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Review The Mighty Peking Man (1977): Evelyne Kraft is a revelation!

genre: kaiju, action, adventure

Shaw Brothers already went into kaiju territory with The Super Inframan. Apparently they wanted more and this time they blatantly ripped of King Kong. So how did they fare?

I know I shouldn't take this film seriously but the people in this film are absolutely terrible. Even main character Johnnie Fang played by Danny Lee is awful as a person. The only one who is real pure and innocent is Samantha Ah Wei played by Evelyne Kraft. She was raised by The Mighty Peking Man after the plane she and her parents were in got crashed. The Mighty Peking Man also got help from other animals like an elephant, tiger and leopard. Ah Wei even manages to pick up the leopard and twirl him around like it's nothing. Absolutely mesmerizing! The scenes with her and the animals are a real delight. 

Johnnie joins the expedition to find  the giant gorilla since his heart got broken and he wants to take his mind of things. So far nothing dreadful about him. He then explains why he is so heartbroken. Apparently he only loved two people in the whole wide world. His now ex girlfriend and his brother. And they somehow hooked up with each other. The brother BTW is a real sleazeball. How anyone could like him let alone love him is ridiculous. Later in the film when Johnnie supposedly has fallen in love with Ah Wei and returns to Hong Kong he visits his brother and ex girlfriend. There she tells him he had dumped her and asks for his forgiveness. He does and then they kiss. Ah Wei sees this and is torn. I mean it was him who had convinced her to go with him. And since she is the one who can control the Peking Man they could show him to the world. Perhaps one could argue that Ah Wei is terrible as well since she basically makes him go along. Still she has a gentle heart and love stricken. She obviously could not foresee that Johnnie was going to mistreat and betray her and The Peking Man. Right after this the bad guy of the story tries to rape her. Fortunately The Mighty Peking Man hears her cries and rescues her. It is at this moment he goes ballistic and destroys the city bit by bit.

Mind you the destruction is beautifully filmed only you can tell it's a very low budget affair since the scale of it is relatively small. Not nearly as much destruction as I would have liked. BTW I was rooting for Peking Man all the way since he was basically just chilling and relaxing until people disturbed his peace. And those people he killed in the beginning weren't innocent and had it coming as well. 

Many fans claim this is so bad it's good. Unfortunately I don't agree. It just didn't do the same for me as similar kaiju films do. Usually even when it's bad I get some enjoyment out of it. This time it wasn't satisfactory at all. Perhaps I have to rewatch it again with another mindset. 

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