"ESCAPE FROM THE
PLANET OF THE APES" Intro
Now. Don't panic, but Escape from
the Planet of the Apes is not the second movie in the Apes series. It's
the third. But I'm not even gonna bother telling you what the second one
was about, cause it's all explained in this one, and they kinda work it
into the plot, and I don't wanna ruin any suspense they can eke out of it.
Let's just say that it's kinda like, well, remember "Star Trek 4," the one
everybody liked best cause the Enterprise goes to modern-day San Francisco
and starts beaming up whales and stuff? Well, it's like that. But with no
whales. And no beaming up. And it's not in San Francisco. You know what,
let's just do the drive-in totals and get it started. We have:
Two dead bodies.
Four dead apes.
No breasts, and no bewtocks.
One upset dinner tray.
Uh . . that's about it. Not a whole lotta
numbers, cause it's the kinder, gentler "Planet of the Apes." Lots of
Roddy McDowall- Kim Hunter scenes, and lemme tell you, they are STARTING
to get on my nerves, you know that? Kim Hunter's little librarian voice --
uh-uh. I give it three stars. Maybe three and a half, since it IS an Apes
movie, and that counts for something. Okay, roll film.
We'll be looking at Darwin's "Origin of the Species" during this movie. As
well as proving my own theory on "The Survival of the Dumbest." I got a
three-thousand-dollar grant from our sister school, the University of
Arizona at Ajo, and I've been doing research in Wall-Marts across the
South. I've got my notes here somewhere . . . ah, here they are. [pulls
out a receipt] Professor Joe Bob is poised to shock the world.
"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES" Commercial Break #1
Boy, Sal Mineo didn't last long, did
he? That was him as the ape that got whacked by the gorilla in the next
cage. Sal Mineo basically got famous for getting killed. For those of you
who don't know your Sal Mineo history, he was shot by the cops and died in
James Dean's arms in Rebel Without a Cause. Twenty years later, when he
was still only 37, he was stabbed to death in real life at his apartment
in West Hollywood. And there's always been this mystique about it,
especially since both his fellow rebels, James Dean and Natalie Wood, also
died tragically. The movie we're watching was Sal Mineo's last flick, and
what happens in the first ten minutes? He gets killed. Weird.
Okay, you ready for my theory on "The Survival of the Dumbest"?
Here it is. [reads from receipt] If the building blocks of evolution
consist of very small fortuitous novelties, as Darwin claims, there must
have been a stage at which the incipient organ had no recognizable
function, and would therefore have conferred no selective advantage.
Therefore useful organs must have developed WITH A VIEW to the function
they would eventually serve! Now, what does this mean in layman's terms?
It means that because their genes have an eye on FUTURE evolution, people
with underdeveloped brains procreate at a much more prolific rate than
people with advanced brains. And the proof is: the baby-food aisle at any
Wal-Mart. Look at em. Some of those mamas have eight little drool-monsters
hanging off the shopping cart and they're pregnant with twins and they're
buying Spaghettios by the gross. Q.E.D. Okay, back to the movie.
[fading] Q.E.D., or "quod erat dominatrix." Meaning "It is
proven." A dominatrix proved it. By squatting on her quod erat.
"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE
APES" Commercial Break #2
Is Colonel Taylor alive? Of course
not, because Charlton Heston was NOT doing any sequels, was he? Okay, do
you gals recognize that Science Advisor guy, Dr. Hasslein? That's Eric
Braeden, big star of "The Young and the Restless." I shouldn't assume it's
just the gals that watch soap operas, huh? That was kind of a sexist
statement. There are guys who watch soaps. And they're not ALL gay.
