Maybe We Should Just Let the World Blow Up: Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)


“Well, that tears it. Maybe we should just let the world blow up. The gorillas, every damned… what it comes to.Maybe we should just let the world blow up. The gorillas, every d*****… what it comes to.”

So to be 100% honest I have not seen this movie in over 20 years.

What’s the heck?

Yes, while I can watch the first film over and over again and the others there are two BIG reasons why I have not watched this film again:

1) It was missing Charlton Heston. If my memory serves me right, he’s barely even in the film, just a blimp in the beginning and end.

He is why most if us are watching!

2) THIS FILM FAAAA-REAKED ME OUT! OH MYGoodness. This movie gave me nightmares-the part when they rip their skin off and the girl with the ponytail-ghdshtfgfdfmxhngbcvffz bvhfcgcg FAAAA-REAKED me out!

When I was a child Dante’s Peak was the number one scary film to me (there is a small volcanic range where I live and I was convinced after watching that movie it was going to erupt-plus thaat scene with the grandma) and then it was this one.

But I have really wanted to watch (and review) all of these in order so I will face my fears and rewatch this film. After all it has been 20 years, I’m sure it will be no big deal. Right?

In fact I have to watch our old VHS as the library has the full set but the person who has this one checked out won’t return it.

Ugh!

So Planet of the Apes was amazing and did wonderful with the box office. But because of some bad financial decisions, and films getting lackluster amounts of money: such as Hello, Dolly! (1969), Star! (1968), and Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970). They needed a win and got it with this one, but severely slashed the budget.

Yes, compared to Planet of the Apes this film has few apes in it, and the apes that are in here-have less than stellar makeup.

Hmm, I don’t know about this…

But it made Fox some serious money and saved the studio.

So our VHS has a trailer of the film before you watch the film. I remember sometimes they had that, but it is so weird to watch it today as they don’t put the trailer of the film before the film.

But it is nice that we get a brief remembrance of where the first film left off. The trailer says this movie will be the “last battle”. Hah, they don’t know that there is a Battle for Planet of the Apes coming. Fingers crossed all goes according to plan it will be posted on October 30th.

Please!

So we start with the ocean waves rolling in, calm. Then Roddy McDowell reading from the Ape Scrolls, pretty much the end of the first film. Taylor and Nova are heading off, following the shoreline with Cornelius and Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) deciding to stay-even though they will face charges of treason.

As they journey, Taylor finds the head of the stature of liberty! They then continue to ride off into the desert and rocks.

We then cut to a crashed and broken spaceship. One man, Brent (James Franciscus), gets out with a first aid kit, trying to help out his fellow cosmonaut, Skipper. But he’s a goner, you can tell.

It is 3955 AD,  according to their time, and the two men were following Taylor. Ah! So someone was listening to his transmissions.

They seem to be in a smaller ship, but have more things and gadgets. Their computer is shot and besides that they know nothing about where or when they are. Skipper dies and Brent is all alone.

At least Taylor had his people for the first leg of the journey-this guy doesn’t know where he is, when he is, where Taylor is, where to go, and is all by himself.

Something on a horse is watching him! Just like in he first one!! But this is a woman.

Its Nova, but where is Taylor? This movie kinda reminds me of Pocahontas II when we all wanted John Smith back but they paired her up with John Rolfe-and I know it is more “historically” accurate, but still. You built the first movie up with him and then him out and throw in some young guy?!!

He sees Taylor’s name on the dogtag worn by Nova and asks Nova where Taylor is. Nova has a flashback of when she and Taylor were riding off and he was trying to teach her how to speak and gave her his dogtags. BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM? WHY DO WE HAVE BRENT WHO I DON’T WANT! I didn’t want him 20 years ago and don’t want him now!!

IT’S NOT WHAT I WANT!

Sorry for the brief tantrum…let’s go back to the film. Nova flashes back again to them riding together in the desert and in the Forbidden Zone. Weird place, what the the heck the forbidden zone has fire?! And lightening!!?? Where are they? Is this real? The ground breaks apart? Is this an illusion? Taylor tries to figure this out and tells Nova that if anything happens to him to find Dr. Zira.

He walks foward and touches a rock disappearig ito thin air!

Whaaaaaaaaa? huh?

I don’t really care for this style of flashback and such-it is sooo different from the first one.

Brent just ups and jumps on the horse commanding Nova to take him to Taylor. I remember I couldn’t stand him and his character, but I don’t remember why. He hasn’t done anything really annoying? Maybe it was because he isn’t Charlton Heston.

You’re nowhere close to him…

So back at…Ape City I guess, they never say what it is called, we see something serious is going down with the gorillas. And oh man I love these costumes, so much better than CGI. Not nowhere as good as the original but the budget but whatcha gonna do when they slash your budget.

