‘Don’t worry, my wife’s a gorilla too!’
Local villagers in a remote region near the Himalayas report sightings of a huge gorilla after it destroys their village. An expedition from Hong Kong sets out to capture the beast but, after one mishap after another, only their leader remains. It looks like he is doomed too until a female Tarzan swings into view…
Absurd and dreadful ‘King Kong’ (1933) rip-off from Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers, who were happier producing Kung Fu movies than monster flicks. Here they are all at sea; attempting a giant ape movie on a wing and a prayer with a handful of small change for a budget. The early scenes set the tone; someone in a joke shop gorilla costume stomping through some badly made models. Villagers flee here and there whilst some of the gorilla footage plays on a big screen behind them in some of the worst process shots I have ever seen.
Our hero Johnnie Feng is played by Danny Lee, who was once touted as a successor to his namesake Bruce. He’s leading the expedition to find the ape because he found his girl in bed with his brother and he’s got a habit of passing out over the bar. Along for the ride is a slimy entrepreneur who sees the ape as his meal ticket and turns out to be a coward when they are attacked by a herd of elephants. This is happening in some other movie of course and the process shots are just as atrocious as they were earlier in the picture.
Skipping swiftly to the romance; Johnnie meets Samantha, the jungle girl and his troubles are forgotten. This blonde Tarzan is played by Evelyne Kraft, a Swiss actress who was born in Russia. She’s fabulous to look at but gives a truly eccentric performance. This could have been because of language barriers or simply because she believed she was playing in a comedy. It is hard to tell but her impression of a crashing aeroplane is truly priceless.
Once the soppy stuff is over, Johnnie re-teams with the entrepreneur (he left you in the jungle to die, Johnnie but forgive and forget, right?) and together they take the big hairy to civilisation where they can exhibit him a cage. Samantha isn’t too keen on the whole idea but goes along with it. It is strange how this happens in just about giant ape movie ever made. And guess what happens next? He gets loose and wreaks havoc. What a shock.
It has to be said that this is both seriously bad and seriously entertaining. Samantha has lippy and mascara in the remote jungle but when they get to civilisation, Johnnie thinks she needs real clothes so buys her a crop top and a short leather skirt (the sexist pig!) The guy in the gorilla suit sits on a model ship in front of a big screen showing library footage of Hong Kong Harbour and later on is chained to toy bulldozers in a football stadium.
Perhaps this is all supposed to be a comedy, perhaps not. One thing’s for sure; it’s impossible to take seriously in any whatsoever and scores points over other ‘Kong’ knock-offs because of it.
So move aside ‘A*P*E*’ (1975) and take a taxi ‘Queen Kong’ (1976); ‘The Mighty Peking Man’ (1977) is coming on through!
The French Sex Murders/Casa d’appuntamento (1972) – Mark David Welsh