Charlton ‘Chuck’ Heston (real name John Charles Carter) wasn’t the greatest of actors, but could be surprisingly serviceable in decent roles. Aside from his early penchant for starring in some rather tedious Biblical epics*, Chuck carved out a quite niche for himself in an unofficial sextet of Apocalyptic movies. Septet if you include Tim Burton’s lousy POTA remake (2001) where he made a brief appearance.
First up, the most famous of them all is PLANET OF THE APES (1968) where Charlton rocks up on Earth in the year 3978 AD, thinking that it’s another planet outside of our solar system that’s strangely ruled by intelligent apes. But who just happen to speak English! – come on Heston, why didn’t you figure it out earlier?
Then there was his much maligned sequel BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1970) where Chuck returned only on the proviso that he could blow up that world.
Then there’s his THE OMEGA MAN (1971), the second adaptation of Richard Matheson’s 1954 sci-fi novel I Am Legend. The first film adaptation was The Last Man on Earth (1964) which starred Vincent Price. A third adaptation, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith, was released in 2007 and was terrible.
Next in line was SOYLENT GREEN (1973) – Star Date: 2022: peckish for a spot of ‘long pig’?
His next ‘End of Days’ thriller was John Carpenter’s IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994): A classic Lovecraftian horror show:
Then there was his brief appearance in ARMAGEDDON (1998) where Heston narrated the opening of Michael Bay’s overblown meteor flick:
PLANET OF THE APES (2001) – Charlton cameos as Tim Roth’s chimpy Pa:
Although not really noted for his sense of humour, Heston was game enough to play along in this ITV Dame Edna show from 1987:
Syrup** looking a bit dodgy there Chuck.
Speaking of his biblical epics, in the *waspish Ben-Hur co-writer Gore Vidal commented that when he arrived for the filming of the picture:
“all the sets had been built, including Charlton Heston”
**’syrup of figs’ Cockney rhyming slang for a hairpiece/toupee/wig
Heston deftly sends himself up on SNL (1993):
The very funny Phil Hartman rips Chuck (1996):
Did I miss any?