Thursday, August 4, 2011
The Mighty Peking Man (1977)
Direct from Hong Kong, a low-rent mashup of elements from King Kong (1933), Mighty Joe Young (1949), and Tarzan (1932), timed to piggy-back off the "success" of the 1976 Dino De Laurentiis-model Kong. A giant beast, answering to the name of Utam, stomps the natives flat in some remote Himalayan location; greed-headed entrepreneurs scheme to relocate said beast to the city so they can make some moolah. Samantha, an animal-loving white lady in a leather bikini (!!!) swings from vine-to-vine and pontificates the ramifications of the whole affair. Throw in some insipid love triangles (including, thanks to that New Math the kids are learning these days, a jealous Utam), some stoned-looking leopards battling sluggish full-bellied pythons, Utam foaming at the mouth like a spoiled Trump at every opportunity, and you won't even mind how cars randomly explode as if the backseats are stuffed with C4. (Samantha's perilously skimpy bikini top, ever threatening to flop off, is an additional distraction.) Best I'm-Just-Sucking-Out-The-Poison scene this side of Alex Cox's Straight to Hell (1987). A conspiracy of back-projected mayhem, clumsy editing, and inappropriate canned music keeps everything stumbling towards the inevitable moment when Utam straddles a skyscraper and shakes his fists at the helicopters circling his noggin. Once again, when the monkey die, nobody cry. AKA Goliathon, AKA Xing Xing Wang. Call it whatever you want, call it a jalapeno-stuffed lychee, when the end credits roll you still won't understand the coppery aftertaste in your mouth.