In Celebration of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, We Revisit our Classic “APEMANIA” Beyond the Marquee WebSeries Episode!

With the new “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” episode hitting theaters this Friday, we thought we’d harken back and do our own Throwback Thursday to one of our very first Beyond the Marquee episodes from November 2011. BTM Founder and Creative Director; Steve Czarnecki, a huge fan of the Original Planet of the Apes film saga, paid a visit to Hollywood make-up artist Brian Penikas who when not applying make-up and prosthetics to A-listers on movie sets, he channels his own passion for the Planet of the Apes movies into his side company, APEMANIA. APEMANIA is a creative outlet for those wanting to be CosPlaying Chimps, have a passion for film accurate Prop and Costume Replicas and a place where restorations of original masks from the original films take place. With a VIP invite to tour Brian’s studio and an offer to be put into the makeup chair to undergo a man to ape transformation, this was one assignment Steve could not turn down.

Check out the video above and read ahead for a re-post of Steve Czarnecki’s original post about APEMANIA from November 23rd, 2011 


The members of APEMANIA

Nowadays it’s not uncommon to find groups of devoted fans dressing up in legions to support their favorite TV show or movie at conventions of various types around the world. Whether it’s Star Wars, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Superheroes or Anime characters, coz-play and re-enactment groups have undisputedly grown in popularity. One unique group who stand out amongst the crowd is Hollywood make-up artist Brian Penikas and his Planet of the Apes enthusiasts, which make up the troupe called APEMANIA.

As a kid growing up, I hold fond memories of spending weekends watching sci-fi TV shows and movies with my dad. These show’s transported us into other imaginative and amazing worlds, from Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Logan’s Run and my favorite of them all; Planet of the Apes. Over the past 30 years I’ve proven my simian allegiance by wearing out countless copies of VHS and DVD’s of the films and TV series, as well playing to death the motion picture soundtracks on both cassette and CD. When Beyond the Marquee was invited to visit Brian Penikas at his special effects lab to chat about his involvement with APEMANIA (who just turned 15 this year), I didn’t hesitate for a moment to make an Ape-pointment to go check it out.

During the early 70’s, in an era when most kids in junior high would have been experimenting with smoking and drinking, Penikas, a huge fan of the Planet of the Apes saga, ended up experimenting with prosthetic make-up, prop and costume making. This planted the seed, which in year’s to follow influenced Brian to pursue a career in special effects make-up and design. by the time he got out of high school, he had a portfolio good enough to show other makeup artists. “I sent stuff out and people started calling and recommending me,” Penikas said. “That’s how I got my foot in the door.”



APEMANIA is an incredible collaborative effort put on by professional make-up artist’s actors, costumers and hair stylists as well as non-industry enthusiasts all with one common interest, Planet of the Apes. Special attention is paid to all aspects of each APEMANIA character from make-up, costumes and even hand props. The team goes that extra mile to recreate as much detail from the original film characters to make the APEMANIA versions as accurate as possible.

The attention to detail shown by APEMANIA in their make-up, costumes and props has led in turn to a business selling highly accurate recreations of ape costumes and simian make-over kits. All which can be found on their website;



APEMANIA invades E3


In the late 90’s, FOX Studios were so impressed with the troupe that they have contracted APEMANIA ever since for tradeshows, Planet of the Apes anniversary events and have used their cast members for motion-capture and voice-over work for various Planet of the Apes media projects.


Brian puts the finishing touches on “the Creeper” from the Jeepers Creepers movies


When Brian, the “Chief Defender of the Glue and the Paint” (it’s a reference to the original Planet of the Apes) for his APEMANIA group is not monkeying around, he currently is Creative Director for a company he helped to create called Make-up & Monsters Studios. They have worked on some of the biggest films and with some of the biggest names in Hollywood over the years. Some of his credits include Galaxy Quest, Gremlins 2, Austin Powers 2, Jeepers Creepers and the last 3 Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Penikas and his company were nominated for “Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special” for their work on the AMC hit-drama “Mad Men.”


Special Effects Make-Up Artist Brian Penikas and Beyond the Marquee Host Steve Czarnecki

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