Oh, well.

Brent is not a good actor. Like it is starting to come back to me why I couldn’t stand him. He did like an Arnold OMG when he saw the apes.

Anyways the lead Gorilla, Ursus, is stirring up the crowd. Must be an election year! He’s going on about hating humans and that “he only good human is a dead human.”

That’s not good.

OMG Brent, this dude! His acting! It is soooooooooo wooden. He says “It’s a nightmare.” like how you say “Oh like it’s a cheeseburger.” Now I know why I didn’t like him.

Dr. Zira is not having it and she will not be siting idly by-that’s ’cause she rocks.

Anyways, the Forbidden Zone has been Forbidden for years-but now they know there is something there. They believe it is their holy duty to go out and take the land back-manifest destiny! Expand, invade, take the land back that is rightfully theirs!

All the apes cheer, except Zira who’s not having this crap.

Cornelius wants them to play it safe, he wants his wife to be safe. Aw. they are such a cute couple.

Ugh, Brent. This guy is not doing a good job acting. He says everything that is supposed to be shocked, like it is nothing.

Nova and Brent run and their movement spotted by a gorilla sentry, but when the gorilla shoots, he scares a bird and thinks that what caused the movement and goes on his way.

Back in Ape city, Dr. Zauis and the Gorilla leader are in a steam room talking.

Huh?

I don’t know. What is this film? Anyways, Dr. Zauis thinks they should leave the Forbidden Zone alone-but Ursus says they need to or they will starve. I don’t know why there is such an urgency. What happened to the orangutans controlling everybody? They should have explained it better with a famine or something?

Cornelius and Zira argue about what to do and like all Planet of the Apes, they are some of the best things.

As they are preparing something chocolate, can apes eat that? Nova comes in with Brent, they think he is Taylor at first (all look like right) and Brent introduces himself and that he is looking for Taylor.

OMG Brent, this dude is killing me. He’s talking to human size, intellectual, chimpanzees, who aer in the middle of  baking and  he acts like it’s no big deal. He’s just like whatever. THE first movie was sooooooo much better, Charlton Heston was so much better.

Who hired this dude?

Sorry don’t mean to be rude I’m sure you did good in other stuff, but you are just sucking in this movie. The dislike and hate I had for you as a seven year old is all coming back.

Can he, can he just leave and we have Charlton Heston back. Like who came up with this idea?!!!! Who hired him? Who said that take was good?

So Cornelius goes over the map with Brent to try and figure out where Taylor might be. While it was Roddy McDowell in the beginning of the film, Cornelius’ voice sounds off. Let me look it up…

I’m stumped.

It’s not Roddy McDowell? What?????????????????????? He has something else he was involved in.

I’m not happy…

Dr. Zauis comes to speak to them and sees the bloody rag Zira was using on Brent and she pretends Cornelius hit her. Uh, what?

And thenDr. Zauis is all for that. What the? Who decided on that? What is this?

Anyways, Dr. Zauis says that he and the gorillas are going to go into the Forbidden Zoe and Zauis doesn’t want them to. He doesn’t want the “truth” to be found as he wants them to continue the way things are. But if he doesn’t return from the expedition, he is bestoeing them in charge and asks them to preserve the ape way of life.

Like this makes zero sense!!! They have outright opposed him! And they WANT the truth to be told? Why would he pick them out of everybody? Doesn’t he have a lackey? Did ANY of these writers watch the first film and see WHY it was so awesome?

So they warn Brent that he needs not to talk if caught by gorillas as they will dissect him. They give him “clothes for for humans”; and Brent is just dumb.  He says “why would I talk to a gorilla.”

Ughhh…Brent.

This dude!!!!

He changes his clothes and he and Nova ride off on a horse to try and find Taylor. And they get not like five seconds of riding- gorillas find them and the horse is dead. Wooooooooow!!!! Brent you suck.

Really, really?

I’m out!

The gorillas storm after them and capture the two. The gorillas seem to have a lot more power in this film, in fact we hardly ever see an orangutan. Gee it sure would be nice if they gave us more info on what happened!!!

They get thrown in a cage like in the first film.

The next day we get to see the Gorilla’s practicing their maneuvers and training. Some gorillas are just casually tossing about a monolith. No its not that big, but still it was a ginormous rock. They should be superape strong.

Sorry!

Brent gets thrown into Zira’s lab. She is surprised to see him but secretly in her mind I’m sure she us thinking- this man sucks. You got like three steps before you got captured. She tries to keep them for study but Gorilla-Hitler, I mean Ursus, wants them for target practice.

So Zira lets them go in the cart to be carried away after she “double locks the door” jeez the gorillas really must be all brawn and no brains. How do you double lock a door? You lock or unlock it.

