I love Planet Terror. When the Grindhouse double feature came out, I was one of four people in the theater and enjoyed every second of it. Deathproof was pretty good. But, Planet Terror was great. The film is a pure homage to exploitation films done in a very loving way and it was done perfectly with a great cast of Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, and of course, Micheal Biehn are in it. ‘Nuff said.
The story is about some US Army soldiers turned terrorists who release a chemical weapon near a local Texas town. They do this out of revenge over being exposed to the same gas while in Afghanistan and then being left out to dry by the US. GOV. Very believable actually.
The chemical agent affects most of the population but not all. People turned into infected pulsating horrors that slowly fell apart. Kronenburg would be proud. As the infection from the chemical starts to spread we follow several characters. A guy who is like a Gov super agent, his ex-girlfriend who is a stripper, a local doctor and his cheating/lesbian wife, some cops, and a local BBQ joint owner. The characters all come together in a survival horror-type story to try to first see if there is a way to stop the chemical agent, then to just make it out alive.
Top Notch Gore
The gore and effects are top-notch. The characters are all a lot of fun, and of course, they are all cliches of horror and action film characters but it’s done so well that you end up loving it. The rattle of one-liners and characters doing stuff you have seen already but it’s done in such a fun fresh way that it’s a blast. The movie winks at you to let you know that the film knows it isn’t taking itself too seriously and neither should you.
There are moments that will shock you, like the preteen kid who accidentally blows his own head off moments after his Mom gives him a gun to protect himself and warns him not to point it at himself. The balls! I was so pleasantly shocked when I saw this in the theater that I burst out laughing at the sheer audacity of it. Good thing it was just me and three friends or someone would have had me locked up for that. You could not do that in a film now.
Planet Terror does have some real creep factor to it. Even though it is full of lighter moments and a little poking fun at the genre, it doesn’t make the mistake of turning it into a comedy with no threat to the heroes. The soundtrack is also awesome using a score very appropriate for the time period the movie is a call back to.
One other note, between Planet Terror and Death Proof a series of fake trailers were shown. Some of them have become real films since. Hobo With A Shotgun (excellent film) Machete (meh) and now coming this November, Thanksgiving (finally).
If you haven’t seen it, check it out. Rose McGowan was hot and had an M4 with an M203 put at the end of her thigh after a traumatic amputation of the leg. What else do you want?
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