"One of the smallest , independent kingdoms in the ciberuniverse. Nothing fancy. Population? Just me, myself and my jaguars, my movies and my books (and, at this very moment, YOU). Hided and secret like Skull Island or Opar, the ancients in Guelyland use to read the scrools of a minor god called Voor-Hes.
Most of the treasures of Guelyland are made of paper, plastic and vinyl.Guelyland dreams with expanding in deep more then in surface. The music of Nik Kershaw has been heard here. There are apes, lots of apes in Guelyland. Woody Allen and Bob Hope visit it quite often. Here we love books (the Kingdoms Library is both celebrated and secret) Here we are atheists but very tolerant and think of god a bit too often and much. Guelyland is, the stuff my dreams are made of..."



Friday, June 25, 2010


From time to time i just take a short leave and fly to the planet of the apes. In my mind, i mean. Got the movies, the books, the music,... the Works. Plus, now we have the internet that makes everything much easier. Anyway, today I was going to tell you things about "Beneath", a trip to Beneath the Planet of the Apes (Ted Post, 1970).Is typical to say my favorite is the first and so, and in this account "Beneath" usually gets a low rating. Not in my book.Let's point out that Beneath The Planet of the Apes is the second of five movies and it picks up where Planet of the Apes ends (and even before).

Zira, Nova and Cornelius

In those days there were not sequels that use to continue the storyline of the first films. In those days (excepting "2001: A space Odissey", but that was Kubrick) the science fiction movies were not "intelligent films" so this couple started a trend that would go on during the seventies until the first star wars movie came out in 1977.A nihilistic movie,"Beneath" has the cojones of giving us the mother of all the unhappy endings. I remember falling for days in some kind of depression after I saw this film (I was like 12 or 13 at then, on peruvian TV for the first time in my life) and I could almost understand and agree with the Heston character for doing what he did after what happent to his dear Nova. I remember as well, and very, that a new dimention of musical terror was born in my mind with the off key chorus of gospell mutants.

The Mutants

As in the first movie the creationism versus evolution subtext of this entry in the series was quite daring , and seeing upside down crucified apes burn and been crushed by a bleeding giant statue of their religious patriarch in the middle of the desert or witnessing a mass attended by nuclear bomb worshiper skinless mutants beneath the ruins of New York didn't exactly add points in favor of the "creationist team".

Greetings from New York 3955 A.D. !

The thing is that it doesn't says that evolution is better either. It's just a fact and at the end we can't handle it . It is a tough merciless flick with no room for redemption or a crowd pleasing happy ending. Apes, humans and mutants (they are "technically" humans gone wrong, but you know what i mean) they all have his share in writting the ultimate destiny for the planet.
Only the beautiful Nova is out of guilt or responsability.

Take your stinky paws of her your double face uncredited mutant!

Now, something about the cast. Heston agreed to do the sequel with the condition that he should be killed cos didn't wanna hear more about it (at the end they agreed that he would be at the begining and the end).

Franciscus and Miss Harrison. Not in Kansas anymore...

James Franciscus (they couldn't get Burt Reynolds, in the first hand) kind of take over like a mini Heston (which is not as bad as it sounds). Linda Harrison as Nova is back (anyway she was the girlfriend of 20Th Century Fox mogul Zanuck). Natalie Trundy, as the mutant Albina (was the wife of producer Arthur P. Jacobs. Anyway). The great character actor James Gregory (they couldn't get Orson ) plays the militar gorilla Ursus.

General Ursus

As Cornelious is not Roddy McDowall (busy making his own movie in Scotland) but some David Watson. Maurice Evans and Kim Hunter are back as Dr. Zaius and Zira. Then we have the teve actor Don Pedro Colley playing a mutant credited simply as "Negro".
Of course you have to see the first movie to get this one. "Beneath" was made for half the budget of POTA (they didn't have to make or build so much stuff cos they had it from the first movie) so, unless you don't pay attention to the cheapy pull out masks that the extras show too often it looks quite cool (they re-use some sets from "Hello, Dolly!" and even the crashed spaceship is part of the "Jupiter I" from the Lost in Space series).

Dr. Zaius

These Planet of the Apes movies are very special for me. Kind of my favorite film saga. Full of adventure, scientific fiction (just love time travel speculations), apes, philosophical debates, misanthropic outsiders, Linda Harrison, and chocking moments one after another. People who likes these movies can talk and talk forever about it and there will be never enough theories that will come up because there are so many layers to peel. A great pub topic! The kind of movie that I know I will always will see again.
The drawings that you see here are taked from the still forthcoming book, From Aldo to Zira: Lexicon of The Planet of the Apes by Hasslein Books (hopefully coming out at the end of 2010).


Gigi Peligro said...

qué grande!! ya recibí tu e-mail... aunque aún no he tenido tiempo para saborearlo como es debido... ya tengo ganas!!


#167 Dad said...

Very nice break down of the series, g-man. you know, you're getting quite good at this blogging business.

Guely of Sweden said...

Snyder, coming from you this is a very powerfull compliment!

Valentín VN said...

A nice sequel that has the opportunity to showcase Charlton Heston without being a Ch. Heston movie but ending with Ch. Heston. A puzzle or a riddle? Yes, but it was like this.

The scene where every human takes of the mask and shows his true mutant form was simply disgusting.

Oh, by the way, cool post, Guely!!

Guely of Sweden said...

More then taking off the masks, for me, was the creeeepy chorus in that subterranean church. Lots of good ideas in this second entrance.
And yes Chuck only at the begining and the end but you could see that the movie belonged to him. after all he was the one who "did it" at the end.
Glad you liked the post Valentin!


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