Sunday, January 17, 2010

Walking tall: The Mighty Peking Man(1977)

The 1976, Dino DeLaurentis "King Kong" film spawned a pair of copy cat films, one absolutely atrocious and one that is, well very decent I think. A*P*E(1976) is a laughably poor Korean film featuring a 36 foot tall primate and directed by Paul Leder. This movie has gained a considerable amount of notoriety, and not the good kind, because there's one sequence where the suit actor gives the cameraman "the finger". I have long considered this '76 Korean movie one of the worst kaiju(giant beast) films I've ever seen.

Much, much better I think is the Shaw Brothers produced The Mighty Peking Man(1977). The film stars HK action star Danny Lee and the lovely Evelyne Kraft and features a 100 foot tall ape like creature. The miniature effects are solid and at times look quite good. The suit rendering of the giant "Peking Man" is serviceable and Evelyne Kraft, a beautiful blonde, prances about the duration of the movie in a one piece thong. She's a sort of "jungle girl" in this film, discovered by Danny Lee's character, an adventurer searching for the mysterious "Peking Man". Like the "King Kong" film, the "Peking Man" is brought back to civilization(in this case Hong Kong) and put on display, in chains, for the local populace. The promoter who tries to profit from the giant creature is, predictably, a jackass who wastes little time trying to force himself on Evelyne Kraft's character. Bad career move. The giant ape like creature, enraged that his female friend is in danger, breaks free of his captivity and, after making mincemeat of the promoter, takes a destructive stroll through downtown Hong Kong which triggers the local military into action where they square off against the now angry giant. (no other spoilers)

To see the Region 1 DVD of this film click on the above DVD cover art image. 

The film's trailer: