Classic Franchise – Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Director: Don Taylor

Writer: Paul Dehn (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Characters)

Starring: Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman, Natalie Trundy, Eric Braeden, William Windom


Plot: The world is shocked by the appearance of three talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society; but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Reverse Planet of the Apes


Story: Escape from the Planet of the Apes starts as Zira (Hunter), Cornelius (McDowall) and Mile (Mineo) arrive back in the present time Earth, the three a quarantined in a local zoo where scientist’s Dr Dixon (Dillman), Dr Branton (Trundy) who put Zira and Cornelius through the same struggle to discover why they are not the dominate species on the planet like back home.

When the President (Windom) brings the news to the world, the whole world becomes curious as the world treats them like major celebrities. Dr Hasslein (Braeden) becomes curious about the truth becoming the only man who believes that Zira and Cornelius could be the start of the uprising of the apes taking over the planet. Can the apes live a normal life or will they be the downfall of man?


Thoughts on Escape from the Planet of the Apes


Characters/PerformanceZira continues her search for answers as she along with Cornelius travels back to where George original came from, present day Earth. She enjoys the new test to prove herself to humans but soon learns what it is like to be the other side of the cage. Cornelius is the supportive husband that is surprised to see how the humans have passed the idea of all believing in one God like figure. Dr Dixon is one of the doctors that supports the apes but Dr Hasslein is the paranoid version of one man seeing them as a threat.

Performance wise, Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall both are excellent in this film building on what was created from previous films. Bradford is good as is the rest of the cast through the film.

StoryThe story is very interesting, it does reverse the idea of Planet of the Apes by having the apes the strangers in the human world, I think this works well even if it does at times feel just like any sort of friendly alien movie. This does help tell the story of the origin of the rise which in places does help us learn more about what happens in later films.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is mostly a few chase scenes, there isn’t much going on though on this front, the sci-fi works too as it looks to continue the story on for our future run by apes.

SettingsHaving the film back in human time and locations all works because the change in culture comes off perfectly for how the film wants to go.

Special EffectsThe effects are good when needed but this film doesn’t have too much need for them.

Final ThoughtsAnother good addition to the franchise that twists the whole original idea on its head.


Overall: Enjoyable prequel but sequel.





Play Misty for Me (1971)

playDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Jo Heims, Dean Riesner (Screenplay) Jo Heims (Story)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch, Jack Ging, Irene Hervey, James McEachin


Plot: A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Thrilling Stalker Film


Story: Play Misty for Me starts as meet popular radio DJ Dave (Eastwood) who on every single show as a mysterious fan phone up for him to ‘Play Misty for Me’ when the fan learns of his favourite bar Evelyn (Walter) puts herself into his life for a night of passion. When Dave sees this as a one-night thing he life is turned upside down when Evelyn keeps returning to his life.

Tobie (Mills) returns into Dave’s life which is the one woman Dave would give up his lifestyle for but Evelyn isn’t going to let him get away from him that easily as she goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure Dave stays only with her.

Play Misty for Me brings us into the world of minor celebrities and how they get stalked, I say minor because Dave is on the way to becoming a big name in the business but is only a regional star. We do get the jilted lover believing more is happening than a night of sex. Having the all so familiar story of the stalker in a dangerous mind-set coming after victim and closest people to them. This does keep us guessing and we have seen plenty of films copy moments from this one.


Actor Review


Clint Eastwood: Dave is the playboy radio DJ who has quite the following of woman, but one fan Evelyn always wants one song played every day. When Dave has a one-night stand with her she just won’t leave his life, which doesn’t help his future as he wants to get back together with his recently returning ex-girlfriend Tobie and a career opportunity. Clint is good in this leading role where he is believable even though he is keeping one eye on his first directing outing.

Jessica Walter: Evelyn is the obsessed fan that comes into Dave’s life, she believes they are now in a relationship after a one-night stand and simply won’t stay out of his life. Starting with just turning up unannounced before threatening behaviour putting Dave’s future in doubt. Jessica makes for a great psycho in this film that many others have built on.

Donna Mills: Tobie is the ex-girlfriend of Dave who has returned to town, she has sparked the interest of Dave to rekindle the love they once had but Evelyn sees her as a threat. Donna is good as the real love interest but isn’t as strong as Jessica.

John Larch: Sgt, McCallum is trying to solve the case of the crazed stalker Evelyn as he finds himself dealing with a stalker unlike any he has previously dealt with. John is a basic supporting character that doesn’t get enough lines for his importance.

Support Cast: Play Misty for Me has a basic supporting cast that offer very little to the final outcome of the movie.

Director Review: Clint EastwoodClint shows he that he was going to be a great director with his ability to capture a great story.


Thriller: Play Misty for Me keeps you on edge as you wonder what Evelyn will do next.

Settings: Play Misty for Me keeps the setting in and around that one seaside resort for the radio station.

Suggestion: Play Misty for Me is one for the fans of Eastwood to watch. (Watch)


Best Part: Evelyn is a great stalker character.

Worst Part: The End is slightly sudden.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $725,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: …an invitation to terror…


Overall: Tension filled thriller that keeps us on edge



Franchise Weekend – The French Connection (1971)

frenchDirector: William Friedkin

Writer: Ernest Tidyman (Screenplay) Robin Moore (Book)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi


Plot: A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: True Classic


Story: The French Connection starts by establishing Jimmy Doyle (Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Scheider) as rough and tough cops, we also get to see the criminal enterprise in France run by Alain Charnier (Rey) and just how they will never leave a loose end.

