Revenge from Planet Ape
July 10, 2014 9:53 AM   Subscribe

In the mid-70s, some sly film distributors decided to turn Amando de Ossorio's Tombs of the Blind Dead, a Spanish horror film, into something tangentially related to the popular Planet of the Apes franchise in order to turn a quick buck. The only problem: there are no apes in the movie. Easy fix: a new intro tacked on to the film turned the undead Knights Templar from the original version into time-traveling undead apes. posted by doctornecessiter (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

I've seen Tombs of the Blind Dead, and I'm sure time-traveling undead apes would've made it a much better movie. I wish I had seen the ape version instead.
posted by Redfield at 9:58 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

Oooh had never heard of this. Good stuff, gracias.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 9:58 AM on July 10

Yesss. I had a roommate who was super into horror movies and every once in a while he'd call me into his room or the living room to witness something wonderful he just stumbled across and the Revenge from Planet Ape intro was probably the funniest.
posted by griphus at 10:06 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

I know that it was pretty common in the 70s and 80s to try to re-purpose foreign horror movies as "sequels" to known properties, but this took some brass balls. It must not have worked at all, or else surely it would be better known.

I'd love to see the current Apes prequel series work this in somehow and make it officially canonical.
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:13 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

This reminds me of Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. They took a Soviet science fiction movie, dubbed it into English, spliced in some new footage and some apparently unrelated Harryhausen-style stop-motion sequences of dinosaurs, and called it a movie. It makes perhaps the least sense of any movie I've ever seen.

Apparently this was a fairly common practice back then. I guess they figured that drive-in patrons were too busy necking and pouring smuggled-in bourbon into their fountain drinks to care much about the plot, as long as there was a cool spaceship or dinosaur on the screen when they did look up.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:13 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

coincidentally, that was the elevator pitch for Transformers: Age of Extinction
posted by griphus at 10:16 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]

Very tangentially reminded me, by way of ape-horror, of Night of the Bloody Apes, a luchador/horror hybrid (really!) little thing that got punched up from its original tame form to be released as Horror y Sexo (really!) by jamming in some gratuitous shower scenes and some absoludicrously badly done gore shots. Then the icing on the cake was a very weird literal English dub where its title was decided upon.

It's nostalgic, because we stumbled onto it in some video store in high school, and at age seventeenish, it was the most hilarious film I'd ever seen. I still giggle thinking about my memory of the open-heart surgery, in which the mad scientist doctor fumbles about interminably barehanded with an ape heart (it turns the donee into a murderous ape creature as a werewolf esque transformation, naturally) like it was a live slippery fish trying to escape. It hailed from an era where gore effects were a more innocent affair.

In brass-balls "sequel" territory, I also like the story of how Lucio Fulci's Zombi was also marketed as a sequel to Romero's Dawn of the Dead, so is also known as Zombi 2. Although technically Dawn Of was the second film, so they really should have called it Zombi 3. Except a non-Fulci Zombi 2 followed the relative success of Fulci Zombi, so Zombi 2 might also have been Zombi 3.
posted by Drastic at 10:17 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]

That intro was so lazy I was surprised when the camera moved.
posted by ckape at 10:28 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Can someone please tell me how to stop thinking up ideas for Planet of the Apes/Assassin's Creed crossfic with Revenge from Planet Ape as a bridge?

Because I don't think I'm going to be able to stop on my own.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:33 AM on July 10

Even when your kind appears to triumph ... Still we rise again. And do you know why? It is because the Order is born of a realization. We require no creed. No indoctrination by desperate old men. All we need is that the world be as it is. And this is why the Templars Apes will never be destroyed.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:33 AM on July 10

I've seen Tombs of the Blind Dead, and I'm sure time-traveling undead apes would've made it a much better movie. I wish I had seen the ape version instead.

I have also seen Tombs of the Blind Dead, and it is pretty much the greatest film ever, and could only be improved by pretending it is a Planet of the Apes sequel.

I'm not alone in loving this film, either.
posted by maxsparber at 10:36 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

Troll 2 producer: "Now that's what I'm talkin' about!"
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:37 AM on July 10

Well you have to expect a town called Ralpmet to be overrun with undead apes.
posted by ckape at 10:47 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

One thing I'd like to know about this, but the people who'd know (the wily cheapo distributers) are probably long dead of various overdoses: Why "Planet Ape" instead of "Planet of the Apes"? Legal reasons? Language barrier? Ran out of room on the screen?
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:48 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Oh, yeah. I have this on one of those dreadful Thirty Horror Films for Five Dollars collections. It's fun to get on IRC and live-mock just how awful this thing was.
posted by adipocere at 11:01 AM on July 10

This is a genius idea. I went through a phase of renting terrible ninja films from Ye Olde Asian Video shop on the corner. Almost all of them were obviously mediocre Hong Kong films repurposed by changing the dialog and splicing in scenes of weekend ninjas fighting. Normally the seams were obvious but occasionally the results were pretty interesting.

My favorite was Ninja Kill (I think, they all tend to blend together in my mind), which I think was an amalgam of a Hong Kong sci-fi film about cloning, a period (or maybe just really old) gangster film of unknown providence, and oodles of smoke-bomb wielding suspiciously tall and blond ninjas in $5 robes.

The producers really liked scenes were characters talked on the phone or via walkie-talkie - with some creative dubbing and editing they could have someone in one film call their friend from a different film to have a conversation about the ninja attacks from the third set of footage without anyone actually meeting in person. Brilliant.
posted by AndrewStephens at 11:24 AM on July 10

I too second the love for Tombs of the Blind Dead and for its first sequel. I don't care for the rest. A similarly distorted film is Mario Bava's Lisa and The Devil and its Exorcist rip off retooling House of Exorcism.

B-movie producers of the 60's & 70's (Roger Corman & Sam Sherman especially) seemed to do this often - take a foreign language film and edit in some odds & ends to make another movie. One of my favourites of this recycled genre is Horror of the Blood Monsters. Here's the trailer. Basically, they took a black & white Filipino movie about vampire cave men (I know, as if that wasn't enough) tinted it and spliced in some colour bits with John Carradine explaining and a narrated prologue about vampires running amuck on Earth shot gonzo style at night - do up a cover that has nothing to do with the movie and you have a winner at the drive-in!
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:48 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]

Aw, man, poking around on Wikipedia, it appears that the plan was to make it into a Planet of the Apes rip-off, and the new intro was recorded, but it was never actually released as a Planet of the Apes rip-off.
posted by Bugbread at 6:58 PM on July 10

Aw, man, poking around on Wikipedia, it appears that the plan was to make it into a Planet of the Apes rip-off, and the new intro was recorded, but it was never actually released as a Planet of the Apes rip-off.

There is some evidence that it was released this way. Check out that double bill with Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, with Revenge as the bigger title!

Hold up, that's actually Conquest of the Planet of Apes, no "the"...Could have been a repurposed Luchador movie for all we know.
posted by doctornecessiter at 4:04 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]

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