Reviewer's Rating 2 out of 5   User Rating 3 out of 5
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

The end of "Planet of the Apes" is so good that this sequel starts by repeating the famous last sequence, after which Charlton Heston disappears underground before a bemused Linda Harrison. She hasn't long to wait though for a look-a-like companion, as James Franciscus turns up (having landed on the planet in search of Heston) to join her for this disappointing film.

Franciscus stumbles upon a cave and his discovery of an underground band of mutant humans provides for some exciting tension.

Predictably, these mutant humans have little affection for the apes that now rule above, and have plans to destroy them using their nuclear bomb, which they also happen to worship. The potential here is for a rousing adventure film, but unfortunately the film-makers choose to concentrate on the blessed bomb.

This is where things just get silly as the bomb takes centre stage and the script becomes filled with empty moralising, spouted by the increasingly irritating mutants. Franciscus wrestles with the muddled story as well as he can, but he never really gets to play the hero that Heston did as Taylor. As the apes close in and the mutants squeal their annoying noises, it's hard to care which side wins or loses, and that is a great disappointment after the excitement of the first film.

Read reviews of all the "Ape" films.

See our "Planet of the Apes" mini-site.

End Credits

Director: Ted Post

Writer: Paul Dehn

Stars: James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, James Gregory, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison, Charlton Heston, Victor Buono, Paul Richards, Thomas Gomez

Genre: Classic

Length: 95 minutes

Cinema: 1970

VHS: 25 January 1999

Country: UK

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