The Planet Of The Apes Films – Part 2 of 8: Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970)

Riding through the Forbidden Zone – Taylor and Nova encounter walls of fire springing from the the ground. Taylor investigates a nearby cave wall and disappears.

Elsewhere another spaceship crash lands. John Brent is the only survivor. Originally sent out on a mission to find Taylor and his crew, Brent now finds himself in the same situation.

He finds Nova wandering around wearing Taylor’s name tags. They travel to Ape City – and Brent is shocked to find a world ruled by apes.

Brent discovers that General Ursus wants to go into the Forbidden Zone and wipe out the humans once and for all.

After being wounded Brent is taken to Cornelius and Zira who tell him of their encounter with Taylor.

Fleeing capture – Brent escapes into the Forbidden Zone with Nova hoping to find Taylor. Eventually coming across a group of telepathic humans worshipping an unexploded – but still active nuclear bomb.

Ursus and Zaius lead an army into the the zone to carry out their plan of extermination – whilst Cornelius and Zira venture off to find Taylor’s spaceship.

As the chilling secret of the bomb worshipping humans is discovered – Brent will find Taylor and the ultimate fate of the planet will be decided.

Not being a fan of sequels, Charlton Heston opted to take a supporting role in this followup and only appears at the beginning and at the end.

Leading man duties fell to James Franciscus, alongside returnees Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans and Linda Harrison. The film was directed by Ted Post.

It’s a disaster. An utter unmitigated disaster.

Charlton Heston is still good, the mutant make up is creepy and the way the movie ends is a good idea in principle… but this is just BORING.

No more than a cheap B-movie actioner. Nothing to engage the brain.

It’s just trash.

Brent is a boring character with none of Taylor’s cynical charisma. He’s just there to advance the plot showing no real personality of his own. All he really discovers are details we already know.

It’s a shame cause when this movie gets to it’s third act it starts to tell a different kind of story than the original. If some effort was made in exploring some of these concepts a bit more then who knows? Maybe we could have had a classic sequel here. Or even a competent one!

Alas, that was not to be.

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes is one of the worst sequels I have ever seen. A complete and utter waste of time.

The Man Who Saved Movies. Well, that tears it. Maybe we should just let the world blow up. The gorillas, every damned… what it comes to.

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    The legs of the women in these films are not discussed enough in serious academic circles.

  • Mistah Doe

    Not pinning for “Featured Comment” but are you kidding me? Beneath was one of the best sequels of the Apes franchise! The setting was pure dystopia and despite Heston making a cameo appearance, the film carried its own weight thanks to the Mutant cult which unintentionally(?) threw a slight jab at the sheer arrogance and fanaticism of organized religion.Also. ALSO, I give this sequel props for having a ballsy ending that shook the core of my foundation afterwards.

    My biggest gripe in anything would be the sole Black Mutant being credited as “Negro”. WTF FOX?
    I think “Beneath” was influential to some extent that Comics like Kamandi and Deathlok borrowed some of the “set pieces” from this sequel.
    This and CONQUEST are my top favorites. (I had intentions of featuring both in a pre planned “my favorite dystopian films” ages ago but never got around to it.) Keep up the good work, Stu! That being said, i still think you’re wrong about this sequel. 😛

  • KGrimes

    Never noticed before that Heston waxed his chest for the sequel.

  • I can’t see the article for part 1 of the series. Strange. Anyhoo, I’m not a huge fan of the PotA movies. I like the first one a lot but after that it gets hazy.

  • What about Dawn of the Escape from the Battle for Revenge Beneath the Planet of The Apes?