Brent gets out and fights with the gorilla on top of the moving cart but there isn’t any music. I mean it is a pretty cool action scene-but they didn’t add a score or anything, we just hear the cart going down the road. Weird. Guess music didn’t make it on their budget.

Maybe that’s why they only had a few scenes wit Charlton Heston hr was too expensive (BTW he donated his salary to charity).

So Brent defeated the gorilla, yeah I’m surprised he could do anyting right too and he and Nova take off on the horses-oh and look right back into the gorillas again. There’s the Brent we know, the sucky one. Jeez, this guy is dumb. Man he a serious damsel in distress, he keeps getting captured.

Except I can’t

So yes Taylor was captured twice in the Planet of the Apes film. First time they had just arrived on the planet and  in the second he was trying to escape the city, but at least we got to see the whole set and have an awesome scene revealing he could talk. He didn’t run, get captured, run, get captured, etc. Then when he escaped the final time he didn’t get caught, he took Dr. Zauis prisoner.

So they escape to the desert and find a cave, but inside there is tile. Hmm..? There is also a cement wall/door with an image of a moon on it. What is this?

Huhhhhhhh

He looks some more and finds it used to be Queensboro PlazaUh, I’m sure this is supposed to be the big reveal for him, but first of all-its not that big a deal. I mean in the other one we had the stature of liberty’s head!!!! Her head!!! Was she blown up? Taken down by a new race! We don’t know but it was by something bad.

This is a subway station in Queens. Well whoop-de-doo. Seriously-what if he saw pieces of the Empire State Building or Times Square or something New York! I mean nothing will be as big a WHAAAAAT!!!! moment as the Statue of Liberty’s head, but seriously a subway station?

And what does Brent say when he sees it? “Oh gee, this used to be my home.” Bfffffffqwwwwww!Really?

I hate Brent. I wish the apes had used you as target practice.

So we see ape church and they pray before they head out to the Forbidden Zone (okay every time I write that all I can imagine is the Beast’s voice saying forbidden-sorry had to share)

A group of Chimps have a peace protest on front of the gorllas. I wonder of Lucius is one. I miss him.

The gorillas come in and pull  them out “quietly” and lock them all up in the animal, I mean human cages. Ouch, these apes are way harsher in judgement. You don’t see police taking people down to the pound to be put in kennels.

Ouch

So Brent is sitting and staring into space then…ugh, Brent just annoys me. He just has to breathe and is annoying. How long until Charlton Heston comes back?

Please be soon! Please be soon! Please be soon!

So Brent peeks out of the cave and spots a gorilla patrol. He waits until they move and then is going to leave when he hears a strange humming sound. He decides to follow it…because? Reasons, I guess?

Why?

He goes down the subway tracks and he discovers the humming comes from a device. It stops when he touches the ladder. So he decides to climb up, followed by Nova and down a tubular walkway. This is actually kinda creepy as every passage looks the same but you have no clue where you are going or what awaits you on the other side.

They climb out of a tunnel and there is the New York Public Library and the Stock Exchange, all would have been a much cooler reveal that the Queensboro plaza. Not hating just saying! (Actually no, I am hating)

I’m not happy

There is a cathedral and Brent drinks the holy water thats been sitting there for who knows how long. Really Brent, really? Didn’t you learn to never drink standing water? Like how did you pass any survival skills classes?

Dude seriously. This dude is so annoying.

I HATE this character!

So a loud buzzing noise comes and Bret starts acting weird wanting to kill Nova. He manages to fight against it and stop himself, but the voice is in his head as he backs into the chapel where the noise gets louder and then disappears. Why? Who knows!

Here’s the part of the film that is ingrained in my mind. In the chapel is a giant bomb and a man kneeling before it, his god.

Brent speaks to him, questing what is going on. The mole people, I mean the people beneath the planet of the apes speak with telepathy. Brent is taken from the Cathedral to the tribunal.

That’s not good.

They think he is a spy and question him. Its kind of weird because we don’t hear their voices it i just Brent answering them, ugh Brent.

Meh.

They continue to interrogate him and Brent sings like a canary. He can’t do anything right.

The stop with telepathy as they can speak verbally. He tells them that the bomb isn’t a god,but they say it is a holy weapon of peace. Yeah an anti-war vibe is really strong in this film. It was the ’70s after all.

They think that Brent is from the apes, bit Brent is like I don’t know.

Hate him!

These humans have mutant powers like telepathy, fire, etc…what a second.

Human mutants with abilities! OMG Brent found the morlocks!

Anyway their “peaceful weapons” are to destroy the “murderous apes”. Brent tries to talk reason but they don’t listen. They can’t use their telepathy on the apes which upsets them.

