Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ape

'The Mighty Peking Man' was created in 1977 by the infamous Shaw Brothers, makers of Z-grade Hong Kong action movies, to capitalise on the hoopla surrounding the Dino De Laurentis remake of 'King Kong'. Like 'King Kong', 'The Mighty Peking Man' has a giant ape monster living like a king in his native land, worshipped and feared by the natives, who is taken by ship to the city, where he runs amok, climbs a skyscraper, batts at annoying aircraft, then falls to his death.


But if anyone was interested in that sort of thing, they'd see 'King Kong', not a dodgy Cantonese version with all the special effects expertise of an episode of The Muppet Show. The Shaw Brothers were canny enough to realise that they needed something special to make their movie stand out.


evelyn kraft


Enter Evelyn Kraft, hot blonde Swiss bikini babe, who plays Samantha, coincidentally also a hot blonde Swiss bikini babe. Lost in the jungle as a small child following a plane crash, Samantha was befriended and protected by Mighty Peking Man, and now spends her days capering about in a chamois bikini and full make-up. Her curious access to cosmetics suggests that either Avon Ladies have penetrated further into the jungle than previously suspected, or the plane crash from which Samantha was the sole survivor had been chartered by Mary Kay executives on their way to a convention. The poor girl probably survived for fifteen years on nothing but little packets of peanuts and four thousand non-toxic Tahitian Sunset lipsticks.


I was also moved to wonder where Samantha got her chamois bikini from, not to mention the animal skins that decorated her cave. Was there a tannery hidden just over the mountain, or did she synthesise her own tanning chemicals from nail polish remover, cold cream and Calvin Klein's Obsession?


But logic be damned - hot blonde Swiss bikini babes are only inserted into movies for one reason. Or, rather, two reasons. And thanks to structural deficiencies in her chamois bikini, Samantha's left reason decided to make its presence known on more than one occasion. It's difficult to believe that in her slow-motion-frolic-across-the-hillside scene, the editors didn't notice that her costume was proving itself incapable of keeping her under wraps. Or, for that matter, in the lean-in-the-car-window scene.


In fact, the editors probably did notice. They probably noticed a lot. And then they smiled.


However there's a lot more to 'The Mighty Peking Man' than Evelyn Kraft running around in a near-perpetual wardrobe malfunction. There are also the scenes of her dry humping a palm tree, eating an AFL football, and squirming petulantly when she's forced into something other than her chamois bikini - in this case a classy black leather and snakeskin micromini and bustier combination - because it's apparently better to look like a cheap hooker than a jungle girl.


Oh, and there's also a hero, a villain, a leopard who's been stripped of his dignity, and the most tentative elephant stampede ever filmed. But none of them wear chamois bikinis, so who the hell cares?

3 Comments:

Blogger phaedrus said...

There is no way I'm not watching this movie.

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Peter Iacangelo said...

One late evening, there was truly nothing on the 800 channels on my TV, I hadn't seen before... so I turned on Peking Man. Thank the Lord for Evelyn Kraft! She made the movie not only bearable but I kept wondering why so talented an actress had gotten trapped in this really bad movie, that was King Kong meets meets Mighty Joe Young. She spoke well (somehow intuititively learned the lingo) has incredible physical abilities (climbing light poles as well as palm trees) and looks damned good doing it. If she has an agent, she should fire that agent and seek better representation!!!! Mayhaps a year on a soap could put her in the black before venturing back into long form.

Peter Iacangelo dragonslayer@juno.com

3:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The movie was made in 1977 over 30 yrs ago, so if she made the movie when she was 25 to 30 yrs old she would be 55 yrs to 60 yrs old ! A grandmother by now ! So watching old reruns you have to remember these actors and actresses are either old people or dead and buried by now !

8:38 AM  

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