Family Valued: Apes

“You are a menace. A walking pestilence.”

Here at the Family Valued pixel playhouse and pastel pressroom, we are interested in anything that furthers socializing. Toward that end, we are experimenting with exposing small groups to dinner and a movie. Ideally, the movie is something no one in attendance has seen in a long time. The food should lend itself to a lack of utensils.

Our first victim was the original Planet of the Apes because it was rated G and was sitting on the library shelf. Two of the adult males had fond memories of the film (though it inspired eye-rolling “oh yeahs” from the rest of the adults).

The movie starts more slowly than we remembered; network television probably edited out the seemingly endless walk through the desert which occupies the first third of the film. On the other hand, all you Planet of the Apes buffs can only imagine how grateful we were that the protagonists did not forget the TX-9.

I did notice fewer forays for food once the apes appeared. One adult began muttering, “This is so weird,” which seemed remarkably apropos. We’d all forgotten that Rod Serling was involved in writing the film and were impressed by the heavy amounts of philosophy mixed in with the action. Much to our surprise, we ended up discussing the appropriate places of religion and science in society. Who knew that heavy rubber masks could spark such thoughts?

I can’t imagine how it received a G rating; one character is shot and killed on screen, another is shot in the neck, prisoners are beaten, and the results of a lobotomy are shown. That being said, the film’s violence had nothing on Harry Potter or most current pre-adolescent fodder. Lastly, the DVD cover reveals the film’s final surprise, so hide it from anyone who doesn’t know.

March, 2006

Leave a Reply