KBS` cult classic "Korean Ghost Stories" is returning to the small screen this summer. Titled "2009 Korean Ghost Stories," the series is looking to continue a tradition that was revived last year.
After a nine-year hiatus, the 2008 revival paid homage to a time-honored KBS custom that started in 1977. Double-digit viewer ratings for last year`s series -- a reported average of 17.7 percent -- testified to its continuing popularity.
"Korean Ghost Stories" still had its mojo.
Now, KBS is testing the waters with yet another set of old-school ghost stories, starting tonight.
So, what can we expect from this summer`s installment?
First off, two more tales were added to the mix, for a total of 10. A vampire will be kicking things off this year, proof that even KBS has not managed to escape the recent vampire craze. Also, this time around, the computer graphics give the 2009 version a bit more oomph.
A diverse line-up of vindictive ghosts will exact their revenge this summer, while inanimate objects, i.e. a wooden doll and a cursed book, will take on a life of their own.
Fans, however, can rest assured that the cheesy special effects and costuming that gave the original its cult status haven`t changed much over the years. Neither has the overall content of the series, which will feature iconic figures like the nine-tailed fox.
This year, singer and actress Jeon Hye-bin will be tackling the classic role of the nine-tailed fox.
"I feel like it is a love story," said actress Jeon at a press conference held last week.
Jeon revealed the difficulties she faced with the slit-eyed lenses she wore for her role as a fox.
"The lenses kept moving," she said. "So I couldn`t blink. ... We tended to film in the dark and I couldn`t see well because of the lenses."
For actor Kim Ji-suk, who plays a vampire in the first episode of "2009 Korean Ghost Stories," the challenges he faced were more or less in the department of romance.
"The first kiss scene was very hard," he joked, looking at co-star Lee Young-eun. "She had her lips clamped firmly."
"There were a lot of outtakes for the kiss scenes," quipped Kim, who revealed that the characters lock lips twice in the upcoming episode.
When asked what he thinks about the recent popularity of vampires, Kim answered: "A male vampire can come across as sexy. Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were sexy."
Will Kim make for a seductive vampire? Tune into "2009 Korean Ghost Stories" on KBS 2 TV, tonight at 9:55 p.m. to find out.
By Jean Oh