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  • This movie features all the standard hallmarks of crap Japanese films: You've got your kid in red shorts shouting his lines, you've got a wise elder sister to explain the plot and people laughing about things that aren't funny to the audience.

    Some annoying kids are visiting a lab where they are trying to develop a plot. Suddenly they get frozen and wake up in a world ruled by extras in cheap monkey masks. The monkeys have developed telephones, cars and have a city made of cardboard.

    Absolutely jack happens through the entire film but you'll be mesmerised by the shoddiness of it all. It would be petty to complain that the ending makes no sense because there's nothing to make sense of in the first place, it's just people running around. Worst of all the film just doesn't want to end and drags it out for a good 20 minutes after the credits should be rolling.

    Bonus points for having a UFO that pops up for no apparent reason.

    For fans of bad cinema only.
  • Jared G.2 October 1999
    A Japanese tv series is cut apart and put together to form this semblance of a movie. Obviously a "Planet of the Apes" rip-off, the movie seems the end about 3 different times, Each more dragged out than the last. The apes are also dressed in bizarre Colonel Sanders-style clothing. As a dubbed movie it's hard to comment on the acting, but the "film" is edited so poorly that the plot is nearly incomprehensible to follow. More of an oddity than a purely terrible movie.
  • There are bad movies, very bad movies and horrible movies. This movie goes a step beyond even those classification, Plan Nine from Outer Space bad. The story is about three present day humans who just happen to be in cryogenic chamber when an earthquake a underground research center. When they come to its five hundred years in the future and apes have taken over the planet. Any plot similarities between Time of the Apes and Planet of the Apes is completely intentional although it seems like cinema heresy to compare the two films. There is a flying saucer that keep appearing for no apparent reason and an ape shoot out that doesn't make any sense. All of these plot holes stem from the fact this movie is edited from a Japanese TV series that was never aired. I will not give away the ending, but it is the sort of thing that could result in a failing grade in most high school creative writing courses.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I read somewhere that Sandy Frank was so angry with the treatment that his imported, re-dubbed, and re-edited products received at the hands of the MST3000 crew that he refused to renew the rights to broadcast his movies once they had lapsed.This explains why we no longer got to see stink-bombs like "Gamera Vs. Gaos" and "Fugitive Alien II" during MST reruns and syndication after the first 2-3 years.

    Mr. Frank, you got off easy. You deserved every horrible thing they said about your imports, and far, far worse.

    Take "Time Of The Apes" as an example. Here we have something that might have been mildly enjoyable (if cheesy) for its intended audience in its original format - a series of TV episodes aimed at juveniles that ripped off "Planet Of the Apes". There's no way this could be considered 'quality' entertainment, but I can see where a little Japanese kid would have gotten a kick out of it. Once Frank got done repackaging it though, the result was an incoherent stink-burger that made no sense at all.

    "Time of the Apes" features some of the least nuanced ESL voice dubbing imaginable. Imagine a film full of Gilbert Godfried impersonators doing scenes from "Glen Garry Glen Ross", delivering 85% of the lines at the top of their lungs. Then imagine said Godfried melange being edited with a rotary field mower. Sub plots jump out of nowhere and then are more or less forgotten. Plot devices are introduced, set aside, brought up again, then ignored again. Lines are delivered in with such force and pitch that Jerry Bruckheimer on his most manic day would ask the actors to throttle back "just a little bit".

