Tonight Has Been the Birth of the Planet of the Apes: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Tonight Has Been the Birth of the Planet of the Apes

So we are almost done with out Planet of the Apes Wednesdays I’ve really enjoyed them as I think this has been the first time I’ve actually watched them all in order and completely through.

We open up in America 1991-Gorillas in orange jumpsuits, Chimps in green khakis. A whole new world.

So already digging two things about this film-Yes Roddy McDowell is in this one too (I just love him)! And it sounds as if they brought that awesome music from the first film- a tribal sound mixed with scifi.

So a lot has happened since the last film. It turns out Cornelius and Zira brought a space disease that killed all the cats and dogs in the world. Yes Taylor going through time disrupted the timeline and accelerated it.

Just like Cornelius had said, the people began adopting apes to have them be pets, and then when they become so good at everything, they start treating them as slaves.

All of them

The police/security guards are all dressed as gestapo and the apes aren’t allowed to gather and meet freely. They are training the apes to be slaves, just like Cornelius said in the previous film. Carry packages, tie shoes, shoe-shine, mop, waiters hairdressers, servers, etc. The apes are on leashes, yes they are man sized-look like people but treated like animals.

People are protesting as the apes take their jobs. They really get you on the metaphor. It is interesting as this is clearly speaking from the headlines of the, but some things are still relevant to today.

We see Cesare and the circus owner, Armando (Ricardo Montalban). They give us a brief recap of where we left off in the as film (I summarized above). So Armando has protected Cesare by keeping him away from the cities in his traveling circus. However, they have needed to go to the city to get a crowd and make more money

So WORST IDEA EVER!!! Why would you bring the most sought after talking ape who has been sheltered his whole life to the city where they treat apes cruel. You should have left him with the circus animals.

The police start roughhousing with an ape and, of course Cesare speaks out. They are close to being captured, but the attention is grabbed by someone else and they melt away into the crowd.

Cesare runs away and they hide out for a bit. Armando never should have brought him.

Armando tells Cesare to wait for him, he is going to the police and make up a story. If he doesn’t return by nine o’clock, the plan is for Cesare to head to the harbor and pretend to be an ape fresh off the boat.

Armando ends up in the governor’s office, and they torture question Armando more and more. Armando continues to fight them and protect Cesare. He continues to say that he has no clue about the chimps from space and monkeys.

The governor doesn’t believe him and is taking no chances. In the provinces, where the circus has been-there has been no issues. But in the city, there have been uprisings. One ape attacked his owner, which an aide says was because of excessive beatings, proof seen on the body.  But the governor doesn’t care. He doesn’t like them, and they all must be subservient or ELSE!

So Armando doesn’t come and Cesare sneaks into the harbor with the other apes. They are all freaking out-worried, but Cesare calms them down. When they arrive off the boat they are fingerprinted and taken to be trained.

That’s not good.

I really like the buildings on this, it kind of makes me think of Total Recall set design.

So the guards have flamethrowers, just like the Nazis. Yes, the Nazi vibe is really heavy here. We see it in the uniforms the guards wear, the camps to train the apes in, flamethrowers, apes having to wear certain clothes, apes having to be separate, etc.

Hmm…

Cesare is put in a pen with other chimps and given a banana . The other chimps have been going crazy as they have been starved all day, but Cesare shares the banana with the others.

Meanwhile the guards are torturing I mean questioning Armando. I like how the guards in charge of the apes are a mix of races, although only men. I guess women don’t get to be guards in this new world order.

So Cesare of course is just blowing the guards away with his talent, being much faster at picking up the training.

There are very few orangoutangs in this and probably because they have to be bigger and the makeup budget was slashed. The gorillas and chimps were much easier.

So they breed the chimps and gorillas like in Anthem by Ayn Rand. Cesare gets picked as a breeder and…

This movie is Anthem! Both films have a society were a small elite rule over a larger group that have to do “lower” things like janitorial, shoe shining, etc. They assign certain people to each other and breed them. One man rebels against them, and in Anthem runs off with their lady to recreate society.

Must be why I love that book, (I obviously saw this before I read it.)

Anyways…

They then chain the apes up to monoliths and sell them. Cesare is brough out for the bidding and the guard drops the cuffs and Cesare picks it up and gives it to him. Everyone can see that he is a chimpanzee of great intelligence and he goes for $1500 to the governor! Eep!

