Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Mighty Peking Man (1977)

A giant beast, answering to the name of Utam, stomps the natives flat in some remote Himalayan location that definitely isn't Shangri-La. 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. 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. Throw in some insipid love triangles (including, no kidding, 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 the best I'm-Just-Sucking-Out-The-Poison scene this side of Alex Cox's Straight to Hell (1987), maybe 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.) 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.

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