    Let's see if I can give the reader a bit more of the flavor of "TOTA"...the ape captors wait until the three humans revive from their cold sleep, capture them after they run around loose for a bit, tie them to a tree, cut them loose, take them to a field, stand them up for an apparent firing squad, and then are surprised when the trio run away. The three humans stumble into a series of booby traps that aren't even up to the task of killing an obnoxious little boy in upsetting shorts, but are enough to keep a platoon of heavily armed apes at bay for years. The apes' military commander blames Godo (apparently the only surviving native human of that era) for his wife and family's death, but Godo was really trying to save them, only apparently these apes weren't able to hang onto a rope. There's a UFO flying around taking pictures and revealing key plot points, and a computer called UCOM that is brought up twice as the motivating force behind the saucer and...something?...but never actually discussed or just goes on and on like that. The apes have force fields and assault rifles but drive beat up station wagons. The camera man zooms in so often (and so close) for closeups that I expected the actors to sporting bruises on their foreheads from getting the Steadicam slammed against their heads. The soundtrack is filled to bursting with trumpets on Methadrine that try to pump the grandeur, and it's a ridiculous contrast to the cheap-o costumes, rubber masks and shabby props being used on the sets.

    And then, just when the actual plot seems to have ended, the movie violently assaults the viewer with an indigestible wad of voice-over exposition that was apparently intended to tie everything together(something about the extreme cold of the cold sleep units doing something weird to the space-time continuum) but it just sounds like something a couple of hyperactive 7th graders made up for their GI Joe action figure play to explain how Cobra Commander came back from the dead. Rod Serling on his worst day would have rabbit punched any screenwriter who tried this kind of tripe as a way to end an episode.

    I am willing to bet that the movie made more sense and was much more watchable before Frank got his hands on it, and I am also willing to bet that MST might have chopped a few more minutes out if it to fit into their format. But I have to comment on what I saw, not what might have been...but this falls into the category of "watch only while hammered out of your skull." The original seems to be utterly lost in obscurity, so only the MST version of it is available to the average viewer. But it is perfect MST fodder, and one of their very best episodes.

    Bite me, Sandy Frank. If you meant this stuff to be taken seriously, you are an idiot. Your stuff SUCKS, and is suitable ONLY for parody and lampoon.
  • TIME OF THE APES (known as "Sara no gundan" in its native Japan) is a shoddily-produced sci-fi/fantasy yarn apparently edited from an unaired television series. I would say that it's trying to cash in on the success of PLANET OF THE APES, except that it was made about twenty years too late.

    The pretentiously overcomplicated storyline involves a woman and two children who accidentally freeze themselves in cryogenic chambers (that's right-- they *ACCIDENTALLY* freeze themselves!) and are transported to an unknown period of time where hostile apes rule. Several ludicrous, time-wasting subplots seem to pop up out of nowhere, mostly involving imprisonment, booby traps, and flying saucers. Trying to actually make sense of the onscreen bedlam is a useless and unrewarding task, so just sitting back and enjoying the silly costumes and awful dubbing is highly recommend.

    Fortunately, TIME OF THE APES is extremely difficult to come across (only bootlegs and out-of-print VHS transfers exist in the US), but if you ever get the chance to see it featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, you're in for a real treat. It has got to be one of the funniest episodes ever.
  • For about the last week, I've been watching the KTMA episodes of MST3K. tonights episode was this, er, masterpiece. Let see what we have so far-- Humans in nothing but ape heads that aren't even finished around the neck. Then we have the apes driving 1970 era pontiacs, jeeps and toyotas. They also use weapons. but with all of the cars, guns and other technology they show no evidence of any industrial production capabilities.