That’s not good.

So whenever the people speak to apes they say “no” a lot. I don’t think I say no to my cat that much, but then who could make a cat a slave? No wonder that was Aldo’s first word.

Breck: Ah, it seems the little fella’s not quite so bright after all.

MacDonald: No, but then brightness has never been encouraged among slaves.

The governor lets Cesare pick out his own name, as his wife has all their apes do it, and he chooses Caesar. What book were they looking at that the Cs were in the middle of the book? I guess if it was an “a-d” volume but it was a fat book.

Hmm…

Cesare walks taller than the others and more like a man. He is lead out and intrigued by all that he sees on the world. They climb through these tunnels, and they look like the ones they went through in Beneath the Plant of the Apes Yay! Continuity.

Caesar gets put to work on filing.

Meanwhile, Armando is still in questioning. They finally decide to release him after he signs a declaration. He doesn’t read it, but signs right away. He shouldn’t have don’t that.

Always read before you sign.

They put him under a machine that forces him to tell the truth-see shouldn’t have signed.

Bad luck is never ending!

He fights with them and they beat him, he ends up trying to escape and goes out the window falling to his death.

Ah, poor Armando. He never should have taken Cesare into the world, he should have left him in the circus. But if he had, we never would have had this  film.

Poor Caesar hears of it and cries,. The only father he as ever known!

So the governor obsesses about Cornelius, Dr. Zira, and ape uprising over and over-yet has their child working for him. Seriously-dude.

Caesar begins the uprising, by having all the apes collect items and start saying no. I like how he is there at each uprising-he is either there or his spirit is!

The Governor wants all bad apes to be rounded up and sent to the conditioning center, but because of Caesar’s rebellion the centers are full. He also is searching for the ape, Cornelius and Zira’s baby-convinced it is still alive!

The govenor’s aide, Malcolm Macdonald (Hari Rhodes), thinks the governor is being useless. Making a list of the bad apes, fighting the apes, he thinks he is committing folly and creating more problems, the governor does not agree. However, with all this extra work the governor is making them do, one thorough worker discovers that a crate from Borneo had a chimp in it-the one that was sold to the governor. The Chimp can’t be from Borneo as chimps don’t live there.

Th governor calls for Caesar to be sent to his office, preparing to kill him,  McDonald feels bad and doesn’t send him in as he is on an “errand”.

The governor keeps calling McDonald and he ignores the governor until he can’t no longer. He is at a crossroad, he does’t want Caesar to be tortured and murdered, but what can he do?

Caesar speaks t him, and McDonald’s eyes just go bam with shock-he is a much better actor than Brent.

I like how Caesar and McDonald talk about revolution, McDonald is African American and does’t agree with society, as after all it was only 30 years go (the year is 1991 in the film) that African Americans were be treating similar to how the apes are now. But at the same time he doesn’t want a revolution, killing, etc

“Caesar: [to Malcolm] You above everyone else should understand.”

As they talk the Gestapo come storming down and McDonald’s conscience and morals win out over duty. He releases Caesar and he scurries off. Cesar tries to hide, but is eventually found and chained to be tortured into talking.

They put Caesar into the torture machine to try and get him to talk, to prove he is the ape they have been searching for. He just screams in agony. But eventually the pain is to great and Caesar finally gives in and says help

McDonald sneaks away and cuts the power to let Caesar be free as he doesn’t want him to be electrocuted to death.

Cesar appears to be dead, but I know he isn’t They should know better to always check a pulse! I’ve seen enough horror films. They aren’t really dead right away.

Cesar goes over and kills the guard.The revolution has begun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

La Liberté Guidant le Peuple (Liberty Leading the People)

Viva la Cesare!!!

He goes to where all his ape buddies/followers are waiting and the uprising begins!!!

It is interesting how this film doesn’t have a lot of dialogue, as a majority of your cast is silent, but the film is really intriguing as they know how to show you how you feel. I feel a lot of today’s film’s don’t know how to just give us the visuals and let is be intelligent enough to know what they are trying to show and represent.

Governor calls his men trying to take the apes down, but it’s not gonna work. They are coming for you Man in the High Castle!

You now this film reminds me a lot of I Robot. I think they copied a lot from this film. All the people need to be inside a sthe Ape army marches on.

What the humans don’t realize is that they have been planning for this moment and are prepared to take over.

