Unofficial Trilogy… Unbelievably Wise Apes Edition

Rise of the Quality of the Ape Films

I love bad films; I love good films.  For this Unofficial Trilogy, it’s about as hot and cold as it gets.  Let’s jump into the premises, and you can determine which is which:

CARNIVAL MAGIC (1981)

A travelling carnival has reached the end of the line.  Nobody’s visiting anymore, and the tiger trainer – which used to be the big draw – is an abusive alcoholic.  Low and behold, the magician’s chimp – Alexander the Great – can talk, but he’s been keeping it under wraps.  Once word gets out, the carnival becomes a success, at what expense?  The drunk tiger trainer’s girlfriend’s safety?  The carnival owner’s daughter’s virginity?  Alexander the Great’s life?  All of the above in this children’s film.

Oh yeah, and this eventually happened to the director, Al Adamson (via Wikipedia):

Al Adamson was reported missing in 1995. Five weeks later, after law enforcement officials discovered his remains beneath the concrete and tile-covered whirlpool bath in his newly remodeled bathroom, his live-in contractor Fred Fulford was apprehended… He was charged with and convicted of murder, and sentenced to twenty-five-years-to-life in prison.

Magic!

PHENOMENA (1985)

The young daughter of an American movie star (Jennifer Connelly in her first major role) is sent to an all-girls school in Switzerland, and there’s a killer stalking the students.  That’s the boring part!  For some reason, Jennifer (that’s also the character’s name) can communicate with insects, and they become like the Watson to her Sherlock (that’s how her scientist friend puts it).  As for the ape – the less you know about him, the better.

(SIDENOTE: This film was known as Creepers when it was released in the US.  Oh yeah… it’s originally Italian.)

Jeepers, where'd you get that chewed up, mangled peeper?

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011)

We all should know about this one, and if you don’t, I won’t spoil it.  The worst thing about this film is that it wasn’t nominated as on the ten Best Picture Oscars, especially when only nine were chosen.  I thought this was the most surprisingly good film I saw last year.  Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close gets nominated?!  Please.  more like Extremely Dull & Incredibly Pretentious…  

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Coinkydink Or Coinkydonk? Two Films, Too Similar?

I was about to get all serious on you guys, and talk about how similar (although the writers “claim” they barely remember the true incident) 30 Minutes or Less is to the Brian Douglas Wells case.  Both involve a pizza driver getting a bomb strapped to them, and there’s a plot of collecting an inheritance, yada yada… I’ll let you look into the horrible story.  (Oh, and don’t bother with the movie either… it’s as pointless as Oreo Cakesters.)

The only thing worse I could write about would be how Up Close & Personal was originally based on the sad life of reporter Jessica Savitch, but then it suddenly wasn’t.  (Yes, I’m bringing up the crappy Michelle Pfeiffer/Robert Redford vehicle as an example.)

So instead I will do this:

  • It’s weird that the last two movies I saw (30 Minutes or Less and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) had unexpected things in common…

1) Apes (played by people) in the poster.

That's a whole lotta frightening there.

2) Apes (played by people) attacking people.

Apes love raising their fist, apparently...

3) Our hero is probably a pothead in real life.

They have to be, right?

4) Our probable real life pothead hero has a hot Indian girlfriend.

Dilshad Vadasria and Freida Pinto, just so you can Google more pics of them...