In case you didn't know it, an earthquake back in the sixties unearthed a giant frozen simian in the Himalayas. In the far-flung modern days of 1977, an evil entrepreneur and an astonishingly naive hunter named Johnny Fang (played by The Killer's Danny Lee) contract to capture the 100-foot ape and bring it back to civilization. After losing his expedition to rampaging elephants, tigers, quicksand and cowardice, Johnny faces the Mighty Peking Man alone - or so he thinks, until he meets the barely-clad Samantha (Evelyne Kraft), a beautiful blonde air crash survivor who was raised from a child by the Mighty Peking Man, making her a jungle girl who's even more naive than Johnny. It's only a matter of time before all three wind up in Hong Kong, and in deep trouble.
Oh yes - 50 points to everyone who guessed this was an attempt to cash in on Dino deLaurentiis' remake of King Kong. This one was produced by the Shaw Brothers' Studio, and whether that is a good or a bad thing depends on what you want from your movies. If you want a satisfying experience sitting on your duff late at night watching your TV, you could be disappointed. If however, you are watching in a crowd with a taste for cheese in story, acting and special effects, well, then, welcome to the buffet.
Read the full review at The Bad Movie Report.
As this bad boy was shot in "Shaw Scope', and as I have had bad experiences with pan and scan versions of such films, let me say I'm ecstatic with the disc's widescreen transfer. Sure, the movie uses perhaps half the area of my TV screen, but in the VHS version we get the same picture of the Shaw Scope logo, and then the image immediately snaps to full screen, leading one to ask "What was the point of that?" A spot checking of the VHS reveals that the compromise in picture information is probably small, but I tend to be a purist in these matters. The print quality is quite good, but still evidences a lot of wear. The colors, though, are quite vibrant, and the image (past some speckling and lining) is clear. Sound? It's 1977, and the dubbing is terrible. What do you think?
As this is a Miramax disc, and therefore a Disney disc, right away we are "treated" to two trailers for movies "now available on video and DVD": Jack Hill's Switchblade Sisters (another Rolling Thunder re-release), and From Dusk 'Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter. These trailers resist all attempts to bypass them, unless you hit the Next Chapter button on your remote repeatedly; this will eventually get you to the menu, where the sole extras are the theatrical trailer, and "Preview Trailers", which grants you the enormous privilege of watching the trailers for Switchblade Sisters and Hangman's Daughter all over again. Still, DVD owners should count their blessings - on the VHS tape, you'd be sitting through a full seven trailers.
Dr. Freex, 8/27/00