Which of the original Planet of the Apes sequels are worth watching?

I read this post and checked to see if this was a zombie thread from 1985…:smiley:

I never watched the series as a series but many of the two part story arcs were edited as TV movies that used to air on TV form time to time.

I remember when the first one came out, and it was often mentioned how long the actors had to sit in the chair while the award winning makeup was applied. I never could see why they bothered. The ape mouth opened and closed along with the actor’s mouth- that seemed to be all there was to it.

I agree. Escape and Conquest are solid movies. Escape is oddly a comedy at times but good. I love the Apes in LA stuff. Zira speaking at a women’s lib luncheon, Cornelius in a sweet mod suit–great stuff.

There was no time warp in Planet; the Icarus was traveling at almost the speed of light with the crew in hibernation. IIRC they weren’t even supposed to return to Earth at all; it was a one-way mission and there were supposed to found a new civilization (& for some reason NASA elected to send 3 men and 1 woman instead of 4 women and a shit-load of frozen sperm :dubious:).

Beneath has a great ending
Escape…I haven’t been able to get through that upon rewatch. ending is kind of heartbreaking.
Conquest is sheer 70’s fun.
Battle has a few great lines and a nice ending.

Those original ape movies sure knew how to write an ending.

That was exactly true. In Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes it was Hibernation and Relativity that took them into the future but they retconned to something that made no sense scientifically it in Escape to explain how the three Apes went back (they didn’t eve pretend to explain how they got the Capsule back in orbit though).

Funny thing about Battle for the Planet of the Apes: the first time I re-watched it as an adult after not seeing it in many years I only remembered two scenes in it:

  1. When the Apes talk about how they hate the word “No” because of how it was used when they were slaves. and

  2. When the surviving human leader talks about worshiping the Bomb (showing how the mutants in Beneath came to be).

And it turns out both those scenes weren’t in the original movie and were only added when it aired on TV.

Just out of curiosity, how much time passes in the first movie? A few days? It didn’t look cloudy, so Taylor should have been able to the moon at some point. That’s kind of a major tell.

Unless by coincidence, it happened to be the new moon phase.

If he didn’t notice everyone was speaking English - and that he was surrounded by humans, chimpanzees and horses - why would he notice that the moon was identical?

Not the brightest Bright Eyes in the zoo, our Taylor.

There’s a version of the script online that actually has a line about the apes-speaking-English thing, during the scene in Zaius’s office. Taylor is adamantly insisting that he’s from another planet, and Zaius replies, “Then how is it that we speak the same language?” I’m guessing that this line was deleted because it telegraphs the ending (as well as implying that Taylor’s an idiot for not noticing).

The film does attempt to deal with the moon problem by having Dodge remark, “Cloud cover every night and that strange luminosity, and yet no moon.” Hey, they just didn’t see the moon because of the weather! Presumably Taylor would have spotted the moon eventually and figured things out, but he saw the Statue of Liberty first.

When you think about it, none of the surviving 3 astronauts is all that bright. Especially given that their mission was to explore some totally new planet. After the crash landing, they would notice:

  • breathable air ? check
  • potable water ? check
  • earth-like gravity ? check
  • no harmful radiation ? check
    Yet NONE of them are jumping up and down saying “we are the luckiest bastards in the universe. To not only survive a crash landing (sheer luck to land in water), but to land on this unknown planet that happens to have all these ‘earth-like’ qualities !!! What are the odds ???”

THEN they come across 1) other humans, 2) stealing/eating CORN ??! Nobody’s “too much coincidence” meter is firing off ??? (Okay, right after seeing this, they are then chased by apes riding horses. So maybe they wouldn’t have pondered these findings too much).

If, by the time Taylor finally hears english being spoken, he hasn’t figured it out, it would HAVE to take seeing something like the Statue of Liberty for him to finally piece it all together !

The moon ? A single “sun” in the sky ? Such observations would be “in the noise” compared to all these other coincidences !


You get the post of the day award as far as I’m concerned. :slight_smile:

Yes, Bright Eyes & Company are pretty fucking stupid for not adding all that up sooner.

They are almost as bad as all those idiot children that fall for the Santa Claus gag every year.

I mean come on, how big of a dumb ass do you have to be to believe in flying reindeer and a sled big enough to carry all those toys for global overnight delivery.

