Planet of the Apes fans will be thrilled to know that the re-enactment / parody troupe Apemania now has its own Website up and running on the Internet at APEMANIA.COM.
Collectors and movie buffs alike can find just about anything “Planet of the Apes” on this site. This virtual smorgasbord of Ape collectibles has it all: original Planet of Apes movie costumes and props, memorabilia, a truly remarkable collection of licensed replica costumes, prosthetic make-ups, better than “museum quality” display mannequins, and even full-size replicas of the Great Lawgiver statue in all its "nine footed” sandstone glory. A true treasure chest for the serious Planet of the Apes fan.
In addition to all the great simian merchandise available on Apemania.com , pages such as the “Arts & Crafts Gallery” and the “Virtual Museum” also offer fans the opportunity to “post and boast” about their own collections and creative talents. The“Junior G-Man” page, (“G” for Gorilla), begs to recruit fans from all over the world with photos and stories of their own experiences attempting Planet of the Apes make-ups on themselves and friends. There are also Interview & Tribute pages where fans can read stories told by cast and crew members of the original Planet of the Apes saga. Better yet, visitors will find access to living, breathing, Planet of the Apes characters there as well! And that is the main reason for the birth of this site in the first place.
When one thinks of re-enactment groups, the tired-out, same-old renassance /medieval and Civil War themes are what come to mind, but not cinema simians. However, when a group of Planet of the Apes characters invades an event, it is an absolutely fascinating experience like no other to behold. And the APEMANIA troupe is unlike any impersonation or re-enactment you have ever seen.
The passion and brainchild of Hollywood make-up artist Brian Penikas, the APEMANIA troupe is a collaborative effort by professional actors, costumers, make-up artists, and hair stylists as well as non-industry enthusiasts all with one common interest, Planet of the Apes.
Penikas, a 19 year film veteran now in his mid-30's, was so inspired by the Planet of the Apes saga when he was a boy, he became a make-up artist because of the ape's influence.
During their high school years, Brian and his friends were always dressing up as the apes for fun, experimenting with prosthetic make-up and costume making along the way. Now, some 20 years later, they are back at it again, choosing the name "APEMANIA" (a name parody of the old Broadway show "Beatlemania") making public, movie, and tv Ape-earances, recreating the characters from the legendary film saga.
Special attention is paid to all aspects of each APEMANIA character;
make-ups, costumes, even hand props. The team goes that extra mile to recreate
as much from the original film characters to make the APEMANIA versions as accurate as possible. "Everyone in the group is a fan to begin with," Penikas explains, "and at times we can get pretty anal about 'the details' (ask me about the whistles sometime). If we can satisfy ourselves as fans, we can rest assured that other die-hard ape fanatics will have a good time with our results too! Or at least we hope so."
Out of the dozens of events the group has participated in since it’s resurrection in 1996, two meaningful occasions standout: the surprise 75th birthday party for Planet of the Apes make-up mastermind John Chambers, and the star-studded 30th Anniversary Party and screening of Planet of the Apes held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California. Penikas says, “Being able to pay tribute to, poke fun at, and party with original cast and crew members during these events has really made me feel good that I have been able to give something back to the people and craftspersons responsible for influencing my life and career with what they did 30 years ago. To all the people who created Planet of the Apes, "APEMANIA" is my way of saying 'thank you'! It’s also just a lot of good clean fun!"
FOX Interactive was so impressed with the troupe, they have contracted them for tradeshows and are now using APEMANIA cast members for motion capture and voice-over work on the upcoming Planet of the Apes CD-Rom game. Photo galleries are posted on the APEMANIA website so that fans everywhere can share in all of the group’s on going exploits.
“It simply amazes me how popular Planet of the Apes still is with people. When we first started fooling around with the apes again back in ‘96, I had no idea that people would actually track us down to book us for events and I certainly had no idea that it would snowball into all that it has become with a website and a line of merchandise and all. It’s really amazing and it is a true testament to the longevity of the unique characters and social impact of the original films.”
What originally was intended to be a one-time whimsical idea to crash a high school reunion cocktail party aboard a cruise ship back in 1996, has grown to an on-going, on-call, "have Ape will travel" entertainment service, with more and more requests for the APEMANIA cast's participation in assorted events coming in each week.
As long as there remains an interested audience, APEMANIA will eagerly answer the call to arms, hairy as they may be!
To inquire about booking the APEMANIA troupe for your event,
contact Brian Penikas at:
Make-up & Monsters Studios
c/o 21115 Devonshire Street, #109
Chatsworth, California 91311
(818) 886-MKUP (6587) Office
(818) 709-MKUP (6587) FAX
(818) 576-0739 APEMANIA HOTLINE