Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ramblings on the Planet of Apes

Karen: If you've spent any time around here at all, you know we here at BAB are Planet of the Apes nuts. Doug and I cut our geek eye-teeth on POTA and still drool over the movies and the merchandise. What with a new Apes film coming out on the 11th, there's a bunch of monkey business going on!

Karen: Neca is producing a 7" figure line based on the original films. The first three figures in the line will be Dr. Zaius, Cornelius, and a gorilla soldier. The figures are supposed to be available this month, retailing around $20 each or about $52 for a three-pack. They really have great detail and remind me of of upscale versions of the old Mego dolls.

Karen: Also in the merchandise category, Famous Monsters magazines' Captain Company is offering special Apes packs of magazines, posters, t-shirts, and figures. How can you turn this stuff down? The poster image  is too cool, with the Icarus spaceship sinking slowly away.

Karen: In other Apes news, the marvelous Creatures Features store in Burbank, California is currently featuring an art exhibit, Art of the Apes, through July 27th. They have works by dozens of talented artists on display. Check out this video of the event. The artwork  is so incredible and of such tremendous variety! I sure wish I could go!

Karen: I'm sure many of you recall that 20th Century Fox did POTA marathons in the past ("Go Ape!"). Some theaters will be showing both of the new Apes films, on July 11, one after another, in the tradition of Apes marathons of the past. So if you really are in the spirit, you can go out and see "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" followed by the new film, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." Personally, I still think they got those titles backwards, but hey, I'm just glad to have some new Apes films, although I'll be happier when they start wearing costumes.

Karen: So ape-ophiles, hang in there, and remember the words of the Lawgiver: Ape shall never kill ape -unless he's got his hands on the last available Dr. Zaius action figure!


Anonymous said...

I was a big Apes nut in the '70s too - I was a devoted reader of Marvel UK's POTA weekly, you couldn't be a British apes fan and not read POTA !! I also had all the other apes stuff - action figures, a board game, gorilla mask, a belt, bubble gum trading cards, a poster-magazine, a hardback book, novelizations and my friend, Carl, had POTA wrapping paper. When the new films eventually give the apes clothes I hope they'll use some of the designs from the original films - they've got to use the General Ursus helmet, that's classic POTA !

david_b said...

Geez, who WASN'T a huge Apes fan in the early '70s. With all the dire and dirginess of early '70s entertainment, Apes movies were so cool. At that time, my parents didn't have much money to lavish on my allowance, so I spent the month prior to christmas's drooling over the new Sears or Penny's catalog toy section.

Those Mego POTA figs had the best head sculpts, 'real fur' on their clothes..? Whaaaat was there not to love, especially imagining all the background adventures to be had. I did end up buying a nice vintage Cornelius finally about 10 yrs ago and he's still gorgeous. LOVING those new 7" figures, can't believe the even-better head sculpts.

I was a huge fan of the brief live-action television series. Despite it's quick reduction to your standard 'suspenseful chase-type show', I found the series better than most of the successive movies, retaining some aspects of charm and humor missing from the final movie sequels. Roddy himself said on occasions that he liked the series better as well. I can typically enjoy the first three films the most (POTA, Beneath, Escape), but not as much after that.

I guess, like the Star Wars prequels, once you tell the story so majestically the first time, why tell it again..?

It's like a remake of '2001'....

Dr. Oyola said...

"I never met an ape I didn't like."

david_b said...

Love that 'Abbey Road'-styled pic.

Wouldn't it be cool to have a pic done on the actual road in London..?

Where is England's loyal legion of Ape enthusiasts, Colin..? :)

Karen said...

I think today's post went over like an Alpha-Omega bomb...but thanks to those of you who stopped by. Where are all the POTA-heads?

Did any of the three of you check out that link to the Creature Features video? I would love to get my hands on some of those gallery pieces! I have a friend who has the Shag print of drunk Dr. Zaius and it's fabulous.

Doug said...

Karen, you beat me to it! I was about to query where all of our BABers have been this week... After more than three weeks of our comments sections burning up with activity, July seems to have brought a slowdown of sorts. Maybe folks are just recharging...

Anyway, younger son and I sat down last night to watch the original Planet of the Apes and we had a great time (over a Quesarito box from Taco Bell -- each of us. Not a good idea for the old man's waistline...). He enjoyed hearing my reminiscences of all things Ape. We really had a nice evening together. Watching that film -- every time -- takes me back to the first time I saw it, and the incredulity I felt. My imagination continued to run wild as each installment in the film series hit television. And then there was the TV show -- a must-watch in the days of Welcome Back Kotter.

I could go on and on, but I'll stop so others can bring their own memories to the masses.


Edo Bosnar said...

Sorry Karen (and Doug), but I think I've mentioned before my fondness for all things PotA is more periperhal - i.e., I like it, but it just doesn't consume me that way it does other people. Also, I find I tend to get a) mocked or b) ignored when I say I kind of liked Burton's movie.

Anyway, watched the video - there are indeed some nice pieces in that gallery.

