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Movie of the Day – Goliathon

Posted on the 24 May 2013 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

I fully realize that the title is called Mighty Peking Man, but Goliathon was a far better original title and really conveys a bit more epicness to the audience.  Leave it to the Shaw Brothers Studio to come up with a flattering and better homage to the greatness that is King Kong, than with their own version of the towering ape.  Hell, aside from the actors,  sets, acting, and cheesiness of this movie, you could hardly tell the difference between the King Kong of old and this versions.  It’s time for Goliathon!

Peking 1a

A giant ape (called Mighty Peking Man) has emerged following an earthquake in the Himalayas, and has made its way to the Indian jungles. Lu Tien and Johnny Feng plan to capture the ape and exploit it, so they head out on an expedition to catch the beast. After violent encounters with elephants and other wild creatures they turn back, except for Feng, who on his own meets Samantha, a Tarzan-like woman in a leopard skin who was raised in the jungle. Feng and Samantha fall in love, capture the ape, and take it to Hong Kong. There, of course, the ape escapes its shackles and ravages the city. The big guy eventually climbs the Connaught Centre, the city’s tallest building, where he soon meets his demise. ~ Chris Gore, Rovi

Yep, nothing like a wonderfully cheesy knockoff of King Kong to merit such a cult following.  Goliathon really is a lot of fun to watch in a Shaw Brothers sort of way.  While not making kung-fu epics, they managed to make some wonderful films in the drama, adventure, and horror genre and Goliathon is really a solid take on the big monster movie that America and Japan have cornered.  While I personally could have done with a bit more Ape Man smashing about, the movie is all too familiar and interesting to see where the Chinese remake goes.

Peking 1b

When I mentioned I wish there was more Ape Man smashing, I will say that this isn’t really a movie about him.  In fact, the movie is more a vehicle for the jungle maiden Evelyne Kraft.  Boy does this movie really shine a bright light on her.  She is the center of the flick as she is the love interest of explorer, the object/friend of Goliathon, and the purest form of eye candy around.  Traipsing around the jungle, carrying jaguars or something, and fending off the men trying to hurt Goliathon.

This could be a shot for shot remake of the original King Kong, but clearly not as fun as this one.  There is something entertaining about watching a far lower budget version of this movie.  The antics of the giant ape man is phenomenal as it turns into a Godzilla sort of movie with him rampaging around the city and it has all the tragic pathos that befell the big ape.  I always love these sort of movies from the 70s and 80s, the sort of remake that Hollywood would eventually fall into and the foreign markets were looking to have their own version of an American film.  This movie certainly has it all with action, adventure, giant ape man, beautiful women, nonsensical action scenes and all the rampage that you can handle.  Really a bizarre and crazy find.

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