They police keep telling the apes no and to go back, but they persevere-a silent army that will be be silent no longer.

The apes net the humans, being reminiscent if the first film. Well done writers, well done.

The apes storm across the plaza with weapons picked up from the police they have stopped. Armed and organized! With shields!

But then they stop. What are they waiting for?

Fire, earlier they had poured gasoline in the square and they set it on fire and storm off-ape versus man! I think it is obvious who would win.

Chaos, fire, and fighting-what every Dystopian Future film has to have! (Think about all the ones you have seen, they all have those three things in them).

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO One if the apes burns the books!!!!!!!!! OOOOOOOONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I no longer approve of your revolution.

The governor barricades himself, but the apes cut through the door. And in comes Caesar storming the gates and shooting up everyone.

Caesar saves the governor though just to confront him. Caesar asks him why did you turn your pets into slaves? He says because we were born from  you. You are the beast that resides in us and you must be shackled and destroyed.

They take him out t be killed and they stab and kill the humans. MacDonald tries to stop him, telling him what he is doing is wrong. He begs him to show humanity to the men. But Caesar coldly replies that he is not human! Caesar starts giving a speech that is a glimpse of the future (or past film?)

MacDonald: Caesar… Caesar! This is not how it was meant to be.

Caesar: In your view or mine?

MacDonald: Violence prolongs hate, hate prolongs violence. By what right are you spilling blood?

Caesar: By the slave’s right to punish his persecutor.

MacDonald: I, a descendant of slaves, am asking you to show humanity.

Caesar: But, I was not born human.

MacDonald: I know. The child of the evolved apes.

Caesar: Whose children shall rule the earth.

MacDonald: For better or for worse?

Caesar: Do you think it could be worse?

MacDonald: Do you think this riot will win freedom for all your people? By tomorrow…

Caesar: By tomorrow it will be too late. Why a tiny, mindless insect like the emperor moth can communicate with another over a distance of 80 miles…

MacDonald: An emperor ape might do slightly better?

Caesar: Slightly? What you have seen here today, apes on the 5 continents will be imitating tomorrow.

MacDonald: With knives against guns? With kerosene cans against flamethrowers?

Caesar: Where there is fire, there is smoke. And in that smoke, from this day forward, my people will crouch and conspire and plot and plan for the inevitable day of Man’s downfall – the day when he finally and self-destructively turns his weapons against his own kind. The day of the writing in the sky, when your cities lie buried under radioactive rubble! When the sea is a dead sea, and the land is a wasteland out of which I will lead my people from their captivity! And we will build our own cities in which there will be no place for humans except to serve our ends! And we shall found our own armies, our own religion, our own dynasty! And that day is upon you… now!”

So I know some people were upset since Roddy McDowell clearly states in the previous film, that the leader of the one who rebelled against the humans was called Aldo and the leader in this film was originally Milo, then Caesar.

But I think it worked. I mean they didn’t know they were to become the parents of the future leader or plan for it. And it was never thought they would go to the past so the timeline was disrupted, first by Taylor, then Brent, and then Cornelius and Dr. Zira.

Caesar: But now… now we will put away out hatred. Now we will put down our weapons. We have passed through the Night of the Fires. And who were our masters are now our servants. And we, who are not human, can afford to be humane. Destiny is the will of God. And, if it is man’s destiny to be dominated, it is God’s will that he be dominated with compassion and understanding. So, cast out your vengeance. Tonight, we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Apes!

Fire consumes the city and the apes cheer. But what will the future hold? We will find out next Wednesday when I review the last film of the original Planet of the Apes: Battle for Planet of the Apes. 

I wasn’t sure I would be able to do all five but I’m feeling super confident- I think I’ve got this in the bag.

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 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)

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)

Cesare, I Am Calling You. I, Dr. Caligari, Your Master. Awaken for a Moment From Your Dark Night.: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

“Cesare, I am calling you. I, Dr. Caligari, your master. Awaken for a moment from your dark night.”

So during my very first Horrorfest I reviewed the remake of this film.

This was back before I had established the “rules” of Horrorfest, one being always review the original film first.

It was an amaaaaaazing adaption! It used the original backgrounds from this movie and was full of talented actors, I highly recommend it. It is probably one of the best remakes I have ever seen.

Wow

And you know me, I’m not a remake person.

