Horror History: Original PLANET OF THE APES Is Now 53 Years Old

Some horror fans came of age in the late-1970s and also the early-1980s. And have always had a soft spot for Planet of the Apes, released on this day in 1968. The film spawned many sequels and also a series. They appeared during TV weekend-watching after the cartoons ended. Planet of the Apes opened on this day in 1968–and also became a phenomenon!

This was way before the heydays of horror, but the films were dark enough to tantalize us budding genre aficionados. The idea of society crumbling and reemerging into a version practically alien was intriguing and also terrifying. Sure, the special effects were campy. But the film’s commitment to creating an evolved society of apes was all-encompassing and commendable for its era.

The ending reveal, though parodied to death, remains one of cinema’s most shocking climaxes to this day. Ironically, for all its harrowing, dystopian content, the film sports a G-rating.

Maybe you’ve never experienced the film that launched a phenomenon – not to mention two franchise reboots! Check out the trailer and also the synopsis for the original Planet of the Apes below!

Complex sociological themes run through this science-fiction classic. Three astronauts arrive on a futuristic planet where apes rule and humans are slaves. The stunned trio discovers that these highly intellectual simians can also walk upright and talk. They have also established a class system and a political structure. The astronauts suddenly find themselves part of a devalued species, trapped and imprisoned by the apes.

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Planet of the Apes

Franklin J Schaffner directed Planet of the Apes from a screenplay penned by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling. Yes, THE Rod Serling. Charlton Heston stars with Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter.

At one of the first test screenings, a woman asked Charlton Heston how he was. Heston had no clue she was Kim Hunter. He simply hadn’t recognized her as he hadn’t seen her outside of her ape make-up. (Source)

Experienced actor, Roddy McDowall recommended companions add tics, blinks, and assorted facial gestures to keep the makeup from appearing “mask-like”. McDowall reportedly became a merry prankster with the makeup. He’d drive home with his make-up on, and shocking some of the other drivers on the freeway. While doing the television series, Roddy surprised Carol Burnett. He showed up on her show in full Galen makeup while she was taping her intro talking to the audience. (Source)

Are you a fan of the original Planet of the Apes? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.



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