Rampant (film)

Rampant is a 2018 South Korean period action zombie film directed by Kim Sung-hoon. It was released on October 25, 2018.[5][6] The film features a clash between exiled prince Lee Chung (Hyun Bin) and the Joseon minister of War Kim Ja-joon (Jang Dong-gun) with the backdrop of a spreading zombie plague. It received mixed reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, grossing 11.8 Million dollars against a budget of 15 million dollar.

Rampant (2018).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Revised RomanizationChang-gwol
Directed byKim Sung-hoon
Written byHwang Jo-yoon
Produced byKim Nam-soo
StarringHyun Bin
Jang Dong-gun
CinematographySung-Jae Lee
Edited bySang-beom Kim
Music byInyoung Park
Distributed byNext Entertainment World
Release date
  • October 25, 2018 (2018-10-25)
Running time
121 minutes[2]
CountrySouth Korea
Budget17 billion[3]
(US$15 million)
Box officeUS$11.8 million[4]


In the Joseon dynasty, King Lee Jo is viewed as overly deferential to the nearby Qing dynasty of China. His son, Crown Prince Lee Young, plots to buy European arquebuses to drive away the Qing. The plot is exposed by War Minister Kim Ja-joon, who holds influence over the king and frames it as a rebellion. Kim meets the Europeans and learns that they have brought zombies (called "night demons"). The crown prince commits suicide as penance so that his subordinates will be spared. Joseon forces destroy the European ship and retrieve the arquebuses, but a Joseon soldier is bitten by a zombie. He returns to his village, where he turns and spreads the infection. The zombies crave human meat and blood, are attracted by sounds, repelled by sunlight, and are stopped by decapitation or piercing of the heart, as well as separation of spinal vertebrae but methods of killing are inconsistent.

The crown prince left a request that his wife Gyeong-bin and unborn child be raised by his younger brother Lee Chung in China for their safety. Lee Chung had previously been left out of Joseon's order of succession and grew up abroad in the prosperous Qing. Lee Chung returns with his companion Hak-Su, landing in Jemulpo, but is attacked by Joseon assassins sent by Minister Kim and other ministers, who are plotting a coup. The noise of the battle draws an attack by zombified villagers. Lee Chung and Hak-Su are assisted by local partisans, including Park Eul-ryoung, former lieutenant to the crown prince, and archer Deok-hee. The Jemulpo partisans ask Lee Chung to become crown prince, but he declines, wanting to return to China. Lee Chung awkwardly flirts with Deok-hee.

The only survivor of the would-be assassins is captured by Kim because he is infected. The ministers arrange for a concubine to be infected. She later turns and infects the king. Lee Chung arrives at the king's court, where he requests an army to crush the zombies. The king initially agrees but the ministers instigate him to rescind the order, claiming no zombie outbreak, only a civil rebellion. The Jemulpo partisans are arrested, while Lee Chung and Gyeong-bin are ordered to attend a banquet for a visiting Qing delegation.

At the banquet, the king fully turns into a zombie, and is slain by Kim, who unleashes zombies there in an attempt to kill members of the palace and the Qing delegation, then rule with all potential opposition gone. However, Kim is bitten by a zombie, leading to the ministers attempting to kill him. Kim slays them all, chops off his own hand to slow the infection, then declares himself king.

Gyeong-bin convinces Lee Chung not to flee but to protect the people, so Lee Chung, the royal guard and his Jemulpo allies freed from prison proceed to fight to prevent the zombies from escaping the palace and attacking the capital. Lee Chung and his allies plan to draw the zombies together into a gigantic fiery explosion at the palace. Kim kills Hak-Su and an infected Park, preventing the explosion. Lee Chung continues the same plan, battling a horde of zombies and the half-infected Kim. While doing so, he pours oil on the floor of the palace. Deok-hee fires a flaming arrow into the palace burning it down. Lee Chung retreats to the roof of the palace, only to find that Kim also climbed the palace.

Together, they duel with each other, Lee Chung being the victor. Reinforcements of soldiers and commoners later arrive to exterminate the rest of the zombies. Lee Chung recognizes that through the power of the people, the ruined Joseon still has hopes for existence, and elects to stay rather than go back to Qing China.



  • Hyun Bin as Lee Chung[7] – the current heir to the Joseon throne, who is arrogant and only wants to marry a girl to accompany to China
  • Jang Dong-gun as Kim Ja-joon[8] – the corrupt Minister of War who leads the Royal Family into believing Lee Chung is not the heir


  • Kim Eui-sung as King Lee Jo- the king of Joseon, who delights in luxury
  • Jeong Man-sik as Hak-soo- Lee Chung's quirky bodyguard
  • Jo Woo-jin as Park Eul-ryoung- one of the three protectors of Jemulpo, who accompanies Chung during the virus
  • Lee Sun-bin as Deok-hee[9]- an archer and the second protector of Jemulpo who lee Chung has a crush on, who hits with high precision
  • Seo Ji-hye as Concubine Jo
  • Kim Dae-gon as Royal Court Physician
  • Jo Dal-hwan as Monk Dae-gil- the third protector of Jemulpo, who follows Buddhist religion
  • Han Ji-eun as Royal Noble Consort Gyeong [10]
  • Heo Joon-suk[11]
  • Jung Yoo-ahn[12]

