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Planet Terror (2007)

DVD Cover (The Weinstein Company)
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7.8
 / 10
35 votes
Movie Connections:
Grindhouse
> Grindhouse (2007)
> Death Proof (2007)
> Planet Terror (2007)
> Machete (2010)
> Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)
Genres:
Action Thriller, Horror, Sci-Fi Horror, Zombie Film
Director:
Robert Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez
Starring:
Rose McGowan Rose McGowan
Freddy Rodríguez Freddy Rodríguez
Josh Brolin Josh Brolin
Marley Shelton Marley Shelton
Jeff Fahey Jeff Fahey
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Review by Chad
Added: November 19, 2007
I was extremely disappointed that I missed out on seeing the Grindhouse set of films in theaters, but I guess that's what I get for living in a hick town. I mean, we're talking about a theater that plays every Adam Sandler film religiously and had Little Man as the main attraction for at least a couple of weeks, but they couldn't even play Grindhouse for a single weekend? Anyway, I had to wait for the DVD releases to actually see the films (and I'll save my complaint about the Weinstein's horrible treatment of these releases for another time), and after seeing Death Proof, I thought that it would be impossible for Planet Terror to live up to the standards that Tarantino set with his film. While I won't say that one is better than the other, I can certainly say that they're on equal footing in terms of quality and entertainment.

To save a little time, I'm going to copy the plot synopsis from Billy Ray's review of Grindhouse; after all, he's already perfectly described the movie, so why should I rehash it over here? With that said, the plot goes a little something like this:

The film opens with some very seedy gentlemen (including Naveen Andrews) doing business with some very corrupt soldiers, led by Muldoon (Bruce Willis). After an 'explosive' situation, a toxic gas is leaked into the air that transforms those that inhale it into brain hungry zombies. Rose McGowan stars as Cherry Darling, a go-go dancer injured in an attack. She joins forces with El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), an ultimate badass whom the local sheriff (Michael Biehn) won't allow to carry a gun. Alongside Jeff Fahey, Marley Shelton, Tom Savini, Michael Parks and The Crazy Babysitter Twins - they all join together to fight the zombie horde and try to put a stop to the carnage before they take over the world.

To put it simply, Planet Terror is an over-the-top zombie film that is full of explosions, blood, gore, hot women, car chases, zombies, and everything else one would expect from a proper grindhouse film. Here we have a film that never really takes itself too seriously (after all, we do have a woman with a huge gun in place of a leg), but at the same time, it's as effective of a horror film as one could ask for. It may not be the type of film that will keep you up all night with the lights on, but it does tell a damned fine story while keeping a grin plastered on the viewer's face from beginning to end.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the tone and style of the film. By this, I mean that one can immediately tell that Planet Terror is a Robert Rodriguez film, but at the same time, it also stays true to the staples of the original grindhouse experience. This means that the film fits in snugly with the double feature presentation that these two guys put together, and the result is a set of films that can be watched over and over whenever one wants to relive those memories of the seventies... and tell me, who doesn't want to do that every now and then?

Also, I couldn't rightfully finish this review without mentioning the cast, as I felt that all involved did an excellent job with their roles, regardless of how silly some of them may have been. As an example, I point you to Rose McGowan, a lady who played a stripper that goes through half of the movie with a wooden table leg sticking out of the stump where her leg used to be and finishes the movie with an automatic weapon plugged into said stump. This is the very definition of an outrageous character, but Rose plays it as seriously as possible while still having a little fun with the role... and let me tell you, the result was highly memorable. Freddy Rodriguez is also excellent as the badass leading man, and even though his origins are never really explained (though they are alluded to), one immediately gets the impression that they're watching a force to be reckoned with whenever he shows up on screen. The supporting cast is just as good, and it was a treat to see some of the greats - Bruce Willis and Tom Savini, namely - show up in minor roles to add a little credence to the film.

Overall, it's damned near a perfect film... wait, scratch that: it is a perfect film. Whatever your reasoning for picking this one up - be it because you're a Robert Rodriguez fan, a zombie fan, a grindhouse fan, or just a run of the mill horror fan - I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed once the credits roll. Again, I can't say that it's better than Death Proof as both of the two films work very well for very different reasons, but I can say that I enjoyed the hell out of both of them. 10/10.
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385 #1: 385 - added 11/21/2007, 04:16 PM
I think it took a bit long to get going, but once it did it was amazing fun. And the "Missing Reel" gag bugged me to no end. About an 8/10 for me
Nirrad #2: Nirrad - added 03/31/2008, 01:33 PM
Great fun, the gore was extremely nice in this one. I would have to agree that the missing reel was really annoying. That and the way the film would start to "mess up" making it seem like its an old film. That really annoyed me, because most of the time it did it during special effects sequences. An example would be during the scene when Bruce Willis is becoming more and more disfigured.
Lucid Dreams #3: Lucid Dreams - added 07/17/2010, 02:59 AM
I had lots of fun watching this movie. The gore was perfect and the scene with the dog was funny. 10/10
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