April 6, 2008

"We need guns to protect us from the apes"

So Charlton Heston is dead, and I don't particularly care, because (a) I didn't know him personally and people die every day, (b) I'm not especially a fan of his work, and (c) I gather he was a real dickbag.

But, I am a tremendous fan of one project of his: the unstoppable, immortal, incredible 1968 cinema classic, the original Planet of the Apes. Easily, easily one of my favorite movies ever—just saw it again last week, indoctrinating a new group of friends into its weird, wonderful, ass-kicking world.

Briefly: Apes rocks because it's the perfect sci fi movie. The action is great, the plot makes sense, and it has a genuinely thought-provoking yet nonpretentious message. Plus, it's got freaky-looking creatures, so you can take it seriously and you can laugh at it. I will always find the name Cornelius to be incredibly amusing.

And Heston is really great in it: His character is supposed to be a histrionic asshole, so it was right up his alley. I thought about posting a clip here of one of his big moments in the film—either "Get your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" or "You maniacs! You blew it up!" But how about this: a neato ad for Planet of the Apes action figures.



Sure, Heston's character is only "the astronaut," but as I say, he was a dickbag.

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