By Derich Heath
For many, the term ‘sci-fi’ evokes images of giant spaceships and laser beams; the mind races to “Beam me up, Scotty” or, “May the force be with you”. But when sci-fi comes back down to earth, or focuses on elements of human psychology, things can grow rather sinister. Listed below are ten unusually dark science fiction films that deserve your attention.
1. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
The original Planet of the Apes, based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, was released in 1969 to rave reviews and a tremendous box-office return. A sequel was quickly commissioned and several writers made attempts: Rod Serling pitched an idea that was rejected, and even Boulle himself wrote an entire script that didn’t make the cut.
Eventually the job was handed over to British screenwriter Paul Dehn, who had previously penned Goldfinger; Dehn stated in interviews that the conclusion of the previous film, which hinted at New York City existing under the ground, is what inspired him to make his story a subterranean one.
The star of Planet, Charlton Heston, reluctantly agreed to return in Beneath on three conditions – his salary would be donated to charity, his Taylor character could only appear briefly, and Taylor must die. The producers agreed and hired TV actor James Franciscus to fill the role of Brent, a former associate of Taylor’s who lands on the dreaded planet shortly after the events in the first film.
Brent encounters a race of pasty-faced, humanoid mutants that lives beneath the ground and worships a towering atomic bomb. With apes above and mutants below, it’s only a matter of time before worlds collide and that gigantic nuclear weapon becomes more than just an inanimate object; unfortunately, the → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema