BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES
1970, 20th Century Fox, 94 min, USA, Dir: Ted Post

Three years before he directed the most somber of the DIRTY HARRY sequels, MAGNUM FORCE, reliable craftsman Ted Post took a similar approach to the second - and scariest - entry in the PLANET OF THE APES franchise. Astronaut Brent (James Franciscus), on a rescue mission looking for Taylor (Charlton Heston), finds himself caught between apes determined to wipe out humanity and a subterranean cult of H-bomb-worshipping mutants. It’s a premise that leaves little room for hope, but Post energizes the material with riveting action sequences. The result is an underrated combination of stylish adventure and bleak philosophy that seems timelier than ever in its examination of man’s terrifying potential for self-annihilation. Co-starring Kim Hunter, Linda Harrison, Maurice Evans.


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