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:: The Mighty Peking Man

This film was made in 1977 and is spoken in Mandarin language and dubbed in English. The DVD release sees it fully restored from the original film, an initiative by cult fan Quentin Tarantino.

Word at the Hong Kong University has it that a giant gorilla has been spotted in the Himalayas. We see an earthquake in the Indian jungles. There is a young explorer (Danny Lee) who is set to lead an expedition and, in the theme of beauty and the beast, we are introduced to a sexy, blonde jungle girl Samantha (Evelyne Kraft).

A quickly convened press conference announces this new expedition to seek out the gorilla and bring him back to Hong Kong for show. There is plenty of action, with enraged elephants and ferocious tigers. Crisis after crisis almost collapses the mission before the appearance of the giant gorilla (the Mighty Peking Man). It has that King Kong feel as the gorilla knocks out the explorer who is then saved by Samantha. The jungle girl has a special relationship with the Mighty Peking Man. The story moves to the attempts to bring the jungle girl and the gorilla to proper civilisation. This is done by chaining the beast to an oil tanker.

Once on the mainland, the beast is exploited as a show treat to the public but by doing humiliating tasks for the audiences. A series of incidents leads to the Mighty Peking Man running wild around the streets of Hong Kong.

Evelyn Kraft as Samantha really steals the show. From her mingling with the jungle beasts, to her mute portrayal of the jungle woman, this is her show. Thoughout the entire movie she wears nothing but a hand-made fur jungle bikini. She’s got sex appeal and screen presence. Danny Lee also does a capable acting job and is believable as a frustrated explorer.

It‘s the Shaw Brothers’ spin on the King Kong theme and might be thought of as cheapening the past classic with cliches and shameless antics. But the film is inviting to watch because of its oddball charm. You have to check out the Evelyne Kraft tree climbing scenes for yourself! You won’t forget these scenes, and you won’t forget the Mighty Peking Man. The film is effective in its own fashion, and you watch the film knowing that nothing is safe from parody. Worth a look for the good viewing quality and the cheesy Hong Kong pop music heard too.

DVD Extras

Shaw Brothers' trailers