    It is clear that this piece of junk was edited from more then several episodes of a series. The editing is so abrupt that it startled me at one point. I can only assume that the series is equally confusing and poorly produced. This movie was done twice by MST3K. First on KTMA and again in (I think) season 3. Both versions are unreleased but are available from
  • Warning: Spoilers
    How in the world could 25 people give this stinkmaster a 10?? Much like the rest of Sandy Frank's imports, this one is incredibly awful. Yes, it rips off the Planet of the Apes. There's a lot of incredibly bad special effects, the biggest one being the UFO. It looks like a wok turned upside-down. Eventually it lands just to show one of the apes that the last remaining human wasn't responsible for the death of his family, but rather, the ape was. That makes no sense to me whatsoever. Legend has it this was designed to be in 26 episodes and sent to the USA that way, but every syndication firm rejected it. Then they took 4 episodes and merged them into a film. I can't say I blame the syndicates for rejecting this turkey.
  • Banzaemon13 January 2005
    This film is unbelievably good. There's bad movies and then there's films that are just so SO mind blowingly awful in every single aspect that the go right round and become brilliant. This is their king. Everything about this movie is hilarious. Down to the random UFO that pops up and scares the monkeys away from time to time for no reason. My copy also has a moment where the film freezes for a second and then replays the past five minutes again for no reason. It's VHS not DVD, so this must be done in the edit. Also the suddenly appear in a cowboy land at one point. The makeup is out of this world. If, like me and my buddy's, you have a craving for trash of the very highest order, then stop at nothing to track this down. It's the worst film I've ever found in my life, and believe me, I've seen a lot of size.
  • A movie about talking monkeys that have taken over the world....maybe it's my imagination. Anyways, this is a really bad movie. Maybe it was better in Japanese without the dubbing, but the dubbing is so mind-bindingly shrill and annoying that it's hard to watch this with the sound on. The direction is really quite terrible, using the technique of constantly zooming in and out fast for dramatic effect. The apes aren't that bad looking, but they did have a major flaw. Their mouths don't move when they talk, so it's impossible to tell which monkey is saying what. The film is in every way unoriginal and doesn't really make very much sense at all. Though I was entertained, this is just a terrible "Planet of the Apes" knockoff.

    My rating: 1/2 out of ****.
  • I think I can describe this wretched film in one word: "HUH??"

    I cannot recall ever seeing a movie as crappy as this one. I will admit that the English translation may have been reason for horrific dialogue, but I cannot recall any semblance of plot, or storyline. Watching Johnny and Carolyn's madcap romps running from simian masked men with the crappiest makeup in cinema history, my brain cells began to implode one by one as I tried to find the answers to so many questions I had about this film. You will get dizzy (especially the pre-Matrix rotoscope camera shots towards the end), nauseous, and possible amnesia may set in after this tour de crap which also includes an adorable weird ape girl name Pepy(????). Good way to experience temporary insanity.
  • Warning: Spoilers

    ***SPOILER ALERT***: This movie sucks. ***END SPOILER ALERT***

    Sandy Frank is at it again, splicing scenes from a Japanese TV series into a full length movie, paying some accent-ually challenged people to do the dubbing, and releasing it to the American market, just like he did with Fugitive Alien. While Fugitive Alien was at least fun to watch due to its overwhelming absurdity, Time of the Apes is the cinematic definition of pain. It's an assault on all senses and it seems as if it's intended to be, as well. A movie doesn't get this awful by accident.

    The plot follows a hot Japanese woman and her two annoying foster kids who accidentally get cryogenically frozen and end up in a not too distant future, where ventriloquist monkeys rule the world. The team meet Gôdo, a freedom fighter, and a hideous ape child, and it's non-stop dullness from then on.

    The editing is completely bizarre. The camera will cut swiftly and epileptically between two characters' faces in a scene. In other scenes monkey hands fly towards the screen so fast even Michael Bay would get nightmares.

    When the movie finally ends you're left numb and stunned at its visual awfulness and relentless stupidity. Even for what it is, a cheap Japanese serial turned movie, it's awful. Avoid at all costs.
  • MrVibrating23 October 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is the worst rip-off I've ever seen. The only good thing about this movie is that I can now appreciate Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. Yes, Time of the apes is a Planet of the apes-rip off. A very obvious one at that. And, it seems, since everybody knows the plot of POTA, the director doesn't bother to explain a lot of the things that happen in the movie.

    The basic story is this. A stupid family(mom, son, daughter) accidentally freezes themselves in pods when an earthquake destroys the laboratory they're visiting. They come to TIME OF THE APES! The apes drive around in psychedelic trucks, use out-dated rifles and don't move their lips much when they talk. Weird sh*t happens to the family, ranging from flower power to flying saucers.

