Drama Casting & News
Hometown of Legends / Legendary Hometown
by | August 6, 2008 | 28 Comments

Summer is the season for chilly gothic and horror entertainment, so KBS takes the post-Women in the Sun time slot to launch its new horror series, Hometown of Legends, as its Wednesday-Thursday programming for the month of August.

Or, should I say, new OLD series. There was an earlier version that aired in the late ’90s, which had approximately 70 episodes. (I think there may have been another version in the 1980s, but I don’t know that for sure.) The stories spanned different topics (with some overlaps) but was based on the same conceit. A film of the same name — albeit translated into English as The Evil Twin — was also released in 2007 and featured Park Shin-hye and Jae Hee, the latter of whom also appears in this new series.

What sets this drama apart from others is in the episodic, anthology nature of the storytelling. Each episode is written and directed by a different team, and stars different actors in its installments. Think of it as fusion sageuk meets the Twilight Zone, or a collection of old ghost tales.

Hometown of Legends kicks off with the first episode today, “Nine-tailed Fox,” followed by others bearing titles like “Curse of the Sajin Sword” and “Demon’s Story.”

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Perhaps the most attention has been given to the “Nine-tailed Fox” segment starring Park Min-young, but I’m inclined to believe that’s because it’s the first episode more than any sort of indication of quality. Reading the descriptions, I’m more drawn to some of the other stories, such as the one involving Jae Hee (and it’s not just ’cause I like me my Jae Hee). And is it twisted that I think the ghost story starring Lee Jin (the final installment) sounds a little, uh, romantic? (Although who knows, that could just be because of the description.)

One of the other factors attracting notice is the fair amount of famous names dotting the cast list, which is high given that there are only eight episodes. Some of the stars headlining the various segments include sageuk staple Choi Su-jong, up-and-comer Park Min-young (I am Sam and pictured above), Jae Hee, ballad singer Lee Jung, Ahn Jae-mo, and ex-FinKL pop singer Lee Jin. Generally they do not, however, act with one another as they’re mostly cast in separate installments.

Choi Su-jong explained his involvement, saying, “It may be a short piece but the quality is very high. Because it was a short work, I didn’t feel much of a burden. The production team and the actors all put a lot of effort into it, so I’m looking forward to good results from the project.”

 

 

Part 1: “Gumiho” [구미호 / Nine-tailed Fox]
Airs: August 6
Dir.: Kwak Jung-hwan

This tragedy takes place within a household given the curse of the gumiho, or nine-tailed fox. After the curse is given, the family guards their secret over twelve generations and 400 years. Within this family is one girl, played by Park Min-young. In seeming contrast to the somber nature of their family history, she’s lively and curious, and the youngest female in the household. Her older sister, on the other hand (played by Kim Hae-eun), is much more serious, obedient to the cause of hiding the family secret. Her brother (Kim Tae-ho), the eldest grandson in the family (thus its heir) is a thoughtful young man with a particular interest in modern sciences, but when push come to shove he’s a weak person. He does, however, have doubts about the family’s rules.

 

 

Part 2: “Child, let’s go to the mountain” [아가야 청산가자]
Airs: August 7
Dir.: Lee Min-hong

A nobleman’s only daughter (Kim So-hyun) contracts an unknown fatal illness, leading her mother (Wang Hee-jee) to seek a miracle from a sorceress. The greedy and wicked sorceress tells her that the daughter can live if she eats a baby’s liver. The desperate mother breaks her sense of morality to save her child, and the daughter recovers, but strange things start happening…

Also features Go Jung-min, Jo Eun-sook, Ahn Seok-hwan

 
Part 3: “Curse of the Sajin Sword” [사진검의 저주]
Airs: August 13
Dir.: Kim Jung-min

Choi Su-jong plays a capable detective who is sent on an emergency call by his police chief to a village to investigate the mysterious death of the blacksmith who’d forged the precious royal Sajin Sword. He’s accompanied by Sa Kang and Lee Jung to uncover the secrets of the village. They’re greeted by a crazy hag who talks of curses, and begin feeling apprehensions when they start seeing blackened corpses…

Also starring Park Ha-seon, Song Min-ji, Song Wook-sook.

 

 

Part 4: “Your Letter” [귀서]
Airs: August 14
Dir.: Kim Yong-so

In the year 546, a king (Kim Young-jae) suddenly dies after merely nine months of rule. A mysterious incident occurs, causing several deaths that bear close resemblance to a popular (but kept secret and underground) ghost story called “Legend of Seol Gong-chan.” People start saying that the dead king has returned as the ghost and is the source of the murders.

The deceased king’s childhood friend (Ahn Jae-mo) seeks to uncover the truth of the matter, not believing in the ghost story even as the deaths around him mount…

With Lee Han-wee, Kim Jin-tae.

