Video Vortex


Director Kiyo Sumi Fukazawa, Atsuo Okunaka, Sandy Frank
Year 1987
Starring Reiko Tokunaga, Hiroko Saito, Masaaki Kaji
Rating UR
Run Time 97min
More Info IMDb

Science has never met fiction like this. In 1974, Japan's Tsuburaya Productions (ULTRAMAN) released twenty-six episodes of a TV show called SARU NO GUNDAN. Much like the Turkish "interpretations" of movies like RAMBO and JAWS, SARU NO GUNDAN re-imagined an American blockbuster as something that was more digestible for its native country's culture. In this case, it was PLANET OF THE APES. SARU NO GUNDAN told the coherent story of a time-traveling family who were trapped in a future that was ruled by apes. Fair enough. In 1987, TV producer Sandy Frank discovered SARU NO GUNDAN and said, "Boy, this is great! But it would be even better if I cut all twenty-six episodes into one movie, dubbed the whole thing in my bathroom, and called it TIME OF THE APES!!" And so he did. TIME OF THE APES is an illogical black hole of madness, jam-packed with psychedelic visuals, deranged dubbing, and ape soldiers who drive rainbow-colored hippie vans. The movie reeks of desperation, haste, and recklessness. It has UFOs and a child-ape named "Pepe" who wears corduroys. We're not saying that TIME OF THE APES is better than PLANET OF THE APES. But it probably is. (Joseph A. Ziemba)

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