Planet Terror (2007)

If you haven't been aroused by one-legged women before, you haven't seen this film

Originally released into theaters on a double bill with Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof under the Grindhouse banner. A dangerous government experiment has unleashed an abominable contamination that turns normal people into murderous mutants. Now, as an infinitely multiplying horde of frenzied psychotics flood the Texas plains, a dangerous outlaw named El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), a sexy stripper named Cherry (Rose McGowan), an unscrupulous smuggler named Abby (Naveen Andrews), and the curiously incapacitated Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton) must try and make their way to the helicopter that could provide their only means of escaping to a place untouched by this nightmarish scourge that threatens to wipe out all of humankind.

The cast all manage to act great, with the stand-outs being Freddie Rodriguez as the typical cooler than ice, mysterious outlaw El Wray, and Rose McGowan as a stripper and El Wray's ex, managing to effortlessly fill the typical bad-ass heroine role, with their chemistry sizzling on-screen. There are many other characters, each with their own storylines, but Rodriguez manages to make them believable and sympathetic enough for the audience to care about them. Seeing as the film was basically co-directed by Quentin Tarantino, it figures that he'd star himself into a role in the film, playing a soldier who makes Cherry do a sexy dance for him, and is credited as Rapist #1. This role isn't unforgettable, but it's a role where the character talks more than he really should, especially about Ava Gardner.

The action in this movie is very well coreographed, and is great fun to watch. The movie can be very funny when it wants to be, I mean where else are you going to get a scene where Bruce Willis is handed a bag full of his soldiers testicles?

Robert Rodriguez really manages to make this film feel like a proper Grindhouse flick, as he intentionally stuffs the film full of cheesy lines, gore, the cheap movie reel look, sexy ladies and guns, with none of this hindering the movie, but helping to make it a fun flick. Besides, you try not enjoying the sight of Rose McGowan firing off her gun-limb, which begs the question "How does she fire it?", but then you see another cool scene and forget about the question.

A fair warning: Give this film a bad rating and they'll be ready to come after you

Adding to the Grindhouse feel, we are given a "missing reel" moment, where we are missing a scene and the film suddenly cuts to the survivors base being on fire and swarmed with zombies outside, with one-time characters seen earlier on in the film now joined with the main group and other things having happened, including secrets being revealed. This succeeds in making the film feel more authenticly like a grindhouse film, but it also feels like a cop-out, in that major developments happened and we don't know how it happened, we don't even get hints as to how it happened. Rodriguez said that he and Tarantino felt it was a good addition as the second acts are usually the most predictable and the most boring, and I can see his point, but it still feels like a cop-out.

A zombie film really hinges upon how well the make-up for the zombies are. The Dawn of the Dead remake had brilliant looking zombies, whilst the Day of the Dead remake's zombies looked godawful. Thankfully, Planet Terror manages to have great looking zombies, coming from Greg Nicotero, who is also responsible for the amazing looking zombies on AMC's The Walking Dead. The effects are very well done, with the most shocking being when Quentin Tarantino's character has his pants down.

Planet Terror is a fun zombie flick filled with great characters, brilliant acting, good action moments and great looking zombies, making it the stronger film of the Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse feature.


AdamMoody said…
Awesome review!! One of my favorite exploitation films, such a fun ride.
Excellent review. This film is wild. I wanna see it again soon!
HarleyQuinn said…
I don't think I would like to see this one, exploitation movies aren't exactly my thing. great review though!