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Mighty Peking Man
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Evelyne Kraft and a giant simian hand in Mighty Peking Man.
AKA: Goliathon  
AKA: Colossus of the Congo  
Year: 1975  
Director: Ho Meng-Hua  
Producers: Runme Shaw, Peng Cheng, Vee King Shaw
Cast: Danny Lee Sau-Yin, Evelyne Kraft, Chen Cheng- Feng, Ah Hweui, Huang Tsui-Hua, Lu Tien, Chen Shi-Yu, Ah Lung, Guk Fung, Ah Pi, Chen Ping
The Skinny: A giant monkey terrorizes Hong Kong in this campy Shaw Brothers monster movie starring a young Danny Lee. Some would say that this movie is a complete disaster; others would call it a hilarious romp. Maybe they're both right; then again, maybe not.
  Review by
     The term "guilty pleasure" has been applied to the 1975 cult classic Mighty Peking Man, and that's understandable considering the film features a man in a cheesy-looking monkey suit tearing the hell out of scale models of Hong Kong's urban landscape. And yet, this by-the-numbers rip-off of King Kong is so ludicrously horrible that somehow it maybe—and there's a heavy emphasis on maybe—qualifies as campy fun.
     When rumors of a giant ape-like creature living in the Himalayas reaches Hong Kong, a sleazebag promoter (Ku Feng) hires an Indiana Jones-style adventurer named Johnny Feng (Danny Lee) to bring the ape back alive. It seems Johnny's looking to do anything off-island after catching his fiancée in bed with his sleazy TV producer brother. Johnny readily agrees to the mission, although no one seems to even raise the issue of how the hell they're going to bring a giant ape back alive.
     After some encounters with stampeding elephants and wild tigers, Johnny eventually finds himself alone in the wild. Luckily, he meets the beautiful Samantha (Evelyne Kraft), a wild jungle girl whose backstory bears more than a passing resemblance to Tarzan's. Apparently, the gargantuan Peking Man (whom she calls Utam) raised Samantha since she was a little girl, and now she's the de-facto queen of the forest. With his heart on the mend, Johnny wastes no time bedding Samantha in her cave dwelling, but unbeknownst to the new lovers, Mighty Peking Man looks on lasciviously as they have sex. Yep, it's that kind of movie.
     Eventually, Johnny convinces Samantha to bring Peking Man to Hong Kong. Of course, any idiot with half a brain would realize that only bad things could happen when a giant monster is imprisoned in a metropolitan setting. However, nobody in the film is really bright enough to recognize the "Godzilla-factor." As expected, IT ALL GOES TO HELL! Including the movie.
     In numerous ways, Mighty Peking Man is a movie that defies critique. The effects are crappy, the script is worse, and the plot holes are big enough for a giant ape to walk through. But on some level, isn't that part of the fun? As far as monster movies go, Mighty Peking Man makes for passable entertainment. Still, in this reviewer's estimation, one's enjoyment level may depend heavily not only on their sense of humor, but also the sense of humor of the person sitting next to him or her, and just how much alcohol either has imbibed at the time of viewing. Certainly, watching Danny Lee and Evelyn Kraft frolic with animals in super slow motion as a syrupy-sweet ballad plays on the soundtrack is enough to induce laughter and/or vomiting, alcohol or not. By no stretch of the imagination is Mighty Peking Man a good movie. Heck, it's not even a good monster movie. Still, if seen under the right circumstances, it might just be "so bad it's good." (Calvin McMillin 2004)
Notes: Released in the United States under Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder imprint.

DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC

Intercontinental IVL
Mandarin Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English, Chinese, Malaysian, and Indonesian Subtitles


Region 1 NTSC
Miramax/Rolling Thunder
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dubbed in English
Dolby Digital 2.0
Removable English Captions

image courtesy of Celestial Pictures Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen