Beneath the Planet of the Apes

“May the blessing of the Bomb Almighty and the fellowship of the Holy Fallout descend on us all this day and forevermore.”

With the success of the first Planet of the Apes film, 20th Century Fox rushed a sequel into production, something that was usually reserved for b-run serials. That first film, however, was a good crossover property – it had the genre elements but was made on an A-list level. That gave Fox the confidence that a sequel could work. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Planet of the Apes series with Ted Post’s 1970 film, Beneath the Planet of the Apes

We talk about how well this film works – or doesn’t – as a followup to the first film and why it still stands out as a fun film to watch, at least for Andy. We look at how the story became what it was and why it ended up getting made at the budget level it was. We chat about our many problems with the story and debate if they’re intrinsic to the script or were partially caused by the lack of a budget. We chat about the cast – notably the new faces of James Franciscus, James Gregory, David Watson and the actors playing the underground mutants – and look at what they’re bringing to the table. We discuss the film’s messages and wonder if any of them are as strongly portrayed as the ones in the first film. And we deliberate on the crew, particularly the camerawork of Milton R. Krasner and the music of Leonard Rosenman, not to mention the mutant faces created by John Chambers. 

It’s an interesting entry into the franchise and certainly leaves us wondering how they can make a sequel. Regardless, it’s a fun one to talk about, so tune in to this week’s show! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

Film Sundries

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