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->'''Johnny:''' No!...I don't wanna be killed by a monkey![[note]]'''Crow:''' ''(as Johnny)'' I want to die by my own hand![[/note]]

''Time of the Apes'' was cobbled together from bits and pieces of a 1974 Japanese [[LiveActionTVTropes TV series]] from ''Series/{{Ultraman}}'' creators Creator/TsuburayaProductions -- ''SF Drama: Saru no Gundan'' (SFドラマ 猿の軍団, "Army of Apes: A Sci-Fi Drama). The series ran for 26 episodes and did not meet with much enthusiasm, not even from its "home crowd" in Japan. In 1987, enter Sandy Frank: buyer, producer, and importer of all manner of Japanese crap cinema. Sandy purchases the 26 episodes, gets rid of all but 4 or 5 of them, and [[CompilationMovie splices bits and pieces from these remaining episodes into a film. Kind of like a]] [[IncrediblyLamePun Sandy Frankenstein monster]] [[CompilationMovie pieced together from garage sale leftovers.]] This film [[FollowTheLeader capitalized]] on the ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' series. Though obviously (sometimes ''painfully'') Japanese, the dubbed version gives the characters [[CulturalTranslation English names]].

The children Johnny (Masaaki Kaji) and Caroline (Hiroko Saito) travel to visit the laboratory of Johnny's uncle. There they are given a tour by young female lab assistant Catherine (Reiko Tokunaga) and get to see the lab's cryogenic chambers. Unfortunately a severe earthquake strikes. Catherine, Caroline, and Johnny take shelter in the nearest available cryogenic chambers, which then activate when a rock falls on the on switch. They awaken in another time populated by a militaristic ape society, the outward appearance of which is similar to 20th Century Earth; the apes drive 20th century automobiles such as Buicks and Jeeps, carry M1 Carbine rifles, and wear Civil War era and 1970's clothing.

The plot then turns into a cat-and-mouse game. After escaping the apes, the protagonists are pursued into a booby-trap laden jungle area known as "Green Mountain." A human in hiding, Godo (Tetsuya Ushio), helps them escape from the apes. A hermit, Godo knows little about his own background or other humans in the world, but is well-known to the apes as a fearsome warrior.

As they struggle against the apes in a series of never-ending chases, a flying saucer appears at key moments without explanation. At one point, the beings in the saucer appear to communicate telepathically with Catherine, who reveals that the saucer belongs to another society known as the UCOMM, a group at odds with the ape society. UCOMM also seems to hold the key to their efforts to get back to the 20th Century.

For the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' versions, please go to the [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S03E06TimeOfTheApes episode recap page]].

!!''Time of the Apes'' has examples of:

* AerithAndBob: We get Catherine, Johnny, and Caroline (changed for the dub) alongside Godo, Pepe, and Gebar (actually the original names).
* AirVentPassageway: The air vent in the movie is only big enough for a small kid.
* TheAllegedCar: The Commander's car which looks a little beat up.
* AmbiguousGender: Pepe; her gender wasn't even revealed until the last third of the movie.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Johnny, though he's not actually related to the other two.
%%* {{Archenemy}}: Gebar.
%%* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: The Commander.
%%* BadBoss: Gebar.
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: The opening credits have stock pictures that have little to do with the movie.
%%* BigEater: Johnny.
* {{Catchphrase}}: Averted with Johnny's "I don't care!" line. He only says it once, but in such an obnoxiously condescending way that the guys at ''Mystery Science Theater 3000'' turned it into a RunningGag. People introduced to this film via ''MST3K'' end up thinking Johnny says this far more often than he actually does.
%%* CheapCostume: The ape masks.
* CompilationMovie: This was butchered from a 26 episode TV series to make a TV movie. It's bound to be rather confusing at many points.
* CynicismCatalyst: Gebar's wife and son; he believes that Godo was responsible for killing them, though their deaths were actually an accident.
%%* {{Determinator}}: Gebar.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Godo using a PaperThinDisguise.
%%* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Caroline, Catherine.
%%* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys
* FollowTheLeader: Inspired by the popularity of ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' in Japan.
%%* ForbiddenZone: Green Mountain.
* HongKongDub: It's easier to swallow the dubbing for the apes, since the lips don't really move much.
%%* InherentlyFunnyWords: Honestly, "Gebar".
%%* InspectorJavert: Gebar.
%%* ItsAllMyFault: Gebar realizes this in the harshest way possible.
* TheLoad: Johnny. As if to unintentionally {{lampshade|Hanging}} it, the dub has him respond to a warning about heading into danger [[TooDumbToLive with this line]]:
-->'''Johnny:''' "I don't care!"
* MindScrew: When you chop up a 26-episode TV show into an hour and a half long movie, you're bound to make things way more confusing than they need to be. Say what you will about the original show, at least it made a bare minimum of sense.
* MrFanservice: Godo is quite pretty, especially after he shaves.
* MysteriousWatcher: The flying saucer.
%%* NiceHat: Gebar's helmet.
* NoNewFashionsInTheFuture: 70's style clothes look bad on people, just imagine those clothes on apes with crappy masks.
%%* NoPeripheralVision
%%* OlderSidekick: Godo.
%%* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The Commander.
%%* PluckyComicRelief: Johnny.
%%* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: The Commander.
** BewareTheNiceOnes: He also threatens to kill the heroes if they step out of line.
%%* TeamMom: Kazuko/Catherine.
* TechnoBabble: The explanation about the time travel but it sounds like Dr. Lee at the end is pulling this out of his ass.
* TooDumbToLive: Johnny, Johnny, Johnny... You're not 6 feet tall and made of muscle...
-->'''Johnny''': With this knife, I'm not scared of anyone!
** He also threatens to kill the apes even though he's tied up and they have big guns.
%%* UnfortunateNames: Gebar.
* VillainousBreakdown: After he fails to kill Godo again, Gebar simply resorts to begging the UFO to just let him kill the human. Then it reveals that he killed his own child, and is [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone reduced to a sobbing mess]].
* WhipItGood: Gebar's electrical whip.
%%* {{Zoom}}: Done to an absurd degree.