    The movie uses filming techniques best described as "harmful". Some notable shots is the scene where monkey hands flies towards the camera so fast you flinch, and a scene where the hero and the bad guy are superimposed on top of each other, but instead using the normal technique, 1 frame hero, 1 frame baddie, 1 frame hero, and so on, we are treated to each image for some 3 quarters of a second, fifteen times each. it's hard to explain. I can only say: it hurts.

    POSSIBLE SPOILERS (oh no!) At the end, the family get's back to the lab, unhurt, and the earthquake and everything was just a dream(?) and the movie ends... NOT! They have to make it as drawn-out as possible, so they throw in a second ending! Yay! Mike and the bots(Yes, I only watched the MST3K version of this movie) actually leave the theater only to be pushed back in. Great.

    I hate this movie. 1/10
  • This was appalling. My neighbour made me watch it and believe me I begged him to turn it off!

    What have we got here? A totally disjointed Japanese-made film poorly dubbed into English.

    Nothing really made sense and to be honest I have no idea what the thing was about, except to say a woman and some annoying kids get trapped in an alternate reality where apes rule the planet. (No, I didn't seen Charlton Heston ride past crying, "You maniacs, you blew it up!")

    It's so bad, I recommend you get a copy for when unwanted visitors drop by. "Yeah, sure you can come in. I'm watching Time of The Apes. Take a seat!" Guaranteed they will leave within 15 minutes!

    As a matter of fact, I'm looking for a copy of this film myself.
  • Disappointingly reasonable SF thriller that sees humans resurrected in a time when the world is overtaken by apes.

    I say disappointing as I bought the film in a £2.99 bargain bin thinking it looked like the most hilariously bad movie I'd ever seen. Unfortunately it is, on its own terms, actually almost decent.

    The budget is non-existent of course (It turns out the "film" is spliced-together episodes of a TV show), though it shouldn't be criticised for that, and some of the ape effects aren't actually too bad. Well, almost. The plot, which in no way rips off Planet of the Apes, (laugh at the credit for "Original Story By...") scores by its pace, which sees the basic premise - humans discover cryogenics, get contrivedly trapped in cryogenics, wake up in monkey-dominated world - set up within the first fifteen minutes. As an addition to the Planet Of... set up, we also get Mandrills among their number.

    Characterisation isn't helped by dubbing vocalists who sound either like those instruction video narrators or someone with a snooker cue inserted up their back passage. And it's hard to tell whether some of the lines ("It seems wrong to tamper with the laws of nature" - "Ah, an age-old discussion") would sound so cheesy in their native language and without the dodgy dubbing.

    The direction can seem amateurish, but is often quite thoughtful, and it must again be stressed the extremely limiting circumstances the film was conceived under. Weirdly, the film is probably more like the Pierre Boulle novel than Planet of the Apes was. In La Planète des singes the apes inhabited futuristic technological cities. Here they have force fields and trains (complete with gibbon ticket conductor).

    Some hilarious moments include a plot-device UFO that is never explained, a gorilla called Gay Bar and a computer that's the supreme power of the universe. It's hardly a film you'd watch twice (or once, even) but it's really not all that bad. Where it does fail is in not having any kind of point at all. There are some cheesy platitudes ("One day, different people will learn to live together in peace and harmony"; "Godo, wherever he is now, he'll always be in our hearts") but where Planet of the Apes has depth and allegory, Time of the Apes just has... apes with guns. It's all rather jolly really, sort of like the kind of thing you might make with friends over a weekend for a laugh.