They're in touch with their feminine side. Those are the guys who take
their girlfriends shopping and go, "Oh, honey, if you're gonna get the
DKNY dress, you should definitely get the Prada bag to go with it." To
tell you the truth, I can't really relate to it. Okay, let's get back to
[fading] "Y and R," they call it, right? "Young and the
Restless." Who thought of that name? The YOUNG and the RESTLESS. Sounds
like Crips and Bloods, doesn't it? Eric Braeden's been on that show for 19
years -- he ain't so young anymore. In that time, 2300 species became
extinct. You know how I know that? I can't go to the zoo anymore. I went
to the zoo. It was depressing. Everything is "While you're standing here,
five species have been eliminated from the planet." "This elephant will no
longer exist 20 years from now." "Did you know that we're destroying 540
square miles of rainforest every day, and bullfrogs are being wiped out?"
After a while, you just go, "Forget it. I feel TERRIBLE. Let's go to Six
Flags." All the little girls are crying. Why do they DO that? I'm babblin
now, aren't I?
"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE
APES" Commercial Break #3
So the apes become big Hollywood
celebrities. Have we taken this concept JUST about as far as it goes? I
think so. Did you catch the scene they played homage to in Pretty Woman?
The big Rodeo Drive shopping trip? And the bubble bath -- remember Julia
Roberts in the bubble bath? And in fact, now that I think about it, they
even used the same hotel, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Not
that I've seen "Pretty Woman." I mean, I may have seen PART of it. When I
was flipping channels, you know, during half-time. Hey, Roddy McDowell and
Kim Hunter picked out some crazy outfits, didn't they? Let's get back to
[fading] They put Julia Roberts in those patent leather
thigh-high boots, and I just get SUCKED IN. Does anybody get "Notting
Hill"? Julia Roberts moons around a bookshop for two hours and Hugh Grant
stutters a lot. It's a love story, right? You're supposed to have
complications --didn't Aristotle say that? They kiss, they don't kiss. She
comes to dinner, she doesn't come to dinner. Does anything ever happen in
the movie? Don't you think she should go back to being a hooker? What was
"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE
APES" Commercial Break #4
Okay, here's what I don't
understand. Zira is drunk and pregnant, so she starts spilling the beans
about the future, right? Because the evil Dr. Hasslein plies the pregnant
woman with liquor. Oh, those carefree seventies. Nowadays a pregnant woman
just LOOKS at a glass of wine and everyone freezes in their tracks. Right?
No alcohol, no cigarettes, no sushi -- what else can't they have?
Meanwhile, our mothers were all on their third martini before dinner was
on the table when they were pregnant with US. Anyway, we don't advocate
getting drunk while you're pregnant or operating a forklift. I have to say
that or the Standards & Practices Department will be lobbin bricks in
Okay, she says the world was destroyed in 3955. But
in the first movie, Charlton Heston landed in 3978. Twenty-three years
AFTER the world was destroyed? These time travel things are always hard
enough to understand, because what they're doing here is the Terminator
plot. Somebody destroys the world in the future, so we have to kill his
ancestor today, OR somebody SAVES the world in the future, so we have to
kill the ancestor of the guy who KILLS him in the future. Are you
following this? Both ways, we're violating the Second Law of Thermo-
dynamics, but radical ape feminist Kim Hunter doesn't care about that, so
. . . back to the movie.
[fading] Isn't there a scene in
Rosemary's Baby when Mia Farrow tells the neighbors she's pregnant, and
they break out a bottle of champagne to celebrate? People watch that scene
now and just hyperventilate. Of course her neighbors are demons, aren't
they? And her baby is the devil. That makes sense. Wonder what kinda
bubbly the devil drinks?
"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE
APES" Commercial Break #5
Okay, we got the actual explanation
of how apes learned to talk. A plague killed all the cats and dogs, so
people took apes as pets. And the apes paid REALLY CLOSE ATTENTION. Did I
hear that right? And even after just 200 years, the apes could wait
tables. So, like, dogs have been domesticated for a couple thousand years,
and so far THEY'VE evolved up to . . . Frisbee-chasing.
And speaking of
highly evolved species, it's time for the TNT Mail Girl [enters] to bring
us another letter from our most captive audience in what we call "Joe
Bob's Jail Break."
MAIL GIRL: You know, my dog is way more evolved
Oh, yeah? Does he talk?
