Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time of the Apes (Tsuburaya Productions/Sandy Frank Productions

by Mark Gabrish Conlan • Copyright © 2009 by Mark Gabrish Conlan • All rights reserved

Charles and I ran the rest of the movie we’d started to watch the night before and burned out on: Time of the Apes, a Japanese production from 1987 that shamelessly ripped off Planet of the Apes — a woman and two children stumble into a cryogenic chamber just when an earthquake hits Japan and when they awaken, they’re in the future and apes rule the world while humans have become an oppressed minority. (It’s not clear how many years have elapsed, but the apes drive the same sorts of cars the human rulers of the world were driving in our own time.) We were watching the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version of this, but that wasn’t as much help as you’d think; the film’s actual dialogue (dubbed into English, atrociously as usual) sounded every bit as silly as the MST3K crew’s snarky riffs on it; the costumes of the actors playing apes looked like the producers had raided a Hallowe’en store for Planet of the Apes-themed trick-or-treat costumes; and about the only appealing element this film had to offer was a surprisingly hot-looking guy, Tetsuya Ushio, as Gôdo, leader of the human resistance movement to the apes’ control.