James Fransiscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison, Charlton Heston, Victor Buono
1970, 95 Minutes, Directed by: Ted Post
Description:This 1970 sequel to Planet
of the Apes continues the original's distant future scenario, pitting
militant apes against mutant humans dwelling in the subterranean ruins of
New York City. —
Suffering from a sense of de ja vu while watching Beneath the
Planet of the Apes? Maybe thats because the film opens with the closing shots of
the first (and superior) Planet of the Apes film. Or maybe its the plot.
When the first Apes movie became an unexpected
success, it was obvious that a sequel had to be made. But how to continue
the story? The best it would seem the screenwriters would come up
with was having another NASA astronaut crash-land on the planet in which
apes are the dominant species and the humans inferior.
The astronaut - played by James Fransiscus, the poor mans Charlton Heston I
suppose who was sent off to find fellow astronaut Heston. However, just as interest
in this premise waivers, the film kicks off into more imaginative territory (literally!
youll see what I mean) when Fransiscus comes into contact with hideous underground mutants who worship an atomic bomb!
Some nice commentary on Cold War MAD-ness (Mutually
Assured Destruction – the "logic" behind having several thousand nuclear
bombs that can destroy the planet several times over to ensure peace) there!
Beneath the Planet of the Apes is considered by some to be the best of the
numerous Planet of Apes sequels, but my personal favorite is the more
imaginative Escape from the Planet of the Apes entry. However, the ideas in Beneath
the Planet of the Apes are still reasonably fresh, the make-up and sets still good.