Plus, the hole idea of a creepy old man watching you all year, with a naughty list, sneaking into houses at night with toys. Shit, that practically screams pedophile!

The practicality of running a toy factory in the Arctic, with the inherent logistics challenges for delivering supplies is apparently lost on them too. :smack:

If you are going to watch any of them, watch them all in order.

My favorite was also #3, Escape from the Planet of the Apes.

If you watch them all in order, they make the ending more sensible.

On July 4, 1974, I sat in a theater and saw all five of the originals in order, on one movie ticket. Bananas were being sold in the lobby, but, as someone else has said “I loathe bananas!”

Maybe he was too busy trying to figure out how these apes are living like the Flintstones, yet they have rifles, bullets, firehoses and can perform lobotomies.

Gotta say, I did get a kick out of the Liturgy Of The Bomb in Beneath.

Interestingly, the fish-out-of-water theme in the first half of *Escape *seems a sort of reversal of one of the plotlines in Pierre Boulle’s original Planète des Singes novel, in which Ulysse the astronaut (renamed Taylor for the movies), upon being determined to be intelligent, spends some time as a sort of media sensation novelty in ape society thus giving the author the chance to lampoon some elements of (human) 20th-century culture.

Heh, the Ape Culture in the novel was mid-20th-century technological (but in ape style – Ulysse comments when wearing ape clothes he feels it’s odd looking in a way similar as to when Earth apes are dressed in human clothes). For the movies I suppose it would have been more complicated to do ape-specific technology and industrial architecture, and it helped to make it more alien and “apish” by making elements of it look “closer to nature”.

Just chiming in to agree that 1& 3 are the best. 1 much more so than 3, but 3 adds rich Corinthian leather as a fantasy khan.

2 (Beneath) is actually kind of fun to watch. rich campy 60s/70s anti nuke vibe with some psychodelica thrown in. Think of it along the same lines as Omega Man but add Apes and stir well.


Don’t forget the TV series!

My brother and I enjoyed it greatly. 11 and 13 yr olds, ya know?

Presumably their ship was pre-programmed to take them to an Earth-like extrasolar planet that had already been discovered by astronomers.

As for how they ended up back on Earth, the ship could have been programmed to return if something went wrong during the voyage. But, of course, the astronauts would have been aware of that possibility.

I realize this is fanwank, but the film gives us very little information about the mission’s plan, so I think any conjecture about it is fair game. In any case, the notion of an alien planet being astoundingly similar to Earth was a pretty common trope at the time, so I’m inclined to forgive it. Wasn’t Alien the first film to depict humans landing on a planet with a truly hostile environment?

The cloud cover at night is also very convenient because it kept Taylor from noticing the constellations. They wouldn’t have changed much after 2,000 years.

To each his own but I would rate them as follows:

[li]The original is without question the best. Goofy line here & there, but still good. And two of the most iconic movie scenes of all time: Heston’s “Take your stinking paws…” line and, of course, the ending.[/li][li]‘Beneath’ is not bad because its essentially just a remake of the first. That is until they get to the mutants signing about “Their most holy boooooomb!” I get what they were going for, future survivors worshiping a nuclear weapon, but it just doesn’t work and comes off as really, really silly. Kinda cool that Heston gets to blow up the world at the end though! (And one of the only reasons he agreed to appear in the sequel at all!).[/li][li]‘Escape’. Eek!!! Worst. Ape movie. Ever. (and that includes Burton’s!) Total deus ex machina plot to begin with, and worse it quickly degrades into godawful 70s TV-movie melodrama/comedy/camp. Worst of the originals. Unwatchable in fact.[/li][li]‘Conquest’. Actually not too bad. Very, very dark from start to finish. Ricardo Montalbon is quite good, and they convincingly portrayed the US as having degraded into an oppressive, totalitarian state. Plus the scene were they electrically torture Caesar is disturbingly unpleasant. And I think it was a good idea to ‘soften’ Caesar’s victory speech at the end.[/li][li]‘Battle’. Dumb, harmless kid’s movie. I’ve even heard the director say that this is exactly what the studio ordered him to make. Post-nuclear, ape & human, scrapping-by hippie-esque society, race prejudice parable, yada-yada-yada. Like I said harmless & forgettable.[/li][/ol]

Can’t comment on the new ones, haven’t seen them (except Burton’s which wasn’t great, but ok…)