    Actually, on seconds thoughts, why am I being so nice to it? I mean, it's rubbish, isn't it? A witless, badly acted, horrendously scripted rip-off farrago. I guess I just felt sorry for it, like a sad old pet that needs putting down. Time of the Apes – be kind to it.
  • Yes, this "movie" was horribly spliced together from several TV show episodes so that the story makes no sense, but if you have ever seen "kids TV shows" in Japan, you would know that they are VERY weird to begin with. Japanese culture is as far removed as you can get from American culture without leaving planet Earth, and Japanese children's TV exists in a strange parallel universe that even Japanese adults find confusing. BUT ..... who cares if the story makes no sense? You have really annoying kids, men dressed in goofy ape costumes, a flying saucer, a supreme ape leader who drives around in an old car like the one my grandmother owned in the 1970s, an earthquake as a plot device, and "the last man on Earth" who lives in a cave. Naturally, the MST 3K crew have a LOT of fun with this stinker. I agree with another reviewer who noted that this film is best appreciated when under the influence of a mind-altering drug ... beer will do, along and a giant bowl of pretzels. Invite your friends over for the viewing, but be aware that after watching this they may never forgive you.
  • This film is very boring and somewhat confusing. It centers around a woman, a kid, and an "Indiana Jones" type character named Johnny. They are cryogenically frozen and awaken in a land of where apes rule the world. (Sound familiar?) Well of course they are captured by the apes and Johnny (who acts like a complete jerk) tries to free them, etc... The movies only interesting character is a young monkey who helps the humans, and even the monkey is annoying. The only way this movie should be seen is along with the *Mystery Science Theater 3000* gang. The episode, number 306, appeared in their third season and was hilarious.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Again, **SPOILERS**

    The plot goes like this: A woman and two kids are frozen in capsules and wake a thousand years into the future. The planet is ruled by apes (sounds familiar, doesn't it?)and the woman and kids are in danger for their lives. After escaping with the only other human alive, they are sent back into the past to live their lives out normally. Unfortunately, their assistant didn't make it back in time with them. Bad acting, cheesy special effects abound in this rip-off. Avoid this one if at all possible.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a goofy "Planet of the Apes" knock-off starring a super-annoying little kid named Johnny (when warned of earthquakes he snottily says "I don't care!" and skips off). Johnny goes on a trip to his uncle's lab, where Johnny's uncle gets his kicks freezing and then thawing out monkeys. One of those darn earthquakes starts up, and Johnny, his friend Caroline, and his uncle's assistant Catherine get trapped in cryo-chambers. When they are thawed out, they have traveled to the future, or the past, or something. The characters talk and talk and talk but we never get a clear idea of what the heck is going on. At any rate, the world is ruled by talking, foppish apes. (The apes are guys in masks with barely moving lips). The humans find allies in Godo, the only human around, and Pepe, a disturbing-looking ape child with a white face. For what seems like several hundred hours, we watch the protagonists get captured, then escape, then get captured, and then escape again. Nothing makes much sense, and the movie seems to keep twisting to spite itself. The real reason this is so oddly paced is because it's a TV show edited into a movie, like "Fugitive Alien", but I liked "Fugitive Alien". "Time of the Apes" is torturous. By the time Johnny and his pals make it to their own time or planet or dimension or whatever you will be thoroughly bored. I can't imagine anyone enjoying this pukey movie (unless seen on MST3K, of course).
  • boblipton13 October 2020
    In this American TV-movie version of a 1970s Japanese scifi TV series, three visitors from modern Japan -- a woman, a boy and a girl -- find themselves in a future which is almost exactly like our time, except that intelligent gorillas are in charge. They meet a lone man who struggles to carry out a solitary existence, and there's a flying saucer that shows up occasionally to act as Deus Ex Machina.