 
Part 5: “Young Lord Ogu” [오구도령]
Airs: August 20
Dir.: Lee Jung-sub

Jae Hee plays a man who has lost his beloved (Lee Young-eun), and wanders in search of her soul. Able to see ghosts as a shaman, he lives on the boundary dividing life and death, and arrives at a village where the living and the dead are mixed together in madness. In order to cleanse the village of the dead, he must reveal its secrets one by one…

At the village, he meets a woman resembling his lost love (also played by Lee Young-eun) who practices the healing arts. Also stars Kim Hak-chul, Jung Eun-pyo, Han Hye-kyung.

 

 

Part 6: “Gisaeng House Ghost Story” [기방괴담]
Airs: August 21
Dir.: Kim Jung-min

A gisaeng house, Hwahonuk, fills with the disordered sounds of classical folk music. A powerful man drinks with a friend, but the friend winds up dead, smack in the middle of the house. Rumors spread that it’s the work of the ghost of a disappeared gisaeng who haunts Hwahonuk.

A young man appears at Hwahonuk one day, a pleasure-seeking artist who indulges in food and wine and entertainment. He takes out one of his drawings of a girl, which startles a gisaeng because it bears a striking resemblance to the gisaeng who’d disappeared from the house. That night, the disappeared girl’s corpse is discovered, and a string of deaths starts to be exposed…

Adding to the mystery is the mute keeper of secrets, a maidservant. One gisaeng pays no attention or interest to these bizarre rumors. Another, the mysterious head gisaeng, holds the key to the beginning of all these incidents.

Stars Lee Deok-hwa, Lee Min-woo, Yoo Hye-jung, Kim Kyu-chul, Yoon Joo-hee, Min Ji-young.

 

 
Part 7: “Demon’s Story” [사신이야기]
Airs: August 27
Dir.: Kim Yong-soo

A messenger to the underworld (who transports the dead across the divide) comes back to this (living) world and loses his roster of names. The roster is an essential part of the messengers’ work, as it decides who lives and dies. He has to find the list by the time the underworld gates reopen, and eventually hears that the list has somehow made its way into the governor’s keeping. He sets out to recover his list (intending to rob the governor) with the help of a thief whom he’s finagled into assisting him. But things keep getting complicated…

 
Part 8: “Loose Woman” [환항녀]
Airs: August 28

The day of a nobleman’s only daughter Soo-yeon’s (Lee Jin) wedding to the son of a government official, the village is attacked and she’s dragged off by Chinese soldiers. She escapes and returns home, but all that awaits her is shunning and cold neglect from her husband’s family. In the end, her mother-in-law levels a false charge that she’s bearing another man’s child and uses that as an excuse to throw her out, and Soo-yeon returns to her parents’ home.

But her father is lying in his sickbed unconscious, and her illegitimate older brother has taken control of the property and assets. With his own wife having been dragged off to China like his sister, he lives in an unofficial marriage with another woman who helps him procure a poisonous, hallucinatory drug that often leads a sufferer to suicide. Using this drug, he poisons both sister and wife. After dying such unjust deaths, the women become vengeful ghosts who haunt a particular mountain ridge, seducing men and killing them.

Meanwhile, her husband has devoted himself to becoming a royal inspector. As an undercover agent to the king, he is assigned to finding out the cause of all the strange deaths on the mountain pass, where he comes face to face with the ghost of Soo-yeon…

With Kang Sung-min, Lee Ji-hyun.

 

 

Via Newsen, IS Plus

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28 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. fizzle

    Omo, thanks for all the information! I’m too lazy to look this stuff up on my own. At first I was planning on watching only the first and fifth episodes (fifth for Jae Hee, of course), but after reading this, ALL of them seem interesting. I’m not a big fan of scary movies though…this might give me nightmares for the rest of the summer.

    Btw, “Legend of Seol Gong-chan”? lol, is that how they came up with the name for Lee Dong Wook’s character in My Girl?

  2. avonmarissa

    fizzle, you are funny. I almost spit my morning tea onto my computer screen… Seol Gong Chan lol.

  3. annie

    aaaaa….. so it’s a short storied of all the legend.
    I thought it’s about Gumiho and I’m all excited.
    now I’m less excited ( I’m a GUMIHO fans )
    but still very very entus to watch.

  4. bebo

    oooh, this sounds really interesting. i love ghost stories and asian ones seem to be the scariest! do you think one of the subbing teams will pick it up? i hope so!

  5. sf

    Interesting format – I definitely will check it out! My parents adore horror movies too, so hmmm….

  6. all4movies

    I’m not into ghost stories, but the addition of fusion sageuk would definitely tempt me.

    Plus the images you have shown look really interesting from a directorial standpoint.

  7. JiHwan

    I’m not a fan of ghost stories. I don’t think I’ll watching this. I might check out the episode with Jae Hee for the heck of it, but that drama looks really creepy. Park Min Young’s nose looks like play dough. I don’t get whats so great about her.

