Revision of the Planet of the Apes Filmmaker Jorge Torres-Torres (whose credits include writing or co
writing and directing Shadow Zombie  and Sisters of the Plague ) has made some interesting projects by editing and revising well-known film franchises into single-film presentations. This year, he has two such entries at San Francisco’s hybrid (online and in-cinemas) Another Hole in the Head Film Festival: Rocky Revision and Revision of the Planet of the Apes. That’s right, Torres-Torres has taken all five original films in the Planet of the Apes franchise and condensed, re-edited, and tweaked them into a single, 80-minute feature. The result is a highly interesting take with a couple of, in my opinion, miscues. I’ll leave plot details and running order of the films — Torres-Torres plays with both of those quite a bit — for viewers to discover, as Revision of the Planet of the Apes requires at least some familiarity with the franchise and giving away such details would spoil the uniqueness of the experience. And that’s what this film is: an experience, rather than a mere condensation of five beloved films into one. Torres-Torres adds edits, clips from other ape-related media, new sound effects, and music to this project. Much of it works, but for me, two elements did not: a cartoonish sound effect for when characters fall, and a 1980s pop song (again, I won’t give away what it is here) during a fight sequence and as a stinger at the end of the film. With the majority of the revision having a rather serious feel, these two factors seemed wildly out of place. Revision of the Planet of the Apes can be considered a “by a fan, for fans” project. Being a decades-long lover of the original Planet of the Apes films — I even hand-wrote and published a newsletter about the franchise on a mimeograph in middle school — I was familiar with characters and plots. A newcomer to the franchise, however, may get a basic sense of story, but no character background or arcs. Also, as one example of how the revision can change things from the original movies, an edit makes it seem as though Taylor (Charlton Heston) and Brent (James Franciscus) suddenly start fighting each other merely over jealousy of Nova (Linda Harrison), rather than the original reason. Planet of the Apes fans should find plenty of entertainment in Revision of the Planet of the Apes, especially if they know going in that there are some tongue-in-cheek elements at play and that it is not a straight condensation. I found it an intriguing exercise. The History of Metal and Horror
Writer/director Mike Schiff has put together an entertaining overview of how the fandoms of horror movies and heavy metal music became intertwined in The History of Metal and Horror. It may not win over any new converts to either media, but it is more than just a “preaching to the converted” documentary. Talking heads that include metal musicians and fright-fare filmmakers, cast, and crew, as well as folks from the scholarly side of things, give their thoughts on why horror films and literature fascinate those who enjoy it. The film goes on to explore how musicians such as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Alice Cooper (one of the interview subjects in the documentary), and Kiss began incorporating horror movie elements into their stage shows and lyrics, influencing new generations of musicians such as Marilyn Manson and his band members, Gwar, and Ghost. The film includes a look at how some conventions combine live music performances and horror movie fandom, giving crossover fans both of what they love in one go. Cooper, Marky Ramone, Kirk Hammett, Scott Ian, and filmmaker Rob Zombie are just a few of the musicians interviewed. They are joined by such horror film favorites as John Carpenter, Sid Haig, Gunnar Hansen, and Kane Hodder, along with relatives of scare-fare legends Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. Segments at the beginning and end of The History of Metal and Horror featuring horror movie legend Michael Berryman as “The Host” interacting via videotape with a fictional character feel oddly out of place. Though I get that Schiff was trying to do something different with them, I feel that a straight narration from Berryman may have worked better. Fans of both heavy metal and horror should find plenty to enjoy in The History of Metal and Horror, but viewers not into one or the other may find elements offputting, and the insistence that both forms of entertainment are still “outsider culture” — Can that really be argued any longer if horror movies have a decades-long strong box-office record and heavy metal bands have histories of platinum album sales? — could likely just make non-fans feel further alienated from them, rather than attracted to trying them out for the first time. Revision of the Planet of the Apes and The History of Metal and Horror screen as part of San Francisco's Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, which takes place December 1st–15th, 2021 with an offering of over 25 features and 200+ short films. The majority of content will be available on-demand via the Eventive platform, plus live online screenings with audience interaction and filmmaker Q&A on the Zoom platform, plus the long-awaited theatrical screenings at New People Cinema in San Francisco's Japantown. The full Another Hole in the Head schedule, along with ticket links and programming details, are available at https://holehead2021.eventive.org/welcome. For a direct link to Revision of the Planet of the Apes, visit https://holehead2021.eventive.org/films/61989691f61dad0095ac99df. For a direct link to The History of Metal and Horror, visit https://holehead2021.eventive.org/films/61880ddf06e591009a1256a1. Joseph Perry is one of the hosts of When It Was Cool’s exclusive Uphill Both Ways podcast (whenitwascool.com/up-hill-both-ways-podcast/). He also writes for the film websites Diabolique Magazine (diaboliquemagazine.com), Gruesome Magazine (gruesomemagazine.com), The Scariest Things (scariesthings.com), and Horror Fuel (horrorfuel.com), and film magazines Phantom of the Movies’ VideoScope (videoscopemag.com) and Drive-In Asylum (etsy.com/shop/GroovyDoom).