Movie review: Planet of the Apes (1968) & Beneath The Planet of the Apes (1970)

*Just some quick thoughts on these two films*

By Franz

Planet of the Apes series is one of the most infamous movie series of all time, parodied a million times and also hailed as one of the most creative sci-fi series ever. Now, I’m a movie buff, but this is my first time seeing any of them, for some reason, I just never seen them. But I got the original series for only 15 euros on DVD and honestly, five films for 15 euros is such a good deal, I would have bought any movie that kind of price.

plönät

So, I guess we should start with the first one, the original 1968 PotA with Charlton Heston. It’s considered one of the finest sci-fi films and was a huge hit that has probably parodied more that any other sci-fi film. And I don’t understand why it’s considered a classic. Okay, sure, it’s interesting, the world is very well constructed, there’s some interesting, if somewhat blunt, philosophy and Heston is very charismatic. And while the story is though provoking and fantastical, the script is so blah. The only interesting thing about the story is just the concept, other than that, it’s just screenplay 101, with nothing interesting in it, I knew where it was going all the time and yeah, that may be because everyone has already spoiled everything about this film, but still, the story construction was overly simple. I really hoped that the story would have been told with more creativity and imagination like the concept is.

But there are good things: I love the set design, it really gave a feel that this is a real place and I can understand how it would fool somebody into thinking it’s not Earth. Heston, even though how over-the-top he can be, is a joy to watch and does show his charisma. The ape make up, which is infamous, is fine for the most part, but I have to say it’s pretty dated now, especially when they kiss, they basically just ram their heads into each other like fucking goats. And the ending is quite fantastic, even though everybody will see it coming because of years of parodies. And for years now, I have been quoting Heston’s lines like “You maniacs!” and “Goddamn you all to hell!” and whenever me girlfriend touches my face “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty APE!”. I’m just kidding. But anyway, it’s a lot of fun to hear those iconic lines in context.

I don’t have a lot to say about this film, the concept is great, Heston is fun and overall it’s pretty entertaining. The script is so basic and un-imaginative and it’s a bit dated. I can’t say it’s a “great film”, but it’s  good film at least. It’s 6/10, maybe a 6.5/10 from me.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

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One of the reasons I wanted to see the original series was because I’ve heard that the sequals were batshit nuts. And during the first half of this one, I was concerned. It was just very poorly made, but it wasn’t crazy enough. But after about forty minutes, I was delighted. This is film is fucking crazy. Like Michelle Bachman crazy. Actually more like Alex Jones crazy: it doesn’t make any goddamn sense, but the ideas are so from the left field, you kinda just want to listen to where it’s going.

Okay, first up: it’s not a good film. I know there are some fans of this film and call it one of the best films in the series, but I have to heavily disagree here. Am I really the only one who thought that the ideas in this film weren’t brilliant, rather childish and just complete mindfucks? I’m going to spoil some shit, so if you haven’t seen this yet, well, go see it. Why do they have masks on if they’re the only ones in there? Why would they feel insecure? If they have magical powers, why don’t use them on the apes? If they are afraid of the apes, why did they hide just a mile away from them? How did the apes even find them? Did they follow Brent’s scent? Was he that smelly? Why did the humans first speak to Brent via telepathy and then randomly switched to normal speaking, wouldn’t it have been a lot easier just to talk? How did they get their clothes? The nuclear holocaust probably happened thousands of years ago, since if it happened recently, the apes (the common apes) would have known about the humans, so how are the current humans disfigured? Do disfigured people have disfigured babies? Is that how evolution works? And how did they make the masks? If the masks are old, how have they stayed so nice looking through the years? If human evolution reached the point of telepathy, how come the normal animal-humans couldn’t even speak? Did the evolution just forgot about them? Why did Heston dissolve into a mountain?

But it was a fun film, 3/10.

If you have answers to my questions, please by all means, post it in the comments.

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