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.


PLANET OF THE APES
1968, 20th Century Fox, 119 min, USA, Dir: Franklin Schaffner

One of the greatest modern sci-fi films, a combination of apocalyptic action and evolutionary parable. Astronaut Charlton Heston finds himself stranded on a strangely familiar world dominated by highly intelligent gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans.


SUPER 8
2011, Paramount, 112 min, USA, Dir: J.J. Abrams

It is summer 1979, and middle-schooler Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) and his group of friends in small-town Ohio are shooting a Super 8 film when they witness a catastrophic train crash. The pre-teens suspect the crash may not have been an accident when unusual disappearances and unsettling events begin to beset the town, and Joe’s father, local Deputy Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler), initiates a mission to uncover the truth. STAND BY ME meets Spielbergian sci-fi action in this coming-of-age gem from director J.J. Abrams (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III, STAR TREK). With Elle Fanning.


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