Director: Robert Rodriquez
Writer: Robert Rodriquez (Screenplay)
Starring: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn, Rebel Rodriguez, Bruce Willis, Naveen Andrews, Julio Oscar Mechoso
Plot: After an experimental bio-weapon is released, turning thousands into zombie-like creatures, it’s up to a rag-tag group of survivors to stop the infected and those behind its release.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Guilt Pleasure Achieved
Story: Planet Terror starts in a strip club with Cherry Darling (McGowan) finally deciding to leave the busy for good. Leaving down an empty street Cherry coincidently gets passed by a military convoy on route to the military base. Abby (Andrews) is looking to collect his specimens which have escaped from the military base where he gets double crossed by Lt Muldoon (Willis) who has been infected by a virus that is slowly killing him unless it is under control. We go onto meet J.T (Fahey) who runs the local garage and diner with the best BBQ in Texas. The diner doesn’t get the most visitors but one just so happens to be Cherry and her old fling Wray (Rodriguez). We also meet Dr Dakota Block (Shelton) as she is planning on leaving her husband Dr William Block (Brolin) on this very night.
With the characters all nicely introduced we get to see the Dr Block’s deal with unknown wounds in the hospital. It isn’t long before our first victim is picked off by the undead and Wray & Cherry get attacked leading to Cherry having her leg ripped off and taken by the undead known as sickos. When the numbers of dead walking the streets continues to grow the unlikely group of survivors must band together to survive the night.
Planet Terror brings us a brand new spin on the zombie genre by mixing it with the Grindhouse style. Granted this is part of a double feature that didn’t really make it together in the cinema but as a stand alone film this gives you all you want in a story. You would only be watching this if you like zombie films and for the story this delivers. I really enjoyed the fact that this film manages to blend the stories without having to use cuts but well placed moments for example a car driving over a bridge which pans to the diner, we see plenty of these through the film which really makes us feel like we are part of a small community. I guess I should be picky and talk about a negative side to the story and that would be the whole story with the Block family as we know how it ends but what caused the relationship to really go sour. I personally enjoyed this story and I feel the zombie genre has been slightly over used but this is fresh. (8/10)
Rose McGowan: Cherry Darling is the gogo dancer who wants to go clean and get out of the town once and for all. Her night starts well but takes a turn when while receiving a lift from her old flame they are involved in an accident leading to the dead taking her leg. Down on her luck she gets saved by Wray who gives her a chance to fight back against the undead. Rose is convincing and the leading lady showing how much of an action star she could be. (8/10)
Freddy Rodriguez: Wray is the mysterious bad boy of the town who always considered dangerous but is an old flame of Cherry’s. When the outbreak starts he gets to show us just how skilled he really is when it comes to combat. Freddy does a good job as the action lead but his excellent scene seems to get forgotten compared to McGowan’s. (8/10)
Josh Brolin: Dr William Block is the head doctor who knows his wife is planning something but isn’t sure what it is, he gets to deal with all the early diseased people who have been infected with the virus. Josh does a good job as what would come as the villainous role. (7/10)
Marley Shelton: Dr Dakota Block is planning to leave her husband but her plan takes a turn for the worse when her friend turns up dead pushing her husband to the limit leading to her having to perform the whole second half of the film partially paralysed. Marley does a good job and has to go through the scene that will make look every time. (8/10)
Jeff Fahey: J.T. serves the best BBQ in Texas out of a diner, he is the location where all the survivors head to as they regroup where they plan the next move. Jeff gives us the much needed comic relief role in the film. (7/10)
Bruce Willis: Lt Muldoon is part of a military unit who has been infected but is controlling the infection, he wants to be able to control is and use it as a weapon but the deal goes bad leading to him to continue his search after the cure gets released in this small town. Bruce might only be in a supporting role but he does do a good job never looking like too much of a star compared to the rest of the cast. (7/10)
Naveen Andrews: Abby is the man controlling the deal but after he gets turned on by Muldoon he ends up escaping after releasing the gas upon the small town. Naveen gives us the shady character that also offers up the information to fill in the technical side of the virus. (7/10)
Support Cast: Planet Terror has a large supporting cast that do add to the main story and the involvement of Rodriquez’s friends in certain roles that almost steal the scenes they are in.
Director Review: Robert Rodriquez – Robert brings his trademark flair to the film that puts his stamp on the zombie genre much like he did with the vampire genre in From Dusk Till Dawn. (8/10)
Action: Planet Terror is filled with action which includes plenty of zombie killing through shoot outs or just plan hand to hand combat. (9/10)
Horror: Planet Terror breathes fresh life into the zombie genre by making it all action. (8/10)
Settings: Planet Terror makes you believe that we are in a small community that everyone knows everyone and would be willing to help them. (9/10)
Special Effects: Planet Terror uses the effects that all look brilliant with the make up with the CGI coming off slightly iffy but that adds to what this film is going for.(8/10)
Suggestion: Planet Terror is one for all the horror fans to watch and you will end up adding this to your guilty pleasure selection. (Horror Fans Watch)
Best Part: Cherry Darling has an upgrade.
Worst Part: It won’t be for everyone.
Action Scene Of The Film: Final sequence.
Funniest Scene: The examination scene for the bite mark.
Kill Of The Film: Abby as you don’t see it coming.
Scariest Scene: I pick Dakota’s escape because it makes you look away.
Favourite Quote: Dr. Dakota Block: Hi, Joe. I’m going to give you a very strong anaesthetic, so you won’t feel anything during the procedure. These…
[pats the needles in her shirt pocket]
Dr. Dakota Block: …are my friends. My yellow friend is to take the sting off.
[injects Joe in the arm with the yellow needle]
Dr. Dakota Block: My blue friend you’ll barely feel.
[injects Joe in the arm with the blue needle]
Dr. Dakota Block: That means my yellow friend is already taking effect. See how fast my friends work?
[injects Joe in the arm with the red needle]
Dr. Dakota Block: And after my red-headed friend, you’ll never see me again.
[Joe slobbers over himself and passes out]
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: It could have one but I doubt it very much.
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Tagline: You might feel a little prick
Trivia: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen refused to give Josh Brolin an audition for the role of Llewelyn in their movie No Country for Old Men (2007), so he asked director Robert Rodriguez to help him shoot an audition tape while Brolin was filming his Grindhouse (2007) segment (Planet Terror (2007)) for Rodriguez. Rodriguez shot and Quentin Tarantino directed the tape, which was shot using a $950,000 digital camera. Marley Shelton, who was playing Brolin’s character’s wife in Grindhouse, agreed to read the lines for Llewelyn’s wife Carla Jean (eventually played by Kelly Macdonald).
Overall: Planet Terror gives us blood splattering gore fest that will keep you entertained throughout.