King Kong in Hong Kong


Call it the Monkey King, King Kong, or The Mighty Peking Man. He's creating a chaotic scene in Central Hong Kong, right in front of the City Hall building. The year, as noted, was 1973.

Yau Leung, a Hong Kong photographer took this black and white picture of the giant monster. He called it King Kong, Hong Kong City hall. We knew it as a movie still, but had not known nor seen its release, which dated back in 1977. The film, produced by Shaw Brothers Studio, was given the title in local cinemas as The Mighty Peking Man or 猩猩王. In one climactic scene, Utam, (King Kong's name) climbed up Jardine House, the highest building in Hong Kong at that time, to battle with the police and helicopters.

We also never dreamed of meeting the model maker of Hong Kong's King Kong in a Japanese photo book, titled Monster Maker: Keizo Murase - Treasured KAIJU Photobook (怪獣秘蔵写真集造形師村瀬継蔵), featuring Keizo Murase's writing and a collection of vintage images from his workshop where he and his teamed created the monsters, including Utam, our Mighty Peking Man. The book was published in 2015. We wonder, after almost half a century, has Utam been brought back to the Himalayan mountains, or is it still living in a cage in Keizo Murase's warehouse? Luckily we are moving to an age where most mega monsters live in computers, and so are most humans. They live and eat and, sometimes sleep beside computers.

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