I frickin' love Planet of the Apes. Also love the sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes. The alien-ness of the world, the intelligent Apes who completely disbelieve in the possibility that humans were once intelligent (and their Orangutan scientists trying to hide any evidence of it), the weird rock buildings that look like anthills, the primitiveness of the technology, the delightful mystery of the "Forbidden Zone", and the general alpha badass-ness of Charlton Heston. All great stuff.
I even played a bit of the old rpg, "Terra Primate" by Eden Studios back in the day. It was an rpg where you could crash-land as an astronaught on future earth, and have exciting adventures as one of the few rare humans that could speak and think logically in a post-APE-pocalyptic society.
Eden Studios are the same folks who also published "All Flesh Must Be Eaten," one of the first, and still one of the best, Zombie Apocalypse RPGs.
But I digress, I'm here to talk about Apes. Planet of the Apes always had a John Carter of Mars vibe for me, with the strange world with alien denizens and super-power(s) granted to the protagonist because they are from a far off place (or time). In this case the "super power" was simply that Charlton Heston can speak and think logically in a world of super dumb humans, rather than leap tall buildings in a single bound like John Carter on Mars, but still it was pretty cool. Its the kind of super power you start to identify with when you're surfing through Twitter or shopping at Walmart.
Then came the sequels... which to put it frankly, are pure garbage.
Escape from the Planet of the Apes - An Austin Powers wanna-be movie where the main apes from the first film go back in time to the swingin' 70s and become celebrities in "modern-day" America. But then are murdered for some reason. Who cares.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes - A half-ass near-dystopian movie where they begin the process of utterly destroying any wonderment fans may have about how the Apes rose to power. Instead of a long mysterious process of evolution to replace humans who destroyed themselves (that the Statue of Liberty in the first film suggests), the Apes rose up against humans because racism(!). So I guess, the Apes destroyed the statue of liberty? Bah.
Battle for the Planet of the Apes - You're supposed to root for the Apes as they take over the planet, because humans are jerks I guess. Completely destroys any reason that the Apes in Charlton Heston's "future" (the original PotA) would be so against the thought of humans ever have been smart. If the Apes really rebelled and won against a bunch of butthole humans they'd have a holiday about it every year.
The movies then died off for a time, since the studios had squeezed every dime from fans of the subject by releasing worse and worse movies. But now they've rebooted it! And its somehow even MORE depressing!
Planet of the Apes (2001 Remake) - Marky Mark is an astronaught who does the time portal thing and lands in Ape-ville. Great costumes and special effects, but completely lacks the points of the original that make it so great. Future humans can still all speak, making Marky Mark's limited vocabulary just as useless as it is now. Plus the twist at the end is...Ape-raham Lincoln? Ugh. Still, I liked it better than the latest Trilogy.
Rise of, Dawn of, and War for the Planet of the Apes. More Apes vs. Humans uprising prequelness that I can barely give a crap about. Its like they're stretching out the painful over-explanation of how the Apes rose up, which is like the least interesting part of the whole genre.
So if you feel like hearing me lament the lost promise of these movies (and mock co-host JC's evidently terrible taste in sci-fi), check out the latest Planet of the Apes episode of the Vorpal Podcast (with special guest-host Jillian). We slash our way through every single one of the Apes movies from 1968 on, and vehemently disagree on most everything about these latest Ape-stallments to the filmography.