THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN (1977)
aka Xing xing wang
Article 5022 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Meng Hua Ho
Featuring Evelyne Kraft, Danny Lee, Feng Ku
Country: Hong Kong
What it is: King Kong, Hong Kong style
An expedition seeks to capture a giant gorilla known as the Mighty Peking Man, but it is discovered that the gorilla obeys a woman who grew up in the jungle after her parents crashed.
This Hong Kong attempt at KING KONG crossed with a female Tarzan subplot is a favorite of Quentin Tarantino’s, and many people find it the most drop-dead hilarious of the various bad giant ape movies made over the years. Still, when it comes to campy hilarity, there’s a lot of differing tastes between people, and though there’s no doubt the movie is bad, I’m more apt to get my laughs from THE MIGHTY GORGA and a few others. And as far as bad giant ape movies go, this is actually a lot better than some others; the aforementioned GORGA comes to mind, as does the truly atrocious Korean movie APE. At least this one is fairly energetic, but then, being a Shaw Brothers production (the company who gave us the irresistible INFRA-MAN), I’d expect they’d know how to keep things moving. Still, I do find myself a bit bored whenever the movie goes into ’70s romantic mode (with a theme song popping up as well), no matter how skimpy a costume the Tarzaness wears (and believe me, folks, this one is pretty skimpy), but at least in most such scenes we don’t usually see a woman tossing a leopard around. The usual culprits are here; cheesy music, bad dubbing, ambitious but unconvincing special effects. It’s a bad movie favorite of many; it’s just not one of my favorites.