Seduction Cinema // 2002 // 89 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Gordon Sullivan // April 18th, 2012
An ultra-erotic sci-fi adventure that takes you deep into the "Forbidden Zone"
I think I've finally figured it out: the folks at Seduction Cinemas release two kinds of movies. There are those flicks that ape basic genre fare (like Bikini Girls on Dinosaur Planet) and those that target more specific films for parody. Within the parodies, the folks at Seduction either parody "straight" films like Lord of the G-String or An Erotic Werewolf in London, or they parody funny films like Cloak and Shag Her. The most successful, by far, are the spoofs of serious films. Their generic parodies (like Bikini Girls on Dinosaur Planet) aren't really funny, and their parodies of parodies (like Cloak and Shag Her) just repeat the jokes the original made. However, with a serious film in their sights, the folks at Seduction Cinema can make effective erotic parody, inserting lesbian loving into the plots. In that regard, Play-Mate of the Apes succeeds in skewering recent Apes flicks while offering some naked soft-core sexiness for viewers.
Just like the original Planet of the Apes (and Tim Burton's remake for that matter), we're looking at a scientist (Misty Mundae, Spiderbabe) landing on a random planet where some sentient ape-like creatures rule. Of course in this film the scientist lands with some lesbian crewmates. When she meets the head of the resistance against the apes, she's also a lesbian. Of course, all these lesbians have to overthrow the evil apes.
In terms of lesbian loving, this is a typical Seduction Cinemas flick. They've got their usual stable of ladies, including Misty Mundae, Darian Caine, and Anushka. They get it on with lots of aplomb, including copious nudity above the waist and lots of simulated stuff below. No, this is not art, but for those looking for some soft-core sex that doesn't involve a guy, Playmate of the Apes will fit the bill. More importantly for genre fans, Seduction Cinemas adds the ever-talented Debbie Rochon to the cast (as an ape, sadly, so she's saddled with a mask based on the original Planet of the Apes masks). She also apparently contributed some writing, if IMDb is to be believed. In any case, her work ethic and on-screen persona bring a level of professionalism and style that is often lacking in these low-budget lesbian adventures. The flick is worth recommending on Debbie's strength alone, if you're into that kind of thing.
Aside from the sex, Play-Mate of the Apes is in the same place so many erotic features (low-budget or not) find themselves in: while the characters are going at it, the narrative is not moving forward. Thus, the more successful a film is as an erotic spectacle, the less it has to offer in the narrative department. Similarly, if a film is running on all its narrative cylinders it doesn't have time to put on the brakes for a bit of nudity. The same is true of Playmate of the Apes. Because of the frequent sex scenes, there really isn't much emphasis on narrative continuity or traditional storytelling.
What saves Play-Mate in this regard is the sheer familiarity of the Planet of the Apes storyline. We know what to expect and don't have to worry about getting lost when Misty takes off her clothes yet again, or the film cuts to an unrelated scene of two minor characters getting it on. More importantly, the film is basically willing to be a collection of sex scenes interspersed with a bunch of spoofs of other films. Thus, fans will detect homages to the original Planet of the Apes and Tim Burton's remake. We even get a sort of Charlton Heston impression by Misty Mundae. Though the gags aren't the height of comedy, they show an attention to detail towards the originals that fans will appreciate, and they're just funny enough to keep the ball rolling.
Like other Seduction Cinema releases, Play-Mate of the Apes looks as good as you'd expect from a film recorded on cheap video. Detail isn't impressive, colors are weird, and black levels not that great. However, that's the fault of the source, not this transfer. Similarly, the audio is okay. Dialogue is generally audible, if a bit all over the place. Extras include a bunch of interviews with the actresses (including a few sans clothing), a making-of featurette, and a pair of trailers (which ultimately are more entertaining the than the feature).
There's nothing redeemable about Play-Mate of the Apes. It's cheap and cheesy, and if you're not willing to love it for those qualities, then this flick is not for you.
A final shout-out to the sweet spaceship CGI that opens the film -- Play-Mate of the Apes knows that it gets by on having nubile women get naked regularly. If that's what you're looking for, the flick delivers.
Guilty, of course.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Seduction Cinema
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated