Review Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Doctor Omega

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Your thoughts on this controversial sequel?

A strong continuation of the saga?

Or a misstep?



 
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Doctor Omega

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Funnily enough, this is my favourite sequel, although I strongly like ESCAPE also.

It seems just a little bit mad and then there is that ending!

I like the off-the-wall nihilism of it and the crazy mutants and their organ-accompanied hymns in the church.

Maybe I just like it because, like Alien 3, it seems to go out of it's way to make another sequel impossible. which goes against the grain of most Hollywood crowdpleasers.

It is just different and I like it for it's bleak difference. :emoji_alien:
 

ant-mac

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Funnily enough, this is my favourite sequel, although I strongly like ESCAPE also.
I really enjoy BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, with Brent and Nova searching for Taylor. I also like the underground civilization and the introduction of the mutant Humans. However, I must say that ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES is probably my favourite film of the series.
It seems just a little bit mad and then there is that ending!
"In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe lies a medium-sized star. And one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead."

I love it, but it has to rate as one of the most abrupt, bleak and underplayed ends of the world ever seen in film history. It's a case of "That's it, end of story".
I like the off-the-wall nihilism of it and the crazy mutants and their organ-accompanied hymns in the church.
It stills beats going to church in real life.
Maybe I just like it because, like Alien 3, it seems to go out of it's way to make another sequel impossible. which goes against the grain of most Hollywood crowd-pleasers.
And yet there were sequels to both films. And I enjoyed both films and their sequels.
It is just different and I like it for it's bleak difference.
It's an important film in the series. It's just a shame that the film series didn't end after four films. The fifth one is definitely the weak link...
 

alpha128

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Your thoughts on this controversial sequel?

A strong continuation of the saga?

Or a misstep?
Personally, I think this is one of the better sequels. And in some ways I think it is the most legitimate sequel, since it is the only sequel set on the same Planet of the Apes as the first film. Although they did screw up the year which was, IIRC, 3,978 in the original and 3,955 in "Beneath".
 

ant-mac

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Personally, I think this is one of the better sequels. And in some ways I think it is the most legitimate sequel, since it is the only sequel set on the same Planet of the Apes as the first film. Although they did screw up the year which was, IIRC, 3,978 in the original and 3,955 in "Beneath".
All of the sequels in that film series are equally legitimate. They just vary in quality.
 

alpha128

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All of the sequels in that film series are equally legitimate. They just vary in quality.
I meant legitimate in the sense that, other than "Beneath", none of the other sequels are set on the same "Planet of the Apes" that Taylor (Charlton Heston) visited in the first film.

The rest of sequels are legitimate, but none of them take place on a "Planet of the Apes". In "Escape" the humans are firmly in charge. In "Conquest", despite Caesar's revolt, the humans are still in charge of the planet. In "Battle" things end with apes and humans living together in peace.
 

ant-mac

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I meant legitimate in the sense that, other than "Beneath", none of the other sequels are set on the same "Planet of the Apes" that Taylor (Charlton Heston) visited in the first film.
It is the same PLANET OF THE APES - simply at a different point in time. The entire film series follows a circular trajectory through time. It ends at a similar point in time as when it began.
The rest of sequels are legitimate, but none of them take place on a "Planet of the Apes". In "Escape" the humans are firmly in charge. In "Conquest", despite Caesar's revolt, the humans are still in charge of the planet. In "Battle" things end with apes and humans living together in peace.
They are all set on a PLANET OF THE APES.

ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES is the genesis. There are only the "Adam" and "Eve" of the future.

CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES shows a greatly expanded PLANET OF THE APES, where they are present in one capacity or another in almost every important area of civilization.

BATTLE OF THE PLANET OF TH APES shows a world that would be recognizable to the inhabitants of the original film. The Apes are in charge, the Humans are under their control and there is a threat from the mutants. By the very end of the film, which is set at the same time as the opening scene in the first film, it is shown that Apes and Humans have learned to live in peace.

Of course we know that over the next 1 500 years, that situation will degeneration into the circumstances we get to witness in PLANET OF THE APES. All of the films from the series are set on the same PLANET OF THE APES - simply at different times in its evolution.
 

alpha128

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All of the films from the series are set on the same PLANET OF THE APES - simply at different times in its evolution.
You could interpret it that way. However, I would argue that the events of "Beneath"/"Escape" altered the timeline - which Virgil describes in "Battle" as an infinite number of lanes from the past to the future.

In "Escape" Cornelius relates future history where an ape named Aldo was the first ape to speak and say "No!" back to a human. And yet in "Conquest" events unfold differently and Lisa is the first ape to speak and say "No".

"Battle" ends with the Lawgiver teaching a class comprised of ape and human children. Is this really supposed to be the same Lawgiver who is quoted in the first film as writing, "Beware the beast man, for he is the devil's pawn."?
 

ant-mac

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You could interpret it that way. However, I would argue that the events of "Beneath"/"Escape" altered the timeline - which Virgil describes in "Battle" as an infinite number of lanes from the past to the future.
Any alterations where simply minor details. The major events which shaped the overall timeline still occurred.
In "Escape" Cornelius relates future history where an ape named Aldo was the first ape to speak and say "No!" back to a human. And yet in "Conquest" events unfold differently and Lisa is the first ape to speak and say "No".
The important thing was that one day an Ape said, "No" for the first time. Ultimately, the name of the Ape is immaterial. The last time through the temporal cycle, it was a male named Aldo, this time through the temporal cycle, it was a female named Lisa. The next time through the temporal cycle, it might be another Ape - of either gender - called something else. The only thing that really matters is that a day will come when an Ape will say: "No" for the first time.
"Battle" ends with the Lawgiver teaching a class comprised of ape and human children. Is this really supposed to be the same Lawgiver who is quoted in the first film as writing, "Beware the beast man, for he is the devil's pawn."?
Why not?

We don't know what happened 5 minutes after the events which we saw chronicled in that film. Let alone 5 years - or 5 decades for that matter. Just about anything could have happened at some point afterwards and we have no idea how the individual known as "the Lawgiver" might have reacted to it.
 

alpha128

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Why not?

We don't know what happened 5 minutes after the events which we saw chronicled in that film. Let alone 5 years - or 5 decades for that matter. Just about anything could have happened at some point afterwards and we have no idea how the individual known as "the Lawgiver" might have reacted to it.
The Lawgiver of the original POTA had a highly prejudiced attitude against mankind, e.g., "Shun him, for he is the harbinger of death." It seems unlikely to me that same individual could embrace peaceful coexistence with humans at one time, and then hate them so much later.
 

ant-mac

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The Lawgiver of the original POTA had a highly prejudiced attitude against mankind, e.g., "Shun him, for he is the harbinger of death." It seems unlikely to me that same individual could embrace peaceful coexistence with humans at one time, and then hate them so much later.
It is entirely possible.

It simply takes the right circumstances.
 

Doctor Omega

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David Watson had me pretty much fooled as Roddy's discreet replacement though.

An often overlooked performance....

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Doctor Omega

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John Landis on BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES


This surprisingly downbeat first of four sequels remains the most profitable of the Apes series, primarily due to its comparatively low budget. None-too-subtle anti-Vietnam war undertones waft through writer Paul Dehn's‚ subterranean ‚ rehash of the original, enhanced with the addition of nuclear warhead-worshipping‚ mutant heavies.


 
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