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'Alienoid': Robot vs. robot in exclusive clip from Korean flick that beat 'Thor: Love and Thunder' at box office

Robots? Wizards? Time portals? Sign us up!

By Josh Weiss

The God of Thunder and an ambitious young super-villain were apparently no match for writer-director-producer Choi Dong-hoon's Alienoid. The film, which made quite a splash at this year's Cannes Film Festival, surpassed both Thor: Love and Thunder and Minions: The Rise of Gru by over a million dollars at the South Korean box office last month. As of this article's publication, the genre-blending title has brought in just over $12 million from international markets, though that number is certain to grow once Alienoid arrives on a select number of domestic screens this month.

With the movie's North American debut just a week away, SYFY WIRE is excited to premiere an exclusive clip that delivers some serious Terminator vibes as a pair of extra-terrestrial robots knock the absolute stuffing out of each other in a cramped elevator. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but Officer Moon (So Ji-seob) — a man who has unknowingly become the earthbound vessel for an alien leader known as the "Controller" — finds himself caught between the dueling machines. The only upside is that one of these beings — dubbed "Guard" (KIM Woo-bin) — is on his side.

Check out the clip below:

Elevator scene

"In response to the question, ‘What film would you make if you were 30 years old,’ my answer was, ‘A story about aliens, which I have loved ever since I was a child,’" Dong-hoon states in the production notes. "After spending a year writing various versions of the screenplay, the film Alienoid came to me as if emerging out of the mist."

“The film attempted to draw out the imagination to the greatest extent possible, and it found the answer within it," adds Ji-seob. "Whatever you imagine Alienoid to be, it will be more than that.”

So what is this thing even about? Great question! Blending elements of both fantasy and science fiction, Alienoid takes place across two distinct time periods. First up is the Goryeo Dynasty (circa 1391), where a group of spell-casters hope to get their hands on a magical MacGuffin known as the "Divine Sword." Meanwhile, in present-day Korea, Guard and his colleague Thunder oversee alien prisoners locked away in human brains. When a portal suddenly opens, bridging the two eras together, all hell breaks loose.

The cast also includes Ryu Jun-yeol (Muruk), Kim Tae-ri (Ean), Yum Jung-ah (Madam Black) JO Woo-jin (Mr. Blue), Kim Eui-sung (Jajang), Lee Ha-nee (Min Galien), Shin Jung-geun (as Right Paw), and Lee Si-hoon (Left Paw).

Alienoid opens in the U.S. next Friday — Aug. 26 — via Well Go USA Entertainment.

Looking for more sci-fi, horror and supernatural action? Check out Resident Alien and Chucky on Peacock, and catch up on the first season of SYFY's SurrealEstate in the SYFY app ahead of Season 2's return.