Special appearanceEdit


Principal photography began on September 1, 2017[13] and concluded on February 13, 2018.[14]

The film is financed and distributed by Next Entertainment World, who was the primary backer of films such as Pandora and Train to Busan. It is directed by Kim Sung-hoon, who has worked with Hyun Bin in the hit film Confidential Assignment.[15] On November 14, 2017, it was announced by distributor Next Entertainment World that actor Kim Tae-woo will fill the role of Crown Prince Lee Young, originally scheduled to be played by the late Kim Joo-hyuk.[16][17]


The film was released domestically on October 25, 2018, alongside Grass and Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians.[5]

The film had already lined up theatrical releases in 19 countries. Release date for Philippines, Germany, UK, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia is set within 2 weeks after domestic release date.[18]


Critical responseEdit

Shim Sun-ah from Yonhap News Agency gave a mixed review and wrote, "Rampant has a promising premise, but it is a bland film that is marred by a predictable plot and cardboard characters. However, the movie much to the satisfaction of fans of zombie movies, they are quick, strong and cruel, not to mention creepy. It also succeeded in giving audiences spectacular sword-fight sequences and some truly beautiful cinematography."[19]

Park Jin-hae from The Korea Times also gave a mixed review and wrote, "Hyun's skillful action scenes with a long sword, almost singlehandedly defeating zombies endlessly swarming from all directions, are entertaining. It keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with nerve-wracking moments to the last. But the film seems to work adversely as loosening up the thrill and chills the zombies worked hard to create. Another letdown has been lack of character development."[20]

Box officeEdit

The film recorded 156,644 admissions with US$1.1 million gross on its opening day, taking the box office lead from Dark Figure of Crime.[21] On October 28, the film surpassed 1 million admissions, 4 days after its release.[22] During its opening weekend, the film attracted 840,854 moviegoers with US$6.6 million gross, and finished first place at the box office.[23] However, the film dropped 80% in gross during its second weekend, with US$1.4 million gross from 174,993 attendance, and finished third in the box office chart.[24]

As of November 18, 2018, the film grossed US$11.8 million from 1,596,255 total attendance.[4]


  1. ^ The agency of the movie's lead actor Hyun Bin, which he co-founded in 2016 with his mentor Kang Keon-taek.
  2. ^ "창궐". Korea Media Rating Board (in Korean).
  3. ^ "현빈X장동건, 현실 절친→혈투…'창궐'서 첫 만남". Joy News 24 (in Korean). 14 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Rampant (2018)". Korean Film Biz Zone.
  5. ^ a b "현빈X장동건 '창궐', 10월25일 개봉확정[무비타이밍]". Star News (in Korean). 17 September 2018.
  6. ^ "'Rampant,' a zombie blockbuster set in the Joseon era". Yonhap News. 28 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Hyun-bin Takes on Period Zombie Film CHANG-GWOL". Korean Film Biz Zone. 12 April 2017.
  8. ^ "JANG Dong-gun Joins Hyun-bin in Period Zombie Film". Korean Film Biz Zone. 24 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Lee Sun-bin joins star-filled cast of 'Rampage'". Korea JoongAng Daily. 22 July 2017.
  10. ^ "[단독] '리얼' 한지은, 현빈X장동건 영화 '창궐' 캐스팅". Osen (in Korean). 23 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Heo Joon-suk to star in "Rampant"". Hancinema. 22 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Rookie actors Han Kyu-won, Yoon Jung-hyuk and Jung Yoo-ahn pave their way onto the small and silver screens". Hancinema. 13 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Jang Dong-gun, Hyun Bin to star in Joseon creature feature". The Korea Herald. 29 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Hyun-bin Period Action Film OUTBREAK Completes Winter Shoot". Korean Film Biz Zone. 12 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Kim Sung-hoon's Period Zombie Film Finalizes Star Cast". Asian Movie Pulse. 20 July 2017.
  16. ^ Kil, Sonia (30 October 2017). "South Korean Actor Kim Joo-hyuk Dies in Car Crash". Variety.
  17. ^ "KIM Tae-woo Replaces Late KIM Joo-hyuk in CHANG-GWOL". Korean Film Biz Zone. 20 November 2017.
  18. ^ "RAMPANT to Spread Across 4 Continents in 19 Countries". Korean Film Biz Zone. 12 October 2018.
  19. ^ "(Movie Review) 'Rampant' is predictable Joseon-era superhero blockbuster". Yonhap News Agency. 24 October 2018.
  20. ^ "In 'Rampant,' hero slashes zombies". The Korea Times. 28 October 2018.
  21. ^ "'창궐', '암수살인' 제치고 개봉일 1위 등극". Joy News 24 (in Korean). 26 October 2018.
  22. ^ "'창궐', 개봉 4일만에 100만 돌파..현빈X장동건 빛나는 인증샷". Star News (in Korean). 28 October 2018.
  23. ^ "[무비박스] '창궐' 4일만에 100만 돌파..주말 흥행 압도적 1위". TV Report (in Korean). 29 October 2018.
  24. ^ "'완벽한 타인', 개봉 첫 주말 117만↑..5일째 1위·166만 돌파 [美친box]". OSEN (in Korean). 7 November 2018.

External linksEdit