Friday, August 1, 2008


Do you remember the final scene, the final shot in the somewhat cheesy film The Planet of the Apes, the first film in the series, with Charleton Heston on the beach when he makes a stunning discovery? Moses had gone from deliverer to hybrid-monkey fighter, and Heston looked surprisingly spry and fit in this late-Sixties picture, I believe it was. As for the hybrid monkey people, they came off worse than Yoda in Star Wars for fakiness. The rubber used to build the actors faces into monkey faces completely ruined the picture for me, and I never wanted to see another one. I've forgotten how the plot precisely goes, but the bottom line is when Heston is walking on the beach at the end of the film, he has presumed up to this point that he has been on a monkey planet, and not earth. Obviously time has gotten out of whack, somehow. We see his horrified expression as he looks up to see the unthinkable (but not anymore, perhaps): buried in the sand up to her chest or so in sand, is the Statue of Liberty, Isis herself, a gift to the United States from the French, like the pentagram and the layout of Masonic buildings in Washington, D.C., which are reportedly aligned with other points on earth. What do you believe the intention was of the screenwriter and/or the director, or the author of the novel, if that came first? If you had to summarize the meaning of Lady Liberty swamped on the beach like this in one sentence, what would you say?

I say it means that we have somehow evolved back into apes, with the ability to speak, after so many years ... and this transformation has indeed occurred on earth after the passage of tens or hundreds of thousands or millions of years, and probably a good whack from an alien spacecraft is what beached the old girl. Heston's character goes through some real changes in a hurry, as he wears his best Twilight Zone/Outer Limits expression of twisted horror, as if to say ... everything ... is much different than what I thought; it's upside down ... and boy, I'm an idiot.

And I say the person who wrote the story or screenplay was a prophet, probably without knowing it.

-- Randall Carter Gray ... to be continued

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