Wow! This was a gem i hadn't heard about before, a cult
classic that somehow has gotten under my radar.
I had heard about the film Goliathon, the US named
release of this Hong Kong Masterpiece, which i read
about in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, but i didn't know this
was the same film as the director
was noted as a Homer Gaugh. The real director was the legendary Ho Meng
Hua and Runme Shaw from
The Shaw Brothers produced it. It's a wild Psychotronic mess with mostly
delightfully laughable effects
but some of the miniatyr buildings when the ape stomps Hong Kong actually
look quite nice (as in any old
japanese Gojira film) and the film also has got the great Danny Lee
in one of the main roles, and .....
the oh so lovely swiss actress Evelyne Kraft
as the Himalayan jungle girl. She's GREAT in the part and not
just extremely gorgeous but also, and maybe even as important, very
likeable in the part. She runs around in
a minimal leather bikini with one of the straps torn so her left breast
is about to pop out anytime, but she does
this with conviction, with such natural ease which makes her not laughable.
Well, this garment may be her only garment as she has lived in the Himalayan
mountain jungle for most of her
life (after a plane crash with her parents) so she should look relaxed
in it i guess.
This brave actress also cuddles a tiger and swings a fullgrown leopard
around on her shoulders ... Wow!
It really would've been priceless to listen to her tell
us about the filming of this classic, about how she handled
the animals. Had she worked with animals before, in a Zoo or something?
Just think if the leopard seen in the
pic above had scratched her with it's claws, she had only her skin as
protection (and a minimal bikini), crazy
and such a bravery. If done today it would've been a nasty CGI animal,
yuck. The old Hong Kong style of
filmmaking without limits and insurance companies wouldn't allow such
risks taken today.
BUT, unfortunately the gorgeous Evelyn Kraft is no longer with us in
this world - R.I.P. 1951-2009.
There's a nice audio commentary from the great Bey Logan though, but
sure, a commentary or at least an
interview with HK trash movie legend Danny Lee would've been nice. But
maybe they couldn't get hold of him.
Ah Wang, the enormous ape with mysteriously shifting
sizes all through the movie, a size-shifter, can be seen in
back-projection, as a man in a suit (above pic) and as a puppet head.
When he gets loose at the HK Stadium
and starts to level HK City he walks around some pretty nice and detailed
miniatyres (Bey Logan gives exact
info of the where-abouts of these locations as the local he is) and
these constructions must have costed some
to build surely. I'm a sucker for giant creatures walking around a city
and stomping it to the ground, but when
Godzilla uses his tail and fire breathing to destroy the Ape uses his
fists and feet, he stomps people and cars and
he punches apartments and roads.
The Story: Slimey bussinessman Ku Feng (Lu Tien) hires
depressed explorer Chen Zheng Fang (Danny Lee) to
find a giant ape in the Himalayan mountains and bring it to Hong Kong,
displaying it to the public and rake in a lot
of money. After many hilarious adventures Fang finds the ape, and with
it a blond jungle woman of considerable
beauty. She's Ah Wei, raised by Ah Wang the ape after crashing in a
plane with her parents as a child.
Somehow she has managed to find make-up and eyelashes in the jungle
and she looks good in her leather bikini,
and if you're pervert and looks closely her left nipple can be seen
popping out during the slow-mo running scene.
She frolics happily with the jungle animals but still follows her lover
Fang to Hong Kong, and with them the ape.
Then, well, then it's basically King Kong story with some quite OK effects
as the miniatyres of buildings and the
explosions and the burning ape on the roof, but mostly the effects are
hilarious, with toy cars and toy tanks etc.
Verdict: A Masterpiece that must be seen to be believed,
Lee plays it straight and Kraft is a goddess heroine of
the screen, and with her beauty, leather bikini and her leopard swinging
never to be forgotten.
widescreen 2.35:1 with mandarin audio LPCM stereo with
english subs (or an english dub). Extras: an audio
commentary from the great martial arts expert and chinese speaking HK
citizen Bey Logan,a trailer and a booklet