Well, every year since then I have thought I need to review the original, and with me being in my seven year of blogging (Horrorfest VIII), it is time to actually review the original 1920 version.

So this film was influenced by the life experiences of Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Janowitz served as an officer in WWI and was very embittered by his experiences. Mayer feigned illness to try and get out of service, as he was a pacifist-and spent a lot of time in an asylum and under intense examinations. In fact, Dr. Caligari is based off a doctor that Janowitz was forced to talk to (and really didn’t like).

The two met through an actor friend of theirs and the inspiration to write the film came through Janowitz’s friend Gilda Langer. Mayer was in love with Langer, and she became the basis for the “Jane” character (the one that is in the love triangle with the two best friends.)

One day Gilda took Janowitz to a fortune teller who predicted that Janowitz would survive the war but Gilda would die. When Gilda died unexpectedly in 1920, that experience influenced the scene when Cesar predicts Alan’s death.

Spooky…

There are conflicting stories regarding who exactly wrote, planned, directed, filmed, etc-did what, something that will most likely never be settled. When this film first came ouot there were actually protests regarding the film when it showed in LA as Germany was still not very popular in 1920. People were still upset over World War I

This style of film and the background artwork reminds me of the Bauhaus movement, with its style and a bit of Metropolis. Dr. Caligari is supposed to represent the German government being in control and dictating others, while Cesare the solider-those who have been conditioned to kill. The rest of the characters are the people being lulled, hypnotized, and controlled.

The set is beautiful-painted, angles, and nothing is quite right giving the film a demented and creepy space. This disjointed feeling really adds to the question, is the main character telling the truth? Or are they insane.

So it is hard to review this film as I reviewed the amazing remake that actually copied every scene perfectly-but I’ll try.

The film starts at the end when the main character, Francis, is speaking to an old man about his fiancé. This one feels creepier than the remake as the music is completely eerie and the actors have to overact as this is a silent film. Everyone eyes bug out and they just freak you out. Serious chills!

So Francis starts sharing how his fiancé has been through such a strange event that she will never be the same again. She walks every night in a trance, and does not speak anymore. Francis starts to recount his story…

We go back in time to a city and place that we don’t know where it belongs. The backgrounds are amazing and slanted.

A man comes to the main hall to get a permit for his carnival. He calls himself Dr. Caligari, and speaks of having a psychic who can reveal all’s future. The clerk is in a BAD mood, and is extra rude to Dr. Caligari and forces him to pay an exuberant amount of money. Caligari does and walks away, but all does not seem to bode well for this clerk.

The next day he is dead. Murdered.

Then we are introduced to Alan, who is stopping by to visit his friend Francis and is begging him to partake in some kind of adventure. We learn that Alan has been combating depression and has been holing himself away these past months, even having to visit an asylum. He however, is feeling much better and convinces Francis to see the fair with him, “for old times sake”.

On the way they meet up with Jane Stern, a girl they are both madly in love with.  Both are eager to get an answer from her as to who her choice will be, but she manages to slip away and into the night. The friends say good-bye and to the fair.

They stop at the fair and see the psychic Cesare. Cesare is a “living dead” man who can foretell all. He lives in a coffin, only being released every once in a while, Cesare is really creepy-the faces he makes.

Francis wants to leave, but Alan is rooted to the floor. When Dr. Caligari calls on him to ask a question, Alan is compelled to answer. He is physically incapable of leaving or turning away. He asks Cesare his question, but all does not go well.

Alan: How long shall I live?                                                                                  Cesare: The time is short. You die at dawn!”

Francis quickly grabs Alan out of the tent and fearing a relapse in his friend, reassures him that Cesare’s tricks are stupid and do not mean a thing.

The next day Alan is dead. Murdered.

This horrible tragedy leads Francis on a path of reality so intermingled with insanity that one can hardly tell the fact from fiction. Francis is so sure that Dr Caligari killed his friend, that he becomes obsessed with finding proof. Is he trying to stop a mad killer? Or has he experienced such trauma he has reconstructed reality?

Hmmm…

So while the remake tries to leave you guessing whether it is real or not, whether he is crazy or if he knows the truth and is silenced. In this they make it clear that he is being treated in a hospital. That was a bit of a disappointment, but the film seriously deserves a watch. Those eyes, they are haunting.

Spooky…

And the facebook banner!

