We Think We’ve Got All the Time in the World, But How Much Time Has the World Got?: Escape from Planet of the Apes (1971)


“We think we’ve got all the time in the world, but how much time has the world got?”

While I remember all of Planet of the Apes as I have seen it a gazillion times, and the others as they had very memorable scenes. This film I remember zero about this other than them running with their baby. I don’t know why…

Hmmm

Oh well, it will be interesting to see whether this improves over its predecessor. At least it won’t have Brrrent in it.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes did such a great job monetary wise and even though they pretty much blew up the planet, the studio heads wanted another sequel-logic be darned.

JUST DO IT!!!

You have to admit it was pretty creative to have the apes escape (Cinemasins would say roll credits) in Taylor’s plane that they managed to fix. On one hand Cornelius was very interested in it and the human belongings they found in Planet of the Apes, and I could see them tooling around with it. But then on the other hand how? If you look at The Planet of the Apes’ society they have no electronics, no cars, no planes, etc-how would they know how to do anything with a spaceship? I mean they still operate on horseback or buggy.

It seriously doesn’t make any sense, but whatever.

We open up on the ocean like in the last film (it actually was the same beach they filmed the end of the first film). But this is our (1970s) time as there is a helicopter going over the ocean and it finds a rocket.

What?

I don’t know why but this makes me think if KIng Kong (1976) when Jessica Lange is floating in a boat. I don’t know why, it’s something about the way the scene was shot. That was a disappointing movie. That girl.

Anyways, sorry. So of course they call the military in, why not? Even the general comes out. I know it is a really big deal, but you think the general would wait to make sure it wasn’t going to kill him.

They open up and we see three astronauts-like in the first film-in US gear. But then they take their helmets off and we see they are apes.

AWESOME!!!! All are in shock and agog!!!!

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! And Roddy McDowell is Back!!!! YAY!!!!

Right away you are hooked.

This is a big improvement over Brrrent (you have to say his name in disgust).

And we get a musical score in this film-more spyish than scifi.

This opening is awesome, the military moving them along, and all are like what the heck is going on?

And the makeup looks great again.

They put them with the other animals in the zoo. Oh the irony, like how Taylor was treated in  Planet of the Apes. But he was supposed to be ironic is this double irony?

So the military are completely shocked. Some are talking to them like they are human, others think of them as animals. It’s perfect, they are completely befuddled.

So they give them an orange to eat, as apes like oranges. I just love the way Cornelius stares at the guy to get more than one orange.

Jut going to give me one for the three of us?

They all sit and eat at the table, cutting their oranges open and peeling them.

Its perfect! We are barely into the film and I am just loving it. They had some class a writers working on it this time. That last script-what a joke.

The vet tries to take care of the animals but the way that he treats the animals isn’t flying with the chimps. Just like in the first movie!

After he leaves they start talking, they are worried and unsure what happened-but the third ape who we have no clue who he is explains that they must have gone back in time-to Taylor’s time?

This third ape cautions them not to talk and to act like humans (at least the ones in their time) as they are stuck in the LA zoo.

So in the new one they make them ape sized. I like that in these films they are human sized-it should make it obvious to these doctors that they are different, but they are just clueless humans.

So two scientists are sent to come in and study the apes. The human equivalent of Cornelius and Zira, OMgosh this had great writing!

The doctors come in and this is great, this is a total call back to the original when they were studying Taylor.

They start testing them with those ape tests they do.

This male doctor geez, its glorious to watch Zira trounce them. I can hear her thinking I have a PhD and you don’t think I can match colors. She’ s smug and sassy-perfect just like in the original.

They hang a banana in to test them, but Zira passes by building a staircase to get the banana. And then she speaks!

The female doctor , Dr. Stephanie Branton faints.

So Dr. Zira is seriously angry at how they are being treated, and I get it as I would too, but its like you guys all treated Taylor the same way. Maybe you should remember the advice you gave him.

They get really upset and so does the neighboring gorilla and it kills Dr. Milo (the third ape). Oh gee, it is super sad to lose someone we know zero about.

