I found the BEST thing, a thing of transcendent wtfery that I just love.
It is the most amazing review of the 1968 film Planet of the Apes. Please, I beg of you, read the entire thing. It is a work of art.
Right off the bat, Dave starts strong, with a bold declaration that “The film was and still is a blatant piece of evolutionary propaganda made to push the unproven and unprovable theory of evolution.”
OF COURSE. I thought it was a fairly unsubtle social critique about the perils of dogma and the precariousness of civilization with some standard late-sixties Cold War fear of the bomb and maybe some animal cruelty issues mixed in, but with fucking awesome anthropomorphic apes. And also Charleton Heston taking huge bites out of whatever scenery is available. Incidentally, don’t let my snarky summary fool you: I love Planet of the Apes, a lot. Possibly a little too much. I love Planet of the Apes so much that when the Tim Burton movie came out in 2001, I not only went to see it at the drive-in opening weekend, I wore a chimpanzee mask. I took it off during the movie because I couldn’t see so well, but I had it. The very first date-type thing that my now-husband and I did after moving in together was go see Rise of the Planet of the Apes (again at the drive-in). I insist on watching some Planet of the Apes movie on the Fourth of July every year. The 1968 version if I can manage it, but if not, anything will do (I was greatly distressed this year to find that there were NO Planet of the Apes movies on Netflix Instant anymore). But back to Dave’s amazing review.
This paragraph is maybe my favorite thing that has ever been written in regards to Planet of the Apes or any Charleton Heston movie:
In regards to the theory of evolution itself, if we had this sort of evidence that the movie portrays in support of the theory itself, that would be one thing. But we have no talking apes who build great empires, religious institions to worship their gods, and courts of law to administer justice. No, they just eat, defecate, sleep, fight, procreate and not much else. Well, on the other hand maybe they are signs of intelligence, because that’s all most of the human race seem to do… but I digress. The movie is pure science fiction, through and through.
“The movie is pure science fiction, through and through.”
Yes. Yes it is.
Now listen, it would be ONE THING if there really were talking, intelligent apes to build “great empires.” But there aren’t, ok! Ergo, evolution is not true, ergo, Planet of the Apes is a bad movie.
I don’t know what it is, but the spectacular illogic of this particular train of thought just fills me with glee. It is probably mean spirited of me! I am comfortable with that.
One final word from our friend Dave:
One more thing I was pondering was the idea of the “Forbidden Zone”. The 60’s saw Western society cross over our own “Forbidden Zone” in regards to sexuality and other mores. Was it a good thing? Well a look at any graph showing anything from increases to STD’s, divorce rates, murder rates, abortion rates, theft rates and so on will show that we had a more religious and God-fearing society and so a safer and more stable society. Some “Forbidden Zones” perhaps did need to be crossed, and the established Church did do some things that were not right, but we have gone too far the other way in reaction against the wrongs of our forefathers. We will have as much (or perhaps more) to answer for to our descendants (but they won’t be apes, don’t worry!).
I apologize for everything about this post! It’s been a weird couple of days!