Sunday, April 6, 2008

"Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

Yesterday, Charlton Heston passed on from our lowly ape-like existence to take his seat in the pantheon of the Gods! In my heart, I know Charlton is sitting next to Moses, Marc Antony, King Henry, Michelangelo, Roddy McDowell, and Hay-Zeus himself - sipping two fingers of whiskey, smoking a cigarillo, wearing a kerchief around his neck to wipe his brow, and pontificating about how MAN has LOST HIS WAY on that GOD-FORSAKEN ROCK KNOWN AS EARTH!

Although I had a hard time with his gun rights activism, Chuck greatly influenced my life as a young TV watcher growing up in the seventies. My parents knew Heston from the biblical and Roman films of the 50's and 60's. I knew him as the master of the Apocalypse! Seared into my brain are the quasi-sci-fi images of Charlton fleeing from a planet gone MAD with APES, fighting off diseased night-zombies while playing chess with a bust of Caesar, and arresting future-worlders for strawberry contraband, all while RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE THAT MAN BUILT! SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE, DAMMIT!

No one provided the kind of Saturday matinee TV gravitas that Heston so easily whipped-up. Only Heston could pull off the, "I'm the last man on Earth, but I'm going to drive around in this convertible muscle car on the deserted streets of Los Angeles, use my blood as an antidote to cure this hot African-American zombie, and SHOOT ANYONE WHO ATTEMPTS TO ENTER MY BARB-WIRE ENCRUSTED COMPOUND!"

Charlton, I celebrate your body of work. You will be missed. Rest in DAMN peace!

1 comment:

Miles Inada said...

Impossible to imagine my life without a giant man in a loin cloth raving about humanity to a mute woman in a fur bikini and a perfectly realized talking orangutan.