So the male doctor, Dr. Lewis Dixon, decides it is best for him to see the apes alone. I guess she can’t handle it.

WOW! That’s how we are going to play it? Why does the woman have to be the fainter??

So Dr. Zira and Cornelius speak to Dr. Dixon-who also happens to be an animal psychiatrist. Dr. Zira and Cornelius tell Dr. Dixon they like him, but can they trust him?

Hmm…

No you can’t trust man because they destroy what they fear and they fear you.

So there is a cabinet meeting with the president and his important people, about the ship that left only a few years ago with Colonel Taylor has been returned to them with three apes.

Colonel, that’s weird. I don’t remember them calling him colonel in the first film. Maybe he was promoted posthumously?

The president decides to have a meeting with the press the next day and to share this discovery with the world. We then switch to broadcasts around the globe and I like that the second country we see sharing the news is France as a french author wrote the book.

So all the humans are going crazy over this and the apes aren’t having an easy time either.

“Dr. Lewis Dixon: Be yourself.

Dr. Cornelius: Be your better self Zira.”

Oooo, yeah. I could see Zira just blasting everybody verbally.

Alright so they are going to have a meeting. Only bad can come from this, I’ve seen enough movies.

Dr. Dixon shares that the chimpanzees can talk and will answer questions. As the hearing starts, this is so like the first one, when they were questioning Taylor, just inside out. I love it!!!!

Chairman of the President’s Committee of Inquiry: [testing Lewis’s assertion that the apes can speak] What is your name?

Dr. Zira: Zira.

Chairman of the President’s Committee of Inquiry: One might as well be talking to a parrot.

Dr. Zira: A parrot?

Chairman of the President’s Committee of Inquiry: What did I tell you? Mechanical mimicry. Unique in an ape, vocally, without a doubt, but… does the other one talk?

Cornelius: Only when she lets me.

Dr. Milo, who conveniently died, was the one who actually salvaged and flew the plane…Really…So they can’t answer any questions about that. Unfortunately, Dr. Zira lets the cat out of the bag that they are from he future.

Now things will really get really grim!

That’s not good.

They ask about Colonel Taylor, but they say they are unsure who they speak of. I’m surprised they didn’t ask after Brent, but maybe they didn’t like him either and would rather forget him.

He’s unimportant.

Dr. Zira wants to tell the doctors the whole truth about the future as she doesn’t have the skill to lie nor does she care to. They reveal that they did know Taylor and cared for them. They share how they treat humans in their world, Dr. Branton is disgusted, but the Dr. Dixon gets hit with that fact that that is how they treat apes his time.

They reveal that when they left, they saw the planet blow up.

That’s not good.

So the white house lead scientist, Dr. Otto Hasslein (a callback to the first film when the one astronaut uses the Hasslein theory to talk about time travel) goes on a show and they discuss what happened. He believes they are from the future as thats the only explanation he finds possible.

He tries to explain it, but it is still really confusing, I mean I get it, but I think there would have been an easier way to do it, espechially as you are supposed to make it easy to understand for the viewers at him.

Meanwhile, the Apo-nauts are watching the report on TV and are given couches and chairs. They are amazed at TV as their culture does’t have any.

What is it?

So that brings me back to my original point-how did Dr. Milo know how to do anything with a rocket?

It doesn’t make any sense!

The apes are moved from the Zoo to a hotel, but isn’t it just a nicer looking prison? Like that Twilight Zone when Roddy McDowell is take from the jail to the house but it really is a zoo.

Anyways, they check out the hotel which is unlike anything they have ever seen before. Then they are taken along to see the sights in LA. You know-fitted for new clothes to match society, checking out the sights, etc.

This is all nice, but I have seen A LOOOT of movies and read A LOOOT of books. So I know this is actually-not goodAll it takes is for one person to screw up this happy sweet montage. I give you as proof-Mighty Joe Young, Fantastic Four, Teen Wolf, etc.

