Roddy McDowall

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Some movies, no matter how old they are, never age a day. Their situations and themes remain as relevant now as when they were first released. Watching them today, they reflect and comment on our present in ways they couldn’t possibly have anticipated. Every month we’re going to pick a movie from the past that does just that, and explore what it has to say about the here and now. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes arrives in theaters tomorrow nearly fifty years after the release of original Planet of the Apes. It’s a perfect excuse to take another look at the 1968 classic and see what it may have to say about us in 2014. Sometimes it can be hard for allegorical science-fiction to resonate past its then-and-there. Planet of the Apes, not surprisingly, doesn’t have that problem. For a film made fifty years ago— set millenniums in the future and on a planet ruled by simians—a lot of its conflicts, scenes and characters shed light on our non-ape ruled world in the present. Here are five examples where 1968’s Planet of the Apes speaks directly to us.

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apes-commentary1

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2014, but the high-budget prequel/sequel would never have been possible without the original film series from the 1960s and 1970s. The Planet of the Apes Blu-ray features multiple commentary options, including a recorded track with actors Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, and Natalie Trundy, as well as make-up artist John Chambers. Spliced together by existing interviews, this is more of a voice-over through the movie. To augment the commentary, there’s a text commentary provided by Eric Greene, author of the book Planet of the Apes as American Myth. That’s enough to shake a fist at.

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale) is just a normal nerdy high school kid whose inconceivably less-nerdy girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) wants to have sex with him. However, Charlie is more interested in what’s happening next door, where he believes a vampire has recently moved in. After a mysterious murder of a local prostitute sparks Charlie’s suspicions, he seeks the advice of local horror fan Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) on how to protect himself. But when it becomes clear that Jerry (Chris Sarandon), the vampire next door, is wise to Charlie’s ways, he begs local TV show host and vampire hunting legend Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) to put the bloodsucker back in the grave.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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