  8. ladychick

    Man, I am so not a fan of horror, if I do watch this, I will need someone to accompany me hahaha…..I covered myself up most of the time watching the SAW-series movies :)

  9. Kobe

    First episode ratings:

    Nationwide: 20.1 (2nd)
    Seoul: 20.7 (2nd)

    The pulling power of Park Min Young!

    Or maybe everyone is just dying to watch something scary since there’s only one Korean horror this year.

  10. 10 belleza

    “The pulling power of Park Min Young!”

    Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology. Better than she was before . . . . I kinda hope the 100lbs Beauty has the inside track on getting cast as Makino for Korean HanaDan. She’s the right age to play 17-23, and has the right idol starlet image.

    “Or maybe everyone is just dying to watch something scary since there’s only one Korean horror this year.”

    Kinda odd they don’t do this more often, since Korean horror is a DVD/movie staple, and most people young and old are familiar with Asian ghost stories. And summer is a good time of the year to do stuff like that. Last year, they ran the 8-episode Seoul’s Sad Song in July.

    It’s very encouraging for KBS2, and I’m hoping the station can ride this ratings momentum for the rest of the year. They’re SO due.

  11. 11 SZA

    omgg.. horror/ghost drama..im eagerly waiting for it..i lov horror even though im scared of ghost though :D

  12. 12 Ajussi

    Yup, the original series ran in the early eighties (may even started in late 70′s) when Korean TV shows were in black and white. I still remember some of the original episodes…still gives me the creeps. In particular, there was an episode where man had an incurable disease. His wife prays to gods for a cure every night. And one day meets a wandering monk whom she feeds. In return for her kindness, the monk tells her that there’s only one cure: she must go to a mountain side where unclaimed bodies of deceased are left on a particular night and she must cut off one of the leg from the freshes corpse and feed it to her ailing husband. She finds the body of a man and she cuts off the leg off and the corpse gets up and starts following her in hopping motion all the way down to her home. When she finally arrives at her home it’s dawn and the dead man is no more. She throws the leg in a couldron to cook and when she opens it she finds a hundred year old ginseng. The old monk was a mountain god to whom she had prayed. The mountain god was trying to test her devotion to her husband by having her go through such a trial. Has to be my favorite.

  13. 13 all4movies

    Just watched the 1st episode RAW. It was creepy, but also interesting.

    Need the english subs. Will be looking forward to it.

  14. 14 gail

    any background on the name “seol gong chan.” i’m not much for ghost stories. even the pictures creeped me out. but my eyes perked up at the name. any connection to the “my girl” storyline? thanks.

  15. 15 whaleatape

    Wah. That last picture is freaky…
    I want to watch but I’m kind of scared XD

  16. 16 Kobe

    @belleza

    It is kinda surprising they don’t do this that often but at the same time it’s good that they’re not milking it either. Hopefully with fewer horror movies/dramas produced each year, it would leave us with better quality products.

    I haven’t seen the first ep. yet, but to anyone a bit reluctant to watch it because they feel it might get a bit scary: Never fear! K-dramas on the main networks are very family orientated, so I don’t think we’ll get anything too scary or disturbing. If anyone wants to watch a scary K-drama, look no further than the brilliant ‘Coma’ from OCN 2 years ago. I dare anyone to watch that alone…past midnight….with the sound up.

  17. 17 Di

    Finally something I can sink my teeth into! I love traditional Asian folklore. XD

  18. 18 Choviz

    OMG,, what a scary drama!
    I don’t like much horror movie or drama, but I’m so interested with the synopsis, especially for the fifth episode which will be played by Jae Hee (I’m waiting for his new drama and movie since he went to military service)
    I’m not watching the last episode and 2nd eps. yet, but when I see all the pics above,
    omo, it’s too scary for me :D

  19. 19 Sue

    LEE JUNG<3333333333

  20. 20 JENNYCM86

    YEAH!! I think Korean Ghost Stories are the BEST! haha

  21. 21 Lexy

    YAY! I can’t wait to see the last one with Lee Jin!!!! So glad she’s back!
    Who is Lee Ji Hyun? Sounds familiar…….

  22. 22 Rovi

    at fizzle (1)

    hahaha!!! very funny!!

    SEOL GONG-CHAN JEON!!!

    anyways…

    there are different versions of Jeonseol-ui Gohyang aired throughout the 30 years it first aired…
    -1977-1989
    -1996-1999
    -and now, the whole August of 2008

  23. 23 ChiliPepper

    I want to watch EP. 5 because of Jae Hee (what else? :0)
    But all these shows look way too creepy. I am afraid I can’t sleep at night.
    I guess I’ll pass. Sigh. (Sorry, JH.)

  24. 24 Anonymous

    hiiiiiiiiiiiiii
    really niceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    i like u i am gal from tibet

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