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Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Beneath the Planet of the Apes – 1970
The bizarre world you met in ‘Planet of the Apes’ was only the beginning…
that lies beneath may be the end!

Ted Post

Pierre Boulle
Mort Abrahams
Paul Dehn

Mort Abrahams
Arthur P. Jacobs

James Franciscus – Brent
Kim Hunter – Zira
Maurice Evans – Dr. Zaius
Linda Harrison – Nova
Paul Richards – Mendez
Victor Buono – Fat man
James Gregory – Ursus
Jeff Corey – Caspay
Natalie Trundy – Albina
Thomas Gomez – Minister
David Watson – Cornelius
Don Pedro Colley – Negro
Tod Andrews – Skipper
Gregory Sierra – Verger
Eldon Burke – Gorilla sergeant
Charlton Heston – Taylor
Lou Wagner – Lucius
James Bacon – Ape
Paul Frees – Ending voice-over
Roddy McDowall – Cornelius

Review by Theo Robertson

Slightly Strange Sequel,

There are two possible reasons you can criticise BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES . First of all by playing it safe and have Brent go through the same sort of plot that happened to Taylor in the first movie then (Second possible criticism) have the film mutate (Geddit?) into something rather different from the first half of the story. I don’t know if it’s just me but the second half of this seventies film has an entirely different feel from the rest of the franchise. It’s by no means a bad thing because I really did enjoy this bleak downbeat twist of a mutant kamikaze karaoke sing-along, though no doubt a lot of reviewers seem to hate it.

I actually saw this at the cinema a few months before PLANET OF THE APES premiered on British television, which meant my enjoyment of the shock ending of the original was spoiled slightly. Let that be a warning to you – Never watch a film franchise out of order. And never EVER let mutant humans write hymns!

Review by Zetes

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Much better than I had expected,
As an avid fan of the original Planet of the Apes, I had always avoided the sequels (though unfortunately not the remake), thinking they’d be so cheesy that they would harm the greatness of the original. I finally got around to the first sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and, frankly, I’m surprised at how good it is. I’m a big fan of corny ’70s sci-fi anyway, and Beneath is certainly cheaper and goofier than the original. But its themes and ideas are surprisingly intelligent, and it creates suspense and excitement very well. It also expands the mythology of its universe, which is always a positive to geeks like myself.

I’d say the only big faults are the much smaller budget, which causes the ape makeup to appear much less convincing than it originally was, and the casting of a Charlton Heston impersonator to play the lead. The story is that James Franciscus is another astronaut looking for Heston and his crew. And since he eventually does find Heston, I don’t understand why they wanted someone who looked so much like their original star.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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