeong-dong and another being a Tower Palace apartment in Dogok-dong) are being sold. One of them is 244 square meters in land area.
Shim’s fate just might be sealed when it came up that Shim was being investigated for illegal firearm remodeling. Even darker, claims have been made of Shim’s trying to influence political and business colleges via prostitution including what the Korean Herald said, "high-profile figures and young women" and even going as far as to deny investors refunds of investments back in Oct. 2009 with an illegally customized gas spray gun.
As of October 30, Shim Hyung Rae has been banned from leaving the country of South Korea. All allegations against Shim are said to have taken place from 2008-2011, the years in which Shim made THE LAST GODFATHER (Which failed at the box office in Korea and America) and was still producing MEMORY OF BREAD. Be watching, for SciFiJapan’s Korean correspondent Kim Song-Ho is to be writing a more in-depth article on this.
This is a sad day.