The writer-artist who, along with his wife Corinna Sara Bechko, was one of the main architects of Boom! Studios’ successful Apes line, lists his Five Best Moments in Apedom.
1. Dr. Zaius’s admission at the end of the original POTA that he knew all along that their ape civilization followed the nuclear destruction of the human world. His paternalistic need to protect the apes from making the same mistake as the humans shows him to be so much more than the one-dimensional, mustache-twirling villain you’d expect.
2. The sets and production design of the first movie: simple but iconic. Blending the architecture into the location in what is now Malibu Creek State Park served to both make Ape City look grounded and really cool!
3. John Chambers’ make-up work. If Chambers hadn’t created a workable and awesome-looking design for the ape actors, the movie would have never worked. Simple as that.
4. Roddy McDowall. If you need to be convinced how important McDowall’s casting was, look no further than “Beneath the Planet of the Apes.” Recasting David Watson as Cornelius makes it plain exactly how great McDowall’s performance was. Watson barely reads on screen where McDowall never failed to connect.
5. The fact that Ricardo Montalban’s sympathetic human character in Conquest makes Caesar’s rise to power possible.
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