|Pretty rad oblong poster for Ted Post's Beneath the Planet of the Apes|
Beneath the Planet of the Apes is the first sequel to Franklin J. Schaffner's science fiction masterpiece Planet of the Apes (1968). It is not as successful or innovative as its predecessor, but Beneath is still solid entertainment.
Both effects and the action elements have been upped, and yet the debate-elements in the original's storyline are also intact, this time in the forms of war-loving, brutal gorillas, protesting chimpanzees, the simians' special culture surrounding violence against women. - And then there's the extremist, bomb-worshipping mutants. All in all Beneath has a lot of 'stuff' in it, for a lack of better words, to spur thoughts and parallels to the real world, making it successful SF, (if not as revolutionizing as the original.)
The story about Charlton Heston's (Ben Hur (1959)) character from the first movie, Taylor, who now has to be saved 2000 years out into the future is a little thin, and the mutants are a bit far-fetched. But their pastel colored costumes are prime kitsch, and I bought into the story anyway.
It is directed by Ted Post (Magnum Force (1973)), since Schaffner was unavailable for the job.
James Franciscus (The Cat O'Nine Tails (1971)) is the new hero, - cast because of his resemblance to Heston, - and he is a woolly, poor hero. But then Heston reappears!
SPOILER The ending, in which Heston's Taylor blows up planet Earth, is quite something, and in great alignment with the dystopic end of the original.
James Franciscus: The Cat O'Nine Tails (1971) - Solid genetics-themed giallo murder puzzle
Charlton Heston: 55 Days at Peking (1963) or, Peking in 1900
Kim Hunter and James Franciscus are photogenic and sexy as human prisoners in Beneath the Planet of the Apes
The trailer largely consists of footage from the original movie, but do not be fooled. - Though criticized by most critics, Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a good film
Budget: 4.6 mil. $
Box office: 18.9 mil. $
= Success (which helped buoy a then suffering Fox)
Getting excited about the next movie in the new Apes-franchise?
Different feelings about Beneath the Planet of the Apes?