Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes Review


This fourth entry into the Apes series is by far the darkest and most violent entry in the series. The good-natured tone of the previous Apes movies is replaced by this ugly tale of slavery, totalitarianism, repression, and revolution.

The year is 1991. The world is a police state where everyone wears black turtlenecks and black leather jackets. The police carry big sticks and wear black patent jackboots. In 1984, all dogs and cats were wiped out due to a mysterious plague brought down during a routine space mission. Apes have since replaced those furry domestic animals, first as pets and then as slaves to the upper society classes.

The film turns its attention to the return of Armando (Ricardo Montalban, reprising his role from the third Apes), leading Milo, the son of the fallen Cornelius and Zira, around by a leash. We learn that Zira intentionally switched Milo at the tail end of Escape to thwart the government agents and hold true to the prophecies of an ape revolution. After alarming police agents in the plaza, Armando tells Milo to get out of town. Milo heads down to the docks and is accidentally transported to a strange "ape indoctrination" camp, where apes are taught how to serve drinks in loud discos, become accustomed to fire, are electro-shocked, and generally treated like Taiwanese kids working in Nike sweatshops. Milo is then deemed worthy for public auction and is purchased by the evil governor of the police state. He is re-christened Caesar and put to work as a file clerk for the "Ape Management" center. Meanwhile, Armando is tortured for days and then leaps out of the window to his death, to avoid a return in the next Apes movie.

Caesar, upon hearing of Armando's death, plans an ape revolution to overthrow the tyrannical human populace in control. He organizes all apes into one single body and amasses an arsenal of weapons. With the help of the token black guy of the picture, Caesar and his motley crew of apes wage an all-night riot against the oppressive humans, which culminates in more gunplay and carnage than a Sam Peckinpah picture.

Arthur Jacobs must have paid off the MPAA to get this film a PG rating. Points for getting social commentary into the film, but the film comes off as cheap, forced, and resembling a high school production. The ape makeup is now made up of more of those cheap gorilla masks, the acting is horrible, and Roddy McDowall lends a dark, militaristic tone to the role of Caesar. This bleak chapter of the Apes saga strived to echo the sentiments of many of its fellow films released that year, such as Dirty Harry and Shaft. Not easy to do in a cheap monkey mask from a thrift shop.

Our full Apes coverage:

Planet of the Apes (1968)Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)Planet of the Apes (2001 remake)



Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th June 1972

Box Office Worldwide: $9.7M

Budget: $1.8M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, APJAC Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: J. Lee Thompson

Producer: Arthur P. Jacobs

Starring: as Caesar, as Breck, Joyce Haber as Zelda, as Armando, as Lisa, as MacDonald, as Kolp, as Busboy, as Commission Chairman, Asa Maynor as Mrs. Riley, H.M. Wynant as Hoskyns, David Chow as Aldo, Buck Kartalian as Frank - Gorilla, John Dennis as Policeman

Also starring:

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