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IN SHORT: Why God invented the rubber monkey suit. [Not Rated, 100 minutes]
While Dino de Laurentiis was spending millions of Hollywood dollars on his lavish creation of King Kong, the Shaw Brothers of Hong Kong used spit, grit, baling wire and lots of stock film of terrified city dwellers pointing at the sky to bring you (cue major echo effect) THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN! Everything you could imagine, if you grew up on dubbed Godzilla flicks, is in this flick: Bad special effects, Bad acting, Bad script, Cheap looking model set-ups, Cheesy bloody special effects, Sloppy continuity, Mis-matched color correction on the blue screen shots, oh, Cranky could go on and on. It's tacky and cheesy and made in Hong Kong (Godzilla is Japanese -- there are some hard core genre fans out there who would nail me for the error in geography and I don't need the diss-mail). The Shaw Brothers made Mighty Peking Man fast. They made it cheap. They ran with what profits there were for, although known for their chop sockey kung fu flicks, there are no action sequences like that in this film..
And somewhere out in the vast wasteland of America's vid stores, a young lad named Quentin Tarantino fell for Goliathon (as it was originally released in 1977), hard. Through his Rolling Thunder Pictures label the film has been restored and re-released. It is still so incredibly awful that it must find sanctuary at midnight movie showings . . .
. . . where the
truly bad movies shine. <VBG>Trust me, friends, this is a truly bad movie
When an earthquake awakens the 100-foot tall Mighty Peking Man from a deep sleep, intrepid Asian adventures don jungle gear to journey into the deep Himalayas and capture the beast. Their plan? Bring him to the big city and make a fortune showing him to gawking spectators. Nobody bothered to report the dress code to fearless leader Johnny (Danny Lee), still wearing the leisure suit he had on when he caught his girl in bed with his brother. After a series of mishaps - falling off cliffs, drowning in quicksand, attacks by "wild" jungle beasts . . .
. . . didja ever have a "life sized" tiger doll when you were a kidlet? They once were the rage. You'd grab the thing and roll around on the ground, pretending to be wrestling just like Tarzan. That's about what it looks like if you substitute grownups for your 5-year old memories. . .
Johnny's partners and crew run off into the night. Most will be stomped by the big effects foot of Mighty Peking Man (probably borrowed from comedian David Steinberg, who had a teevee routine involving talking to a big gorilla foot) as would Johnny, who is rescued at the last moment by Samantha (Evelyn Kraft), the beautiful blond in the animal skin bikini who just happened to be in the neighborhood. Whom Mighty Peking Man had raised from kidlet-hood, after her parents burned to death in a plane crash.
Forbidden Jungle Love! Yes! Frolicking in the jungle! Yes! Snake bite in the lower nether regions. Yes! Man in a monkey suit envious of a love that can never be his! Yes! Rampaging ape in a major city! Yes! Explosions and fireballs and destruction, Oh my!
When the Army helicopters pump round after round into the monkey suit, the beast screams with Godzilla's roar. Cranky's ears perked up when he heard that. It happened more than once and Rolling Thunder tells me the sound effects crew for Mighty Peking Man and Toho's Godzilla franchise were one and the same. Makes me wonder how the world got along without a Godzilla vs. Mighty Peking Man flick. Now that's an awesome thought . . .
Mighty Peking Man is a Midnight Movie. Nothing more needs to be said.
As a matter of course, Cranky doesn't rate revivals or re-releases, but he does know that y'all want pinups of blondes in animal skin bikinis, so click to your hearts content, below.
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