Everyone is amazed-talking to them, quoting, treating them like stars, etc. It actually reminds me of that Ray Bradbury story when the humans welcome the aliens and give them liquor, a parade, etc. From The Illustrated Man

They have their whole days planned out, trotting our here and there. Dr Zira at a women’s club speaking of women’s rights, Cornelius going to a prizefight and not liking it at all, etc. They are taking Dr. Zira to the Museum of Natural History and explaining everythig to her on science. Yawn, she knows this. Just wait until she sees the taxidermied apes.  This is like when Taylor saw his friend in the zoo-actually Taylor’s was worse. At least Zira didn’t know that ape.

She faints:

Curator: [in the museum, Zira sees a giant stuffed gorilla and faints] It must have been the shock!

Dr. Zira: [reviving] Shock, my foot… I’m pregnant!

Dr. Hasslein is the one helping her and brings her home to rest. He gives her wine, a lot and does it to get information out of her. He questions her and she reveals the destruction of the planet. Then nods off.

The scientist goes to the President, but the President doesn’t really care. He thinks that first of all-this will be happening thousands of years in the future. And second, he sees no point in killing three innocent lives. The scientist wants to kill them now, and keep them from destroying the world.

Dr. Otto Hasslein: [Regadring Zira, Cornelius & their baby] They must be killed… it has to be done and done quickly, before they start a stone rolling that’ll gather enough poison moss to kill us all!

The president cares more about votes and is actually a pretty great leader wanting time to think and plan and focus on what to decide what to do next. The scientist wants to destroy not just these apes, but all apes to protect our world.

Never trust a doctor, that’s what I say. Except if he is played by Michael Rennie and of course Zira and Cornelius.

The scientist does convince him to allow him to interrogate them further and they are moved to Camp 11. The Dr. Dixon goes to, as does Dr. Branton. Dr. Branton is kind of a useless character-she does nothing and says nothing. Like why don’t give her some lines or something to do.

WOW! That’s how we are going to play it?

They try to interrogate the apes, but they get nowhere. So they switch gears-they get Cornelius heated by calling the two monkeys. He shares that he suspects that something man created is the one that actually hurt the planet.

But eventually Cornelius decides to share what they learned from the historical records.

A plague comes and all the dogs and cats fall sick and die or have to be destroyed. But man can hurt man, but man hates to hurt his pets. Man also does not like to be alone and adopted apes as pets.

Cornelius: By the time the plague was contained, man was without pets. Of course, for man this was intolerable. I mean, he might kill his brother, but he could not kill his dog!

They share that apes were adopted to be pets, but so easily learned and mimiced humans-soon they were trained to do a few things. Then they were turned into slaves!

Cornelius: They became alert to the concept of slavery. And, as their numbers grew, to slavery’s antidote which, of course, is unity. At first, they began assembling in small groups. They learned the art of corporate and militant action. They learned to refuse. At first, they just grunted their refusal. But then, on an historic day, which is commemorated by my species and fully documented in the sacred scrolls, there came Aldo. He did not grunt. He articulated. He spoke a word which had been spoken to him time without number by humans. He said ‘No.’ So that’s how it all started.

So it is a little odd as in the first film no one knew anything about humans-but here Cornelius acts as if this is something that has been taught to all ape babies.

Now on one hand, in the second film the chimps were in trouble for helping Taylor, but Zauis does leave all Apedom in their control if he does not return from trying to take the human land. Maybe he let them look at the historical scrolls?

Hmmm…

They the start grilling Zira, but get nowhere. They then call Dr. Dixon and ask him to drug Zira so she will answer the questions.

Cornelius becomes upset and they force him to leave.

They wish to inject her with a truth serum and want Dr. Dixon to betray her.

Dr. Dixon injects her- YOU JUDAS! You should have stood up to them. See never trust a doctor in a horror film.

The doctor tries to remove him, but Dixon stays to make sure they don’t do anything worse to her. She revels everything-the studying the humans, the bomb, how they treat humans, etc.

The scientist sends the recordings to the commission, but that scientist is a jerk. He did that on purpose!