MAIL GIRL: No,
Can he cook?
MAIL GIRL: NO, he can't cook,
I know, he can drive, right?
MAIL GIRL: No, he can't
DRIVE. But he does dance.
Do I have to hear this?
GIRL: Yes. He puts his big paws on my shoulders, and we dance around the
living room. It's SOOOO sweet!
You DO know you're giving pet
owners a bad name.
MAIL GIRL: Hi, Sweet Pea! [to Joe Bob] Here's a
letter from Clinton Graham at the Farmington Correction Center in
Your dog's name is Sweet Pea.
GIRL: No, it's his nickname.
What's his name?
"Dear Joe Bob,
"Hello from the land where men
are men and the sheep are nervous. Yes that's right. Of course I'm talking
about Farmington Missouri. Joe Bob, I am in prison in this
MonsterVision-like town. Now, I've had this ongoing argument with a C.O.
that resides in this town, and well, who better to ask about the all
important questions of life, than a true country genius guru. Such as
yourself. So . . . here . . . goes . . .
"'If you live in
Farmington, and your mom and dad get a divorce . . . are they still
brother and sister?'
"Now I'm pretty sure Ted won't let you read a
letter like this over the air. (As if TNT's viewers have soooo much
class.) But I will be eagerly awaiting your answer to this baffling
question. And believe me, an entire genepool hangs in the balance!!
"Clinton Graham #307123
Center; Farmington, Missouri.
"p.s. Ask Rusty the Mail Girl if
she'd go out with me if I promise to quit clubbing baby seals (when I
parole of course)."
MAIL GIRL: Clinton, you better be kidding!
Well, if he's not, you only have to go out with him, and he'll
never do it again.
MAIL GIRL: Boy, THAT'S a no-win scenario, isn't
By the way, Clinton, I sent your letter to the Farmington
Chamber of Commerce -- they'll be using it in their next tourism brochure.
Okay, Farmington Correction Center, or FCC, is a high-custody male
facility with an operational capacity of 2,725 inmates. It houses the
Community Therapeutic Center, the Farmington Treatment Center, the
Regimented Discipline Program and the Social Rehabilitation Unit.
So you can get a back-rub after your whoopin. That's what it
sounds like anyway, right? Community Therapeutic Center and Regimented
Discipline Program. Clinton, preciate the support, bud. Free your mind and
your butt will follow. You know, if you really want to dance, I'm right
MAIL GIRL: Uh, well, I've seen what you're capable of.
You don't think I'm a good dancer?
MAIL GIRL: Compared to
You dance and I put my paws all over you?
"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE
APES" Commercial Break #6
Ricardo Montalban just turns up in
the strangest places, doesn't he? As the benevolent New Age animal-loving
Mexican circus owner. But you know, if I was at the studio meeting, I'd
say, "Hey, if we're gonna hire a benevolent New Age animal-loving Mexican
circus owner, we've gotta go for Ricardo." And while we're talking about
the cast, how about that brilliant performance by the FEMALE doctor,
Bradford Dillman's sidekick? Producer's wife. As I mentioned earlier, the
producer of all the Planet of the Apes movies was Arthur P. Jacobs, and
I guess after Richard Zanuck's girlfriend got a part in the first movie,
Mrs. Jacobs wanted a part, too. Natalie Trundy -- that's her name --
actually has the honor of having played a human, an ape and a mutant at
different points in the series. The second movie, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, is the one with the mutants -- we didn't really cover that, did
we? That's where Taylor and Nova discover a bunch of humans who went
underground and turned into mutants after everything got nuked. And then
Charlton Heston disappears cause he didn't want to do the sequel but the
studio convinced him that he owed them so he agreed to be in it for, like,
five minutes, till another astronaut lands on the Planet of the Apes and
takes over, and then Charlton Heston pops up again right at the end, and
then the whole planet blows up. Does that give you the general idea? All
right, back to "Escape from the Planet of the Apes."
you know Charles Darwin spent eight years studying barnacles alone? Just
thought I'd throw that in there. Barnacles haven't really won any
evolutionary races so far, have they? Nobody will be making "Planet of the
Barnacles" anytime soon. Some of these species are scary, but a barnacle,
I think we could take em. Plus they need a new name. Barnacle -- just
doesn't say survival of the fittest, does it?
