THAT’S NOT ROTTEN! Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Brings Revolution, Resolution, and Reinvigoration!

GameStop, Inc.

conquest-2

After the massive success of Franklin J. Schaffner’s Planet of the Apes in 1968, Fox released a sequel every year between 1970 and 1973. None of them ever match the greatness of the Charlton Heston-led original, they each have their own merits, and the series itself has an overarching social consciousness. Beneath the Planet of the Apes deals with those warmongers human and ape alike – with a group of mutated humans who worship an atomic bomb, in case you missed the subtlety – which results in the destruction of the world, again. Escape from the Planet of the Apes carries with it a theme of man’s arrogance and the inevitability of a future conflict because of that arrogance. Maybe that feeling of inevitability that permeates over Escape is due to a pre-planned sequel, but the inevitable occurs in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes as the apes violently take over man’s domain.

For a series with nothing but downer endings, Escape was particularly bleak. Cornelius and Zira (Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter), the apes from the future who traveled back to 1973, are brutally executed, as well as a baby chimp thought to be their offspring which would bring about – duh duh dun! – the Planet of the Apes. A local circus owner, Armando (Ricardo Montalban), has swapped a baby chimp born in his circus with the progeny of the talking apes. Conquest takes place in 1991, 14 years after the events of Escape. The time-traveling apes had brought with them a virus which had killed all the dogs and cats in the world by 1983. In the intervening years apes were first taken in as pets, their ability to learn slowly morphs into a class of primate slaves.

conquest-3

Armando show Caesar this world for the first time, having been previously sheltered the horrors while traveling with the circus. Aghast, Caesar can’t hold back his emotions and screams, “Lousy human bastards!” This utterance causes a stir and Armando only has a chance to let Caesar loose before being apprehended by the city’s fascist force. While Armando is subject to endless interrogation, Caesar is forced to go through ape training, only to be sold to the highest bidder. When Caesar overhears of Armando’s death while trying to escape, he begins overseeing a non-violent resistance. Eventually Caesar is captured and tortured, and though he’s kept alive with the help of the human MacDonald (Hari Rhodes), he leads a violent revolt – the foundations of an ape society.

The film was intended to have a much darker ending than the one it features. In the original version, the apes bludgeon Governor Breck (Don Murray), the brutal dictator of Century City, to death, thus perpetuating the cycle of violence. The brutalized have become the brutalizer. For reasons related to its MPAA rating, Conquest features a lighter, but still a bit of a downer, ending. Having taken control of the city which burns behind him, Caesar spares the lives of his tormentors only to declare that the world now belongs to apes.

conquest-1

Filmed in futuristic Century City, Conquest draws heavily on the national shame of slavery and institutionalized racism. However, it uses these atrocities as inspiration, not allegory. The authority figures of this dystopia wear fascist duds and oppress free speech – a number of disgruntled labors are protesting being replaced by apes. By the end of the film, we’re clearly rooting for the apes. It makes you forget about the horrors that Heston’s Taylor went through in the first one. The series’ cyclical timeline also allows a cyclical sense of hate and destruction – though the 5th film, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, breaks this with a happy conclusion to the series, and legendary director John Huston in ape makeup.

Roddy McDowall appears in 4 of the 5 original Apes films (he was unavailable for Beneath), as well as the television series. Though his character, Cornelius, was brutally murdered in Escape, he was brought back to play his own son in Conquest. McDowall gives his finest performance in the ape makeup. As Caesar, McDowall shifts from inquisitive to scared, from sadness to pure rage, en route to becoming a simian Spartacus. Also appearing in 4 of the 5 Apes films (she wasn’t in the original) is Natalie Trundy. Having the distinct honor of playing a human in her first two appearances, Trundy dons the ape makeup for the first time as Lisa, Caesar’s love interest.

conquest-4

J. Lee Thomspon, director of Cape Fear and Guns of the Navarone, would helm this and the final sequel, Battle. As is the case with each of the Apes sequels, Paul Dehn worked on the script. While certainly not a perfect film, Conquest’s running time and narrative are lean, the action always hurtling forward. Conquest laid the foundation for the original series’ resolution, and would serve as a blueprint for reestablishing the series. With Rise and Dawn, the Apes franchise is reinvigorated with a pair of smart, technically advanced, and socially aware films. And like the two most recent films, Conquest gets the audience to openly root for the end of mankind’s reign. The king is dead. Long live the king.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Disney’s ‘Young Woman and the Sea’ is a Triumph of Will – Review

Disney’s ‘Young Woman and the Sea‘ is a Triumph of Will...

‘Skywalkers’ Takes Love to New Heights on Netflix – Spoiler Free Review

‘Skywalkers: A Love Story‘ Takes Love to New Heights while Scaling...

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three’ – Leaves us Wanting More! – Spoiler Free Review

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three‘ is a...

Event News Event Reviews
‘Sweat’ Heats Things Up at the Long Beach Playhouse – Review

‘Sweat‘ delivers a powerful theatrical experience that resonates long after the...

The ‘California Dreams’ Band Reunite on The Sunset Strip For a Night of 90s Nostalgia – Concert Review

Don’t Wake Me Up if I’m Dreaming, The ‘California Dreams‘ Band...

Jay Anthony Franke Talks California Dreams Reunion Concert in LA – Interview

Jay Anthony Franke Talks About The ‘California Dreams‘ Reunion Concert in...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Derek Gumin Talks Planet 13 and UFC 303 Meet and Greets – Interview

Director of Wholesale Accounts at Planet 13, Derek Gumin spoke about...

Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, nearing the end of the 3rd act.

What IS that big dust cloud on the horizon?

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, Endgame

Mhuhahahahahahahah!

Fantoy Comics Presents: A 4th of July Message!

Seriously, America, THIS crap?!?!?

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Michael Hirsh Made Gen X Citizens Via his ‘Animation Nation’ – Interview

Legendary Animator, Michael Hirsh goes from Immigrant to Emperor in his...

Billy Eddy Talks His new Book ‘Our New World of Adult Bullies’ – Interview

Lawyer, Mediator and Personality Expert Bill Eddy Provides a Six-Step Strategy...

Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...