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 on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, go to A Tale So Strange It Must Be True: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005)

For more silent films, go to In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

For more characters on the brink of insanity, go to Go Ahead and Shoot…As Far As Killing Me, Well, I Don’t Think You’re That Good a Shot: Possessed (1947)

 

A Tale So Strange It Must Be True: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005)

The Cabinet of Dr. CaligariI must know everything. I must penetrate the heart of his secret! I must become Caligari!

So I checked out this movie from the library, thinking that it would be weird, but I was not prepared for how strangely horrtastic it was. This was an extremely well done horror film, that really does the original film justice.

So this is a remake of the 1920s silent film. It was revolutionary for its time, and inspired countless others. What David Lee Fisher wanted to do in his remake; is still have the orginal story, but redo it in a way that it would connect to the modern generation.

It was truly amazing. I recommend that all watch it; for multiple reasons.

  1. This is one of the very, very few remakes that is as amazing as the original. They hardly changed anything, and took nothing away from the story.
  2. The background is amazing. Using a green screen they took the backgrounds from the original film, truly giving the film a demented and creepy space. It was seamlessly done, with the only times the fore and background being disconjointed is when you are at a point of the film that cannot tell what is really happening and what is in the mind. These out of sync scenes really help support the questioning of the characters’ insanity. 
  3. The cinematography is beautiful. Almost every scene takes your breath away at how beautifully it is set up.
  4. The actors are amazing! (Judson Pierce Jones & Neil Hopkins are very attractive! :D)
  5. The end is magnificent. They just twist everything that you are not sure what is reality and what isn’t.

So the film starts off at the end. The main character, Francis is speaking to an old man about his fiancé, and how she has been through such a strange event that she will never be the same again. She walks every night in a trance, and does not speak anymore. Francis starts to recount his story, warning the man that he probably won’t believe a tale so strange, it must be true.

We go back in time to a city and place that we don’t know where it belongs. Is it past or present? All one can tell is that the buildings slant, everything is triangular, misshapen, and strange.

Strangely beautiful

A man comes to the main hall to get a permit for his carnival. He calls himself Dr. Caligari, and speaks of having a psychic who can reveal all’s future. The clerk is rude to Dr. Caligari and forces him to pay an exuberant amount of money. Caligari does and walks away, but all does not seem to bode well for this clerk.

The next day he is dead. Murdered.

Then we are introduced to Alan, who is stopping by to visit his friend Francis and is begging him to partake in some kind of adventure. We learn that Alan has been combating depression and has been holing himself away these past months, even having to visit an asylum. He however, is feeling much better and convinces Francis to see the fair with him, “for old times sake”.

They start getting drunk, and then stop to see the psychic Cesare. Cesare is a “living dead” man who can fortell all. He lives in a coffin, only being released every once in a while, Cesare has a truly creepy wake up scene. There is just something about how Doug Jones jerks and twists his body that frightens you.

Francis wants to leave, but Alan is rooted to the floor. When Dr. Caligari calls on him to ask a question, Alan is compelled to answer. He is physically incapable of leaving or turning away. He asks Cesare his question, but all does not go well.

Alan: How long shall I live?                                                                                  Cesare: The time is short. You die at dawn!”

Francis quickly grabs Alan out of the tent and fearing a relapse in his friend, reassures him that Cesare’s tricks are stupid and do not mean a thing.

On the way they meet up with Jane Stern, a girl they are both madly in love with. (It is a reoccuring theme in movies. Out of all the women in the world the best friends always fall for the same one). Both are eager to get an answer from her as to who her choice will be, but she manages to slip away and into the night. The friends say good-bye and go their seperate ways.

The next day Alan is dead. Murdered.

This horrible tragedy leads Francis on a path of reality so intermingled with insanity that one can hardly tell the fact from fiction. Francis is so sure that Dr Caligari killed his friend, that he becomes obsesed with finding proof. Will this quest for vengence and justice end well? That I cannot tell you as you must see it for yourself. The film is so good, that like The Bad Seed, I cannot tell you the ending. You must view it yourself.

This marks the seventh post of scary tales. More to follow.

Here’s a poster/cover page I made for my facebook page as a countdown to Halloween.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

To go to the previous post, go to Secrets are Great, Unless You Get Caught

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For more on psychics, go to That Video…is Not of This World

For more posts on films that have been remade, go to Anything Can Happen