March 23, 2013


"Funny, now that I know these things won't kill me, I don't enjoy them."
Right as I started watching Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes, I made the last minute decision to live-tweet my viewing.  I really enjoyed doing it for Titanic and, judging by the analytics, you all enjoyed reading it.  So I figured it was probably time for another run on Twitter.

As I'm getting pretty deep into the Apes series, it seemed likely that the franchise was about to go off the rails and get either truly silly or truly terrible.  Escape really played up the campy elements, reveling in the hilarity of the fish-out-of-water aspect of intelligent future apes living in 1970s Los Angeles.  However, the end of the film makes an abrupt ninety degree turn and gets truly dark and ominous.  Seriously, a guy shoots a newborn baby ape like six times point blank.  Fucking DARK.

While I was kind of hoping Conquest would keep with the lighter tone, instead it delves into the beginning of humanity's downfall and it's not a pleasant tale.  We've jumped forward about 20 years to 1991 and mankind is already in tough shape.  A plague has already wiped out all the dogs and cats from the face of the Earth, just like Cornelius foretold.  Apes have already become domesticated and are even performing menial labor like waiting tables and sweeping streets.  There's a quasi-futuristic, industrial totalitarian feel to the whole thing, and you get the feeling that humanity has been living in terror ever since Zira and Cornelius showed up and spelled out humanity's destruction.  Frankly, I'd have been scared shitless too once the dogs and cats all started dying, although I don't know why people would've started bringing apes into their homes in the first place.

Anyway, Conquest does a great job of painting humanity as the villains, leaving us with the impression that mankind deserves what's coming to them.  Unfortunately we don't really love the apes yet either.  The make-up work is sub-par here and we only have one talking ape that's a fully formed character we can really root for, Zira and Cornelius's son Caesar.  (There's no explanation as to why he's no longer named Milo.)  Roddy McDowell is back to play his own progeny, and he's excellent.  While Cornelius was an intellectual, Caesar is all raw emotion and he gets a powerful speech at the end to wrap up the picture.  I'm excited to see how they conclude this franchise next week with Battle For The Planet Of The Apes.

Now on with the live-tweeting!

Well, one more Ape adventure left to go.

What should I live-tweet next?  I'm open to suggestions...

Title: Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Starring: Roddy McDowell, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalban, Hari Rhodes, Natalie Trundy
Year Of Release: 1972
Viewing Method: Digital Copy (TV)

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