Monday, November 05, 2007

Planet Terror

When Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk ‘Til Dawn came out in 1996, I watched it in the theater and realized it was the perfect combination of horror/comedy for a vampire film. And to make it better, it had Quentin Tarantino’s fingerprints in the story as well. I freaking loved it. So when I heard the terms “Rodriguez”, “Tarantino”, and “zombies” used in the same sentence describing the recent movie Planet Terror, I couldn’t wait to check it out. Planet Terror is part of a double feature named Grindhouse, which pays homage to cheesy, low budget films from the 70’s and 80’s.

Ok, first off, this movie is bloody as hell. A lot of the scenes are