The first trailer for the Planet of the Apes prequel/remake/reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, has hit the Internet, and it looks pretty great. That's mostly because it looks nothing like Tim Burton's overwrought remake of Planet from 2001, but also because it seems to borrow as much from recent horror films as it does Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the 1972 film that it partially draws on. Here are the other movies I couldn't help but think of as I watched the trailer.
1. Project X
Any shot of apes being kept in cages at a lab will always remind me of the 1987 Matthew Broderick thriller, in which chimpanzees were being used to test radiation's affects on pilots. Like the super-smart Caesar does with a stick and a knife in Rise, the trained apes in X use a broom handle to bust free of their cages, and even try to escape via the skylight, as a bunch of apes in the trailer do. Apparently, ape minds think alike.
2. 28 Days Later
While the 2002 zombie movie also starts out with chimps in cages, it's the Rise trailer's post-escape footage, with hordes of running apes and people staring ominously down empty hallways, that reminds me of life in a post-Rage virus world. In 28 Days Later, zombies run rampant down empty streets, and no one knows what might be lurking in any abandoned house. Are murderous monkeys better or worse than running zombies? Discuss.
3. Deep Blue Sea
Let me get this straight: Dr. James Franco is working on curing a brain disease, so he injects it into monkeys, specifically monkeys that are already pretty smart and aggressive. So when it boosts their intelligence, he is... pleased? Has he not seen Deep Blue Sea, in which Dr. Saffron Burrows, in her attempts to cure Alzheimer's, genetically engineers three Mako sharks to have increased brain capacity? And they proceed to escape and eat Samuel L. Jackson? Scientists need to watch more movies.
4. 12 Monkeys
Remember in 12 Monkeys when they released all of the animals in the zoo and there were monkeys climbing on buildings, and bears and elephants in the streets? They weren't super-smart or anything, but they certainly run things on Earth after a virus wipes out most of humanity. Seeing gorillas climbing on cars stuck in traffic made me flash back to that a little. Because watching 12 Monkeys is what I assume dropping acid feels like.
5. The Island of Dr. Moreau
Intelligent, CGI monkeys who will not bow to our will, no matter how much we berate them? It sounds like Dr. Moreau territory, especially the 1996 film, which had a few CGI cat people mixed in with all of the practical make-up effects. Those human-animal hybrids did not like being told what to do by scary Marlon Brando and they eventually revolted as well. Again, they're called movies, scientists - learn from them.
Watch the trailer below, and let us know what you think of it below that!
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