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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 (Jiro Sakaki in the Japanese version) (Masaaki Kaji) and Caroline (Yurika in the Japanese version) (Hiroko Saito) travel to visit the laboratory of Johnny's uncle. There they are given a tour by young female lab assistant Catherine (Kazuko Izumi in the Japanese version) (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 (one of the few characters to keep his name intact in the English cut) (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, who opposes Godo under the belief that Godo killed his wife and son.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: The Commander doesn't suffer fools lightly, not being afraid to use his physical strength to enforce hierarchy against Gebar.
** He also floors Godo with a single hit.
* BadBoss: Gebar, who whips his subordinates for the slightest mistake. At one point he actually frags a subordinate who tried to flee in fear of Godo.
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: The opening credits have stock pictures that have little to do with the movie.
* BigEater: Johnny, who tends to take extra helpings for meals.
* {{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 ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' 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, complete with mouths that don't even move.
* 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}}: No matter what, Gebar will not stop until he has avenged his wife and son against Godo.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Godo using a PaperThinDisguise.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Subverted in that the monkeys are running an autocratic dystopian state.
* ForbiddenZone: Green Mountain, where the apes are afraid to go for some reason.
* HongKongDub: It's easier to swallow the dubbing for the apes, since the lips don't really move much.
* InherentlyFunnyWords: Honestly, "[[UnfortunateNames Gebar]]".
* InspectorJavert: Gebar, as a security chief for the ape regime, has a singleminded purpose in chasing Godo, even at the cost of his actual job. [[spoiler: It gets worse when it turns out Godo didn't kill his wife and son. He was ''helping'' them. In fact, Gebar shooting at Godo is what got one of them killed.]]
* 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: Various apes are unable to notice the humans, even in conspicuous locations like through a wooden bridge.
* OlderSidekick: Godo, who is noticeably older than Johnny and Caroline.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The Commander.
* PluckyComicRelief: Johnny, for his witticisms and goofy nature. Almost all of the notable lines come from his dub.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: The Commander, who is actually merciful towards the humans, and tries to see to their comfort. He even tries to appeal to them peacably in the end.
** BewareTheNiceOnes: He also threatens to kill the heroes if they step out of line.
* TeamMom: Kazuko/Catherine, who takes responsibility for the children after they are stranded in the time of the apes.
* 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.
* 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, used to discipline his subordinates for the slightest transgression.
* {{Zoom}}: Done to an absurd degree in numerous scenes.