Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Latest ape picture is a dog

Cleveland Press July 14 1972

"The Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" is playing at local theaters. Melodrama; general audiences. In the cast are Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalban. Running time: 87 minutes.

"The Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" is the fourth in this series of movies that began with "Planet of the Apes" and it also is the least of them.

You will remember that in the last installment (as they used to say in those movie serials when we were kids) the offspring of the educated apes, Cornelius and Zira, was spirited away when the parents were murdered.

Another simian infant was put in the baby's place by Circus owner Ricardo Montalban. Thus while the world t thought it was safe from a takeover by the apes an ape messiah was waiting in the wings.

NOW IT IS 1991. Apes have become the slaves of man. It seems that in 1983 all the dogs and cats in the world died due to a virus from outer space. At first apes became pets. but then were so easily trained in domestic duties that they became servants.

Now there is a thriving slave market, fresh apes shipped in from Africa to be trained and sold.

All of this is presided over by a dictator-governor played with much sneering by Don Murray.

CIRCUS OWNER Montalban pops into the city leading his ape (R o d d y McDowell) on a chain, reminding him to keep his mouth shut. Out in the provinces they were safe. Here in the city there is danger. So why come to the city? So there would be a movie, silly.

The new ape gets mixed up with a bunch of illiterate slave apes. Naturally he has to speak out against injustice and it is only a matter of time before he leads his people out of captivity.

Most of this is the old revolt-of-the-slaves formula with apes fighting people.

AS A SETTING to depict the city of the future the moviemakers h a v e used Century City, Los Angeles once the 20th-Century Fox backlot and now a modern concrete-and-steel complex, of shopping center and office buildings.

The revolt seems to go on forever with apes marching this way and that. The movie has the apes being trained rather quickly in the use of modern weapons. and then they rush around with guns, flame throwers and cans of kerosene or gasoline that pour all over the concrete to set it afire.

IN MAKING 'Conquest' someone forgot the premise of "Planet of the Apes," that man destroyed himself and the world with atomic devices clearing the way for the evolution of a new species.