A fellow astronaut, Brent, is sent to find Taylor and rescue him... and somehow also falls in the Planet of the Apes. He first finds Taylor's girl Nova, and with her discovers in a cave a former New York subway station
, realizing where he is. The station leads to an Underground Lair inhabited by mutant humans with psychic powers, who have already imprisoned Taylor, and cultivate a "Divine Bomb
". When the apes decide to invade the Forbidden Zone
and then find the mutants' lair... well, the trope examples below show it's catastrophic.
This movie contains examples of:
- Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Ends up being Trope Namer three movies earlier than the most famous instance, although slightly different. When pacifist apes stand in front of the gorilla army to stop them, orders to shoot them down are replied with "I can't order them to do what the Lawgiver has forbidden. Ape shall not kill ape."
- Apocalypse How: Class 6. Possibly even worse.
- Back for the Dead: Enforced by Charlton Heston, who only accepted to return if Taylor's part was smaller and the character died.
- Body Horror: In one memorable scene, the lead mutants reveal themselves (and, by implication, all their people) to have repulsively translucent skin, with all their veins visible. It's surprisingly effective at being disgusting.
- Cargo Cult: The mutants' god is a nuclear bomb.
- For some amazing Lyrics Dissonance, the mutants' mantras are quite obviously Christian carols with all references to "god" changed to "bomb".
- Collapsing Lair: the underground mutant lair.
- Downer Ending: And how. Not only that, but we don't even get a cool shot of the Earth blowing up!
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: While many characters die, Nova is the most anticlimatic one.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: What the cobalt bomb ends up doing.
- Fan Disservice: The kiss would have been nice to watch if Brent hadn't tried to strangle Nova.
- General Ripper: Ursus.
- Idiot Ball: After being generally being sensible throughout the film, Dr. Zaius grabs it with both hands in the last scene.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Directly referenced in the ending voice-over.
- In That Order: "If they catch you, they will dissect you. And kill you. In that order."
- Just Before the End: Officially, this is the last movie before the entire planet is wiped out.
- Kill 'em All
- Kiss of Death: In the second film, a mind-controlled Brent tries to suffocate Nova by forcefully kissing her.
- Latex Perfection: The mutants wear incredibly life-like masks to cover up the fact that their skin is so pale their veins are visible all over their body.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: While the mutants are singing hymns praising their god - a cobalt bomb.
- Plot Hole: Famously, the year of the "present" in Beneath is given as roughly 20 years earlier than the year that was declared the "present" when Taylor landed in the original movie. And then Escape uses the same date for Taylor & Brent's doomed expeditions given in Beneath.
- Say My Name: Nova's first (and only) word is "TAYLOR!"
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: General Ursus was meant to be an fairly obvious Hitler Expy, but by the finished film, he'd become a more generic General Ripper type with a lot of muddled Vietnam symbolism thrown in.
- The mutant humans worshiping A NUCLEAR BOMB are just as scary and dogmatic, but are equally confusing; their primary influence seems to be a mashup of general "cultist" behavior and American hypocrisy.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Semi-averted. Taylor disappears during the opening scene, before returning toward the end of the film (and getting killed in the final scene thereof).
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Brent for Taylor, though in terms of attitude he's far different.
- Tears of Blood: The Ape Lawgiver statue in an illusion.
- Technical Pacifist: The Mutants; they insist they are a peaceful people because they "only" defend themselves by using their Psychic Powers to either Mind Rape their victims to insanity/suicide or Mind Control them into killing each other. Brent outright calls them hypocrites.
- Wham Line: From Nova, of all characters. See Say My Name.
- Artistic License - Nuclear Physics: Okay, a cobalt bomb would be a pretty nasty weapon, in the "create lots of long-lasting fallout" sense. Not, however, in the "turn the planet's whole atmosphere into a gigantic nitrous-oxide fireball that incinerates the whole surface" sense. Though the original intention was for it to be just an ordinary nuke that would just wipe out the two warring factions, but Charlton Heston suggested an expansion to Earth-Shattering Kaboom.