Sunday, October 21, 2007

Review: Planet Terror

Today I review the second half of the Grindhouse double-feature, Planet Terror. What can I say but that it kicks some serious ass. I think it is the stronger of the two films, providing a very kinetic and bloody feel with interesting characters oozing out of the woodwork. There isn't a forgettable character out of the bunch. And the gore, oh the righteous gore, how it flows from bodies like a river and explodes onto the screen. Seriously. Every gunshot and stab wound sprays blood and grue into the air like it was going out of style. It's awesome.

The story unfolds as a military group takes control of a special gas that seems to turn people into zombie-mutants with a taste for flesh. Slowly it gets unleashed on the populace and the attacks in a Texas town increase until pandemonium reigns. Rose McGowan plays Cherry, a go-go dancer who gets thrust into the mix as zombies take her leg away from her. Freddy Rodriguez is El Wray, her old boyfriend who has a shadowy past that we're never quite sure of. Along with Michael Beihn as the sheriff, Jeff Fahey as his bbq king brother, Josh Brolin and Marley Shelton as a medical doctor couple and Naveen Andrews as a testicle collecting scientist, the cast fights for their lives and tries to make it out of the town alive before they get eaten.

It's definitely worth checking out though the film aging doesn't seem to work as well on this movie as it did on Death Proof. It seems too artificial. I think that's where the film fails as a grindhouse release. It has the gore, but it seems too much like a homage whereas Death Proof seems to ooze 70s exploitation, save for the bits of Tarantino's dialogue that stand out like a sore but cool thumb.

Back to back they make quite a pair and I'm dreading the eventual double release with all the trailers intact. As it stands, Planet Terror only has Machete and I don't think Death Proof has any of them at all. I hope they include them somewhere, as they were pretty damn funny.

Overall, a worth addition to the zombie genre and a must see for fans of horror and Robert Rodriguez.

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