    How did they get there? It's unclear. How will they get back? No idea. What can they do to survive? Well, not much, except the boy occasionally helps to divert attention while the man sneaks around to clobber them. There's a subplot about the military ape leader wanting to kill the human man because he thinks the man killed his wife and son. Otherwise, the only noteworthy thing about it is the sheer number of ape costumes on display. Even for the kid's adventure show it apparently was at some point, awful.
  • sdsungod14 November 2013
    This movie is about a little boy who doesn't care and his whiny older sister. The boy's uncle is a scientist with a grossly incompetent but somewhat attractive research assistant who reacts to an earthquake by cryogenically freezing herself and the two children, and they wake up in the TIME OF THE APES! There are a bunch of guys in ape masks that don't cover their necks or the area around their obviously human eyes, and the mouth of the masks don't move when the "apes" speak. I think they developed a complex system of telepathy that directly implants their thoughts into the viewer's head. Because their mouths don't move, this is the only plausible explanation. The humans meet a guy who mentions someone named "Som Boombas" or "Some Boombox" or something like that, who is never mentioned again throughout the rest of the film.

    I kept waiting for Charlton Heston to appear and say "Take your filthy paws off me, you Damn Dirty Ape!" but that didn't happen in this movie.
  • The MST3K version of this movie is wonderfully awful but the movie itself is a real stinker. Having recently watch the original Planet of the Apes with Charleston Heston, this movie really helps you understand why "bright eyes" has such disdain for "you damn bloody apes". Joel and the crew of the Satilite of Love really make this movie one worth watching, the actually movie will leave you just wondering if the dialog can catch up with the plot of the movie, and believe me it is a photo finish where neither one is really the winner. If you like bad science fiction this movie may be for you but if you like hilarious quips and riffs then go for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of this movie and laugh yourself healthy - after all they say laughter is the best medicine. Here's to your good health!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Through a freaky set of circumstances, a woman and two children are accidentally locked in a cryogenic chamber just as an earthquake hits. Once revived, they find themselves in a strange world where apes are in charge. The three soon meet up with a man named Gono who appears to be the only other living human on the planet. If they are to ever find their way back home, the humans must stick together and stay a step ahead of the apes.

    As the story goes, Time of the Apes began its existence as a Japanese television show in 1974. Producer Sandy Frank saw an opportunity and cobbled a few episodes together into this mess of a movie. And a mess it is! The rating I've given Time of the Apes (3/10) is really quite generous given how bad it really is. For example, Frank's plot makes little sense. Important plot points like the flying saucer are never explained. The quality of the ape costumes and make-up is all over the place ranging from acceptable to downright tacky. And even though I realize the dialogue is dubbed, it's horrible. The children come off as especially annoying.

    With that being said, I simply cannot bring myself to rate Time of the Apes any lower. While it may not be very good, it is interesting to see the Japanese take on Planet of the Apes. It's one of the most surreal examples of film-making I've seen recently. In addition, there were a few instances during the movie that I found fairly entertaining. Unfortunately, these moments were too few and far between.

    Time of the Apes is another movie that I watched courtesy of MST3K. The riffs from Joel and the Bots are pretty hit and miss – some are quite funny while others just miss their mark. On my MST3K rating scale, I give this episode a 3/5 – A wishy-washy average rating.
  • This film was really wacky... in a good way. Probably not good for normal people to watch, but I enjoyed it :). It was really surreal... especially since the dub job was done by people who did the dub for Dominion Tank Police.

    Maybe it would be really cool if they did an anime of it. It did have an anime feel to it.
  • hongo-32 January 2005
    I also watched this on mst3k and this has to be the worst movie i have seen in my life...horrible acting, even worse editing, hate-able characters and terrible costume design. The plot is just plain stupid: A nanny and 2 children get frozen cryogenic-ally and sent back through time to some strange age where the planet is ruled by apes(sound familiar?). From there they meet another human(ring a bell yet?) and try to escape the planet(which basically consists of them running around from one side to the other). The problem with this is that it really doesn't give you the idea that they know what they're doing, since they're pretty much being followed by apes the whole time. Also, they're a flying saucer floating around at random times(don't ask why). Also, this was originally a TV series which simply got put together into a movie, so you're gonna see lots of parts that just jump to something else and you'll be left wondering: "wtf happened here". Another serious downer is the names picked up...who would believe Japanese people to be called Johnny or Catherine?

    Honestly, these are the times i wish the IMDb system had a 0 rating...
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