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Planet of the Apes dvd-thumb-375x370When I first heard about the “ape head” packaging for the new Planet of the Apes box set I couldn’t wait to get my stinkin’ paws on one of those damn dirty apes.

It is the most unusual and disturbing DVD cases ever made. Unusual because it is an almost life size bust modeled after Roddy McDowall’s stylized chimpanzee makeup for the original Planet Of The Apes, complete with lifelike hair. Disturbing because I swear the eyes of the thing follow me around the room.

Hidden under a flap on the back of the ape head is a pouch containing fourteen DVDs, the entire Apes oeuvre on disc. Included are all five original movies (1968-1973), the complete series of the Planet of the Apes (1974) TV Show and the never-before-released Saturday Morning Cartoon TV series: Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975) as well as Tim Burton’s 2001 re-imagining of the Planet of the Apes mythology.

The original movie, starring Charlton Heston, holds up quite well, and features social commentary that still seems as relevant today as when Michael Wilson and Rod Serling wrote it in the late 1960s. The twist ending has been parodied a million times, most famously as a musical number on The Simpsons, but still packs a punch. The four sequels offer up varying levels of quality, and are kind of a lesson in diminishing returns, but are worth a look. The live-action television show and the crudely animated cartoon series are curiosities with nostalgia appeal and perfect for Apes completionists.

The “ape head” collection will set you back about $250, and only 2,000 will be available in Canada.

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