Somewhere in the borderland between Mind-Bendingly Awesome and Flat-Out Terrible lies a world in which Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp exists. This strange series aired on Saturday Mornings from 1970-1972, though I’ve never heard anyone mention watching it ever. And if you were among the many who never watched it, ever, you will probably assume that Lancelot is, like, one chimp operating as a secret agent in a world of humans. You would be wrong. Lancelot Link operates in a chimpcentric universe like some sort of simian Austin Powers.
I am not exaggerating when I use the word chimpcentric. Every character in this psychedelic trip is played by a chimp in full costume mouthing lines dubbed by the likes of The Love Boat’s Bernie Koppel. The series centers on the good vs. evil antics of APE (Agency to Prevent Evil), headed by Lancelot Link, and CHUMP (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan), headed by Baron Von Butcher. Their international exploits demand an impressive array of sets and costumes. Naturally, psychedelic musical numbers are interspersed amongst the action sequences. What’s more, the series spawned a soundtrack that must have been awesome.
If all of this doesn’t leave you wanting to rush right out and buy a copy of Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp, perhaps you will be compelled to make the purchase knowing that the proceeds from this DVD collection will go to Lancelot’s retirement home – Los Angeles’ Wildlife Waystation. Chances are you won’t be moved by the content alone.
Bonus features include an interviews with producer Allan Sandler and musical director Bob Emenegger, the “I Created Lancelot Link” documentary by Jeff Krulki and Diane Bernard, footage of Lancelot Link and Allan Sandler from 2011, a slideshow of pictures and stills provided by Allan Sandler and LIFE Magazine, and the complete Evolution Revolution vignettes and “Chimpies”. This swingin’ collector’s edition also comes with a rock-n-roll postcard. Wow!