They bring Nova in and use their powers to make Brent kiss and strangle Nova.  This movie is a mess.

What’s going on?

We switch back to apes, thank goodness who are storming the forbidden zone. They arrive and the people play tricks on their mind. They see apes in agony hanging upside down, fire, their lawgiver god on fire, then bleeding, etc.

Dr.Xauis become angry and rides into the fire and stone, but survives. The illusion melts away.

They head toward the old New York City. Meanwhile, under the city the people are preparing a communion and church service. They kneel before the bomb praying to it.

They prepare the bomb and only need to press the button to let it go. Brent and Nova were forced to attend as well. And here is the scene were they reveal their innermost self and remove their skin.

This is still FAAAA-REKY! I’ll admit, I screamed whe I saw it again. Mghrtyghfkyfv!

All are excused to go to their shelters. They put their faces back on. They tell Brent they hope him witnessing their services convinces him they are only for peace. They take them to a cell and who’s in there? TAYLOR!

FINALLY!!!!

They talk, but then the guard uses his mind control to try and make them fight. Brent starts first because he’s more weak minded.

The two fight and and this feels weird as the only sound is like a buzz saw cutting wood-the mind control, It is so weird that this movie has like no score.

Taylor knocks Brent into the wall, sand the guards don’t like this “boring” gladiator battle so they toss a spike club onto the cell.

Nova manages to get away from her attacker and goes charging down to try and stop them-shouting out her first word “Taylor” and breaking the concentration and mind control.

They kill the guard by ramming him on the spiky cell. I remember this scene vividly! As he dies he removes his skin to show his innermost self. fgagfdguhij!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Like Taylor seriously wounded Brent and he should be waaaaay worse off, but he is only slightly wounded. Brent tells him about the bomb and how it had alpha and omega on it.

Taylor recognizes it as a doomsday bomb created in his time. Remember when he mentioned at the beginning of Planet of the Apes?

George Taylor : This much is probably true – the men who sent us on this journey are long since dead and gone. You who are reading me now are a different breed – I hope a better one. I leave the 20th century with no regrets. But one more thing – if anybody’s listening, that is. Nothing scientific. It’s purely personal. But seen from out here everything seems different. Time bends. Space is boundless. It squashes a man’s ego. I feel lonely. That’s about it. Tell me, though. Does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother? Keep his neighbor’s children starving?

Meanwhile the apes are continuing and it is lame we don’t have more Zira and Cornelius. I love them but they are hardly in his.

I’m not happy

The apes find the passageway to the subway and start down it exploring. Meanwhile, the guys are trying to break free when the apes enter the city, shootig at any human that they see.

The guys manage to finally get themselves free and grab spare clubs from the wall and attack a gorilla with Nova being killed. AW!

Taylor is angry enough to want all to die, but Brent convinces him to stop the bomb.

Taylor: [as Nova slowly dies, gunned down by a gorilla] Well, that tears it. Maybe we should just let the world blow up. The gorillas, every damned… what it comes to.

John Brent: [Intense, full of fury] Taylor, come on. Come on!

Taylor: Yeah.

The apes storm the cathedral with our two spacemen hot on their trails.The leader speaks to them, shocking all as humans talk and lets the bomb go. They shoot him and then try to shoot the bomb.

Taylor and Brent creep along, trying not to be shot but reach the control panel to stop the bomb. And THEY SHOOT TAYLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brent shoots a bunch of apes, wow he can actually do something right.

I’m surprised

Dr. Zauis is shocked to see Taylor and does’t want to help him.

Brent is killed. Taylor is angry at Zauis and reaches out accidentally setting the bomb off, Everything whites out and we get end narration.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll...I didn’t like it. The cut budget really makes this pale in comparison to the other film. This script is all over the place! Brent-don’t get  started on his character or his lackluster the acting, the characters we love from the original are all missing, and the whole power structure and motivation of the apes as a whole has seriously changed-but we don’y get any reason why! This whole thing was pretty lackluster.

Now did it still freak me out? YES! The skin ripping off scenes are still just as creepy as they were 20 years ago. Please don’t let it give me any nightmares tonight!!!

So that is the end of the Planet of the Apes. At least until next Wednesday (Fingers crossed)

I hope I can do it.

And the facebook banner:

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Planet of the Apes, go to Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me, you D*** Dirty Ape!: Planet of the Apes (1968)

For more Charlton Heston, go to Work Will Always Be There But You Might Not Be: The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

For more Roddy McDowell, go to That Darn Cat

For more dystopian future films, go to Don’t Go in There! You Don’t Have to Die! No One Has to Die at 30! You Could Live! LIVE!: Logan’s Run (1976)

 

 

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