As Doyle and Russo enter into one of their games of following what seems like a nobody in Sal Boca (Lo Bianco) they discover he is too clean leading to them to investigate him uncovering themselves a criminal activity going on unlike anything they have come up against before.

The French Connection brings us into the original feel of what a cat and mouse type chase would be between cops and criminals. Yes that does make it very simple as we do get to learn the vices of all the characters while uncovering the truth about them. We also get to see how investigation were done before everything was computerised with real leg work which creates the multiple chases that bring you to the edge of your seat throughout.


Actor Review


Gene Hackman: Jimmy Doyle is the nonsense cop who will push all the boundaries while on the job to get answers. He stumbles upon an international drug deal going on and along with his partner has to watch over the potential suspects involved in the deal. Gene gives a great performance in this leading role showing pure determination throughout.doyle

Fernando Rey: Alain is the leader of the criminal syndicate from France who has come to America to complete on big deal, he enters into a cat and mouse game with Doyle which he seems to have the upper hand on. Fernando is good in this role thinking he always has the upper hand over Doyle.

Roy Scheider: Buddy Russo is the partner of Doyle, he comes off as the slightly more responsible one of the two and when it comes to good cop bad cop he will fill in as good cop. Roy does well in this supporting role letting Hackman take the centre stage without being just a standard backup character.

Tony Lo Bianco: Sal Boca is the man trying to get the deal done from the American side of things, it is him that grabs the attention of Doyle starting off the epic game of cat and mouse between the sides. Tony is good in this role with his extra swagger in his movements.

Support Cast: The French Connection has good supporting cast even if the characters are ones you would have come familiar with in the genre.

Director Review: William FriedkinWilliam gives us one of the film that has stood the test of time and will always be one of the benchmarks for great crime thrillers.


Action: The French Connection has great action scenes with the famous car chasing down the train being the highlight of the whole film.

Crime: The French Connection puts us into the middle of a crime world with one deal taking place but filled with secrets.

Thriller: The French Connection does keep us guessing to what will happen next throughout.

Settings: The French Connection uses the settings of New York to bring the action to closer rather than on the open roads.

Suggestion: The French Connection is one I think most people should have seen at least once through the life span. (Watch)


Best Part: Car, train chase.

Worst Part: Cliff-hanger ending is slightly frustrating now.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director

Budget: $1,8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: Doyle is bad news – but a good cop.

Trivia: The car crash during the chase sequence, at the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and 86th St., was unplanned and was included because of its realism. The man whose car was hit had just left his house a few blocks from the intersection to go to work and was unaware that a car chase was being filmed. The producers later paid the bill for the repairs to his car.


Overall: Classic that will forever be one of the best


Twins of Evil (1971)

logoDirector: John Hough

Writer: Tudor Gates (Screenplay) Sheridan Le Fanu (Character Created)

Starring: Peter Cushing, Dennis Price, Mary Collinson, Madeleine Collinson, Isobel Black, Kathleen Byron, Damien Thomas, David Warbeck


Plot: In nineteenth century middle-Europe, orphaned teenage twins Maria and Frieda go to live with their uncle Gustav Weil, who heads the Brotherhood, a vigilante group trying to stamp out vampirism. But their methods are random and misplaced and the only result is a terrorised populace. The real threat lies with Count Karnstein, and although the twins seem outwardly to be identical, Frieda finds herself much more drawn than her sister to the Count’s castle dominating the skyline.


Verdict: Vintage Horror


Story: Twins of Evil looks at how extreme people treated the supernatural in the olden times. We have a flamboyant man of mystery that all the ladies are interested in, a strict leader of the town mixed together with mysterious number of death by means unknown. We see how everyone reaction to the newest case showing that vampirism is increasing. With tensions rising we see the town’s people change the way they do things, but with identical twins this makes things difficult as one is good and one is evil. This all comes together to make an enjoyable horror. (7/10)


Actor Review


Peter Cushing: Gustav Weil the strict leader of the town who is out to get rid of vampirism in and around the town, but when his nieces turn up the mystery Count Karnstein takes a shine to them. Gustav will not let the family links get in the way of stopping the vampirism. Good performance in a role that you would expect to see from Cushing. (7/10)


Mary Collinson: Maria the good, purer of the twin who gets caught up in everything after her sister takes a shine to the Mysterious Count. Solid performance. (6/10)


Madeleine Collinson: Frieda the bad twin who goes out to find Count Karnstein, she ends up becoming the main target of the town’s people but ends up pulling her sister into the mix too. Good performance showing the lure of mystery. (7/10)


David Warbeck: Anton the young bachelor of the town who takes a shine to Maria even though he could have any of the girls from the town. He fights against the ways of the people to protect Maria from Gustav’s ways. Good performance in the solid supporting performance. (7/10)


Damien Thomas: Count Karnstein the rich, well connected member of the town who seduces the woman, but when he takes advantage of one of Gustav’s nieces he becomes the target of the town’s people. Good performance with the most charismatic character. (8/10)


Director Review: John Hough – Good direction to create a horror that we now see as a vintage classic hammer horror. (7/10)


Horror: Twins of Evil is a solid horror, doesn’t have jumps, but the actions of the people are scary. (8/10)

Settings: Twins of Evil uses well created settings to create an authentic time setting. (9/10)

Suggestion: Twins of Evil is one for the horror fans to enjoy, it is classic and you will enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)


Best Part: Gustav catching up with Frieda.

Worst Part: Sometimes it’s hard to tell the twins apart.

Kill Of The Film: Frieda

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: One uses her beauty for love! One uses her lure for blood!


Overall: Vintage Hammer Horror

Rating 75