But life is not fair.

They decide to give Dr. Zira an abortion to try and stall the coming of ape domination and then make it so they can never have children again!

What horrible people!!!

Dr. Zira is happy that she doesn’t have to lie anymore, but Cornelius knows that things are going to go bad.

Dr. Zira finally tells Cornelius she is pregnant and he’s done.

Cornelius rushes at the orderly who brings their meal, knocks him out, and they escape out the window.

It’s amazing no one thought to put a guard on the door, but then again they keep thinking they are dumb, instead of scientists.

These humans

They escape, but Zira goes into labor. The scientists discover them missing and fan out searching.

Cornelius decides to go back and get help.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

They think that it would be better to get in trouble at least the baby would be born. But no Cornelius, they are going to kill your baby!!!!!!!!

Cornelius overhears them saying that he killed the orderly, but how? All he did was knock a tray into his face. How did he die. He didn’t even hit a wall or anything. This sounds like a means to the end of the film, more than anything else.

Cornelius gets Dr. Branton-who finally!

Finally!

She finally has a part to play. She picks him, Zira, and Dr. Dixon-and all go to the circus, run by Armando (Ricardo Montalban). I just LOVE him.  Many of you will recognize him as he the grandpa in Spy Kids and Khan in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

The couldn’t do this today as they have outlawed all animals in circuses. The apes would all just have to die.

They have the baby and name him Milo afer their lost collegue. Well gee, it was great that this ape meant so much to them but we know zip bout him. Why not name him after Lucius?

Armando wanted to take them with him to Florid, as they go in a month, but can’t with the scientists and army searching everywhere. He sends them on their way, but gives them his medal of Saint Francis, patron saint of the animals.

They go to see Heloise, his chimp who gave birth to a baby chimp a week earlier. The two stare at each other and the babies.

The doctors give them supplies and a map. Dr. Dixon asks him if he can read a map

Dr. Lewis Dixon: Can you read a map?

Cornelius: I’m an archaeologist. I can even draw one!

They send them out to the ship graveyard to hide for a week, and them hopefully they will have moved on and the the circus can smuggle them to Florida.

Cornelius knows that they will be killed if discovered, and asks for something to end their lives before they are tortured ad murdered.

This film took a dark turn.

They kiss them goodbye and run off into the night.

The police search the circus, but find no sign of the apes. And Armando annoys them enough to leave. Dr. Hasslein is having a complete and utter breakdown as the apes cannot be found. Like he is spiraling out of control, even more than usual.

You’re crazy!
Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

They drop the clothes off by oil riggers to throw them off and scent. The next day the police and miltary search everywhere and find the discarded suitcase. But no apes.

Dr. Hasslein searches along with a gun. He aims to shoot to kill.

He ends up finding them  at the shipyard. How I’m not quite sure-I mean as apes it isn’t the likeliest or best place for them. And LA is ginormous-I’m amazed they found them so quickly.

Meanwhile, on the ship two Cornelius and Zira are carrying on trying to find a way to make this a comfortable living situation-when unbeknownst to them death stalks the yard in the shape of Dr. Hasslein.

They try to hide as the military sends in chopper, but the deck is stacked against them. We know how this will end…in death!

Dr. Hasselein kills the baby and shoots Zira, but Cornelius gets him!

You get him Cornelius

Cornelius is shot by a sniper and all are dead.

But back at the circus we see Heloise and her baby Cesar, but the baby is not Heloise’s Cesar but Zira’s Milo. The two switched babies!!!! After all John Conner  Milo is needed to start a revolution. Armando knows this, and we end with baby Milo talking.

Yes, like in The Terminator, you can’t stop what is to come.

 

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Planet of the Apes, go to Maybe We Should Just Let the World Blow Up: Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

For more Roddy McDowell, go to Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me, you D*** Dirty Ape!: Planet of the Apes (1968)

For more dystopian future films, go to Don’t Go in There! You Don’t Have to Die! No One Has to Die at 30! You Could Live! LIVE!: Logan’s Run (1976)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s