The Good, The Bad, The Weird


The Good, The Bad, and The Weird (a.k.a. Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom) is a Korean film, described by the director as a “kimchee” Western. Much like the spaghetti Westerns from which it draws a lot of influence, TGTBTW is a pure action film, with only the most basic of plots to hold things together (not that it really needs any thing complex.)

Taking place in 1930s Manchuria, it features Woo-sung Jung (who played Yeo-sol the spearman in Musa) as Park Do-won, a bounty hunter (the “Good”), Byung-hun Lee (who played Storm Shadow in the recent GI Joe movie) as Park Chang-yi, a vicious killer (the “Bad”), and Kang-ho Song (who played Park Hang-Du, the befuddled father in The Host) as Yoon Tae-goo, a small-time bandit (the “Weird”).

The plot, such as it, concerns a treasure map, and the desire for several of the characters (and other rival factions) to get said map and be the first to find the treasure. Aside from our three main characters, we also have to deal with the Ghost Market Gang, the Japanese Army, Korean freedom fighters, and a mixed bag of bandits from the Mongolian border.

Paying homage to the films of Sergio Leone any chance it can get, The Good, The Bad, and The Weird simply tears along, with gunfights galore, as well as chases, captures, escapes, explosions, and the occasional comedic incident (courtesy of the Weird mostly). It’s certainly not a “deep” movie, and people looking for character development and exploration best look elsewhere. The Good, The Bad, and The Weird is an action film, pure and simple, with nothing extraneous—there’re no tacked-on love interests, no discussions of philosophy or morality, and if you get down to it, no real “good guys” (although the “Good” is far nicer than Clint Eastwood’s character of the “Good” from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.) Much like a Sergio Leone western, there are just varying shades of gray (although the Bad is definitely “the Bad.”) 

If you're looking for ideas for a Pulp Hero game set in 1930s China, go no further. In fact, the basic plot and structure of The Good, The Bad, and The Weird could be used for any number of genres, including Pulp, Fantasy, and even Post-Apocalyptic.

The Good, The Bad, The Weird

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