And Karen, for what it's worth, I agree with you that the titles of these new ape movies are backward.

Murray said...

I didn't want to be the pooper at the party, but this plaintive query about comments moves me to offer...nothing much.

Going to the original PotA with my Dad is a treasured "Father-Son" memory. We were the sci-fi nerds of the family, and the two guys, so those trips to the movies were great.

We watched the adventure, enjoyed it, felt our time well spent and Dad spent the drive home trying to explain the time dilation trip to the future via lightspeed.

I was also a titch too young to understand the immediate impact of the Statue of Liberty, having no idea such a thing existed. I thought the statue was some sort of symbol-evidence like the doll's head...a giant example of a human. Dad also enlightened me on that score.

He also said it was a really good "Twilight Zone" episode. I understood the significance of that later on as well. Doubly so, when I learned Rod Serling wrote the first script.

And that's that, as far as my enthusiasm goes. None of my friends showed any interest in the franchise. It was a total non-starter in my part of the world.

I have seen all the sequels on TV over the years. None of those would even qualify as a bad "Twilight Zone" episode".

I will see the new movie when it comes out, because it is a sci-fi adventure flick that looks to be a fun evening out.

Garett said...

Fun art in that video. I especially like the paintings by the artist Shag.

I love the original Apes movie--watched it many times. The rest of the series is hit and miss, but I still have a fondness for it. The new Rise movie was good, but I haven't been inspired to watch it again. Dawn looks action-packed, but I think I'm missing the various personalities of the ape characters from the original movie.

Doug said...

Murray --

I usually could find at least one other kid who liked comics and/or the Apes, but it was tough. For whatever reason, kids who like sports, kids who like to listen to music, and kids who like comics don't always seem to mix. And since I liked sports and music it wasn't always easy to live in all those worlds. I'd have given anything for a few friends who liked everything I liked. But I guess it just took a few decades, until I landed here. :)


Dr. Oyola said...

A lot of people go away in the summer, and I know I for one sometimes check the blog on my phone, but actually commenting is a PITA (not to be confused with POTA).

Anonymous said...

PITA!!! I got that.

The Prowler (slow on the uptake, especially now that I'm going down hill).

Graham said...

I was a POTA nut when the original movies made it to TV. I saw all of them several times, watched the TV show (for some reason it was not shown at it's regular Friday night time slot in my area, so I had to stay up on Saturday night at 10:30 - 11:30 to watch it), read the Marvel B&W magazine series and the color series that reprinted the movie adaptations, and even had the Mego figures.

I have not seen any of the new POTA movies yet. Just haven't really wanted to.....sort of like the Star War prequels, I made it through about 25 minutes of The Phantom Menace.

I don't always get to post on here because usually someone had mentioned something that I wanted to mention and I didn't figure anybody wanted to read it twice. Most of the time, everyone else is really so much more knowledgeable about the subjects that I just like to read them. Hey, I've had a blog for four and a half years now and I think I've had maybe thirty comments TOTAL during that time. :)

Doug said...

Ah, no worries about the comments, everyone. You know your hosts just get cranky every now and again. And Graham -- everyone's recollections are their own, so I sure don't mind reading your take on a similar comment.

We're heading back to our do-it-yourself Blue Ribbon Digest tomorrow friends. But which title will we be working with?


Karen said...

I wouldn't call it a "plaintive query" more just surprised at the lack of interest. But I think Doc Oyola hit it on the head, lots of folks are traveling or on vacation, so that probably explains the general downswing in comments.

Did anyone see the Mad Men episode a season or two ago when Don Draper took his young son to see POTA? The boy nearly had his mind blown by the idea that Taylor had been on Earth all along. That was a lot of fun to watch.

Dr. Oyola said...

Great Episode, Karen! I thought of it as well.

For my part, I loved the movies when they first aired during "The 4:30 Movie" - a (very edited down) movie we had in NYC every weekday afternoon before the days of 5 o'clock local news and countless afternoon talk shows.

They'd do "Apes Week" and play all the movies (imaging editing down 2 hour movies to an hour and a half, and also making room for commercials!). It would not be until nearly 10 years later that I'd realize there was a whole scene in Forbidden Zone after the ship crashes! Basically, they'd crash and then be swimming and have their clothes stolen!

Karen said...

How many movies did we see with "fresh eyes" years or decades later due to excessive trimming? Heck, most of the original Star Trek episodes I never saw in full glory until I got the DVD sets -they were cut to shreds by our local affiliate stations!

Garett said...

I did see that Mad Men, and thought it was cool they put POTA in there. Looking forward to the last season...too long a wait!

Redartz said...

My introduction to POTA was the Marvel b/w magazine; never saw the films until later. Once I finally saw the first film, and Charlton Heston on the beach, I understood the appeal they had.

And regarding that scene in "Mad Men": how strange is it to see someone smoking in a theater?

CinemaGreatsBlog said...

Production designer William Creber who was responsible for the look of "PLANET OF THE APES" also was the designer of the seminal disaster flick "THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE". The making of that film can be found on a Facebook page

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