"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES" Commercial Break #7
How come the apes are wandering
around the Anaheim Oil Fields WITH NO DISGUISE? You know, a hat or a
scarf, maybe a little trim on the sideburns. I mean, it's not gonna be
that hard to spot em. "I'm in pursuit of the apes at this time." "Could I
have a description?" "Yes, they are, uh, ape-like in appearance." This
whole ending seems kinda thrown together, you know? They spent more time
on the dang shopping trip and that grape juice-plus bit than they are on
this whole escape that's going on. And it's the whole point of the movie
-- the title, even. "ESCAPE From the Planet of the Apes." But I don't
wanna ruin it for you. It's almost over. It's still a classic. Let's go --
another great finale.
[fading] Just an ATTEMPT to fit in. A pair
of glasses and a baseball cap. Maybe a Gold's Gym T-shirt.
"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE
Pretty good trick ending, huh? All "Planet of the
Apes" movies have to have a trick ending. It's the law. "Escape From the
Planet of the Apes" -- the wimpy one of the series. Which would be
followed by two more sequels, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, where
little Milo grows up, and Battle for the Planet of the Apes, where he
has a mid-life crisis, gets a toupe, and leaves his wife for a younger
woman. When are we gonna have that all-night dusk-to-dawn "Planet of the
Apes" marathon, that's what I wanna know.
Okay, don't forget
Cinema Studies 101 next week at "Joe Bob's Summer School," with our first
field trip all the way to Baltimore, Maryland, where we'll chat with the
great writer/ director John Waters. And we're gonna be watching his big
cross-over hit film, Hairspray, and George Lucas's pre-Star Wars
autobiography, American Graffiti.
That's it for me, Professor
Joe Bob, reminding you that it may be your sole purpose in life just to
serve as a warning to others.
You guys hear the one about the
local business that puts a "HELP WANTED" sign in the window? Sign says,
"Must be able to type; must be good with computers; and must be bilingual.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer." After a little while, a dog trots
up to the window, sees the sign, and goes inside. He looks at the
receptionist and wags his tail, then walks over to the sign, looks at it
and whines. The receptionist gets the idea, and goes to get the office
manager. The office manager looks at the dog and is surprised, to say the
least. But the dog looks determined, so he leads him into the office. When
they're inside, the dog jumps up on the chair and stares at the manager.
The manager says, "I can't hire you. The sign says you have to be able to
type." The dog jumps down, goes over to the typewriter and proceeds to
type out a perfect letter. He takes out the page, trots over to the
manager and gives it to him, then jumps back up on the chair. The manager
is stunned, but he tells the dog, "The sign says you have to be good with
a computer." The dog jumps down again, goes over to the computer, and
proceeds to enter and execute a perfect program that works flawlessly the
first time. By now the manager is totally dumbfounded. He looks at the dog
and says, "I realize you are a very intelligent dog and have some
interesting abilities. But I still can't give you the job." The dog jumps
down and goes to a copy of the help wanted sign and puts his paw on the
part that says 'an Equal Opportunity Employer'. The manager says, "Yes,
but that sign also says that you have to be bilingual." The dog looks at
the manager calmly and says, "Meow."
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you
that the drive-in will never die.
[fading] A traffic cop sees a
blonde in a convertible with a full-grown lion in the seat next to her. He
drives up behind her and she pulls over. Cop says, "Shouldn't you take him
to the zoo?" The blonde agrees and drives away. Next day the cop sees her
again, and she still has the lion in the car. He drives up behind her and
she stops. Cop says, "I thought you were going to take him to the zoo
Blonde replies, "I did. He liked it so much that today I'm
taking him to Six Flags."
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