Friday, December 9, 2005

MIGHTY PEKING MAN

"Torn From Their Jungle Paradise... Betrayed By Those They Trusted... DESTRUCTION FOR ALL!"

My absolute favorite of the latter-day pseudo-Kongs is the delirious Shaw Brothers effort, MIGHTY PEKING MAN (XING XING WANG, 1977). This Hong Kong-produced adventure epic stars Danny Lee (John Woo's THE KILLER, SUPER INFRAMAN) and gorgeous Euro-babe Evelyn Kraft in a highly entertaining take on the subgenre.

Lee guides an expedition into the treacherous jungles of India, which finds not only the massive missing link of the title, but a beautiful blonde jungle babe as well. The girl and the gargantuan man-ape are brought back to Hong Kong for exhibition, with predictable results.

The Shaw Brothers Studios are best known for their high-kicking kung fu movies, but this – their sole effort in the giant monster genre – is a giddily goofy and frantically fun creature feature. The special effects were done by many of the same Japanese technicians responsible for the classic Godzilla flicks, flown into Hong Kong specifically for this picture.

Miramax's DVD is part of their short-lived "Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder Pictures" discs, and includes a beautiful 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a Dolby Digital mono soundtrack of the English-language dub. The only extras on the disc are trailers – the one that Tarantino used for the flick's late 90's revival run, and trailers for the Miramax releases of SWITCHBLADE SISTERS and FROM DUSK 'TIL DAWN 3.

Despite the lack of extras, the movie is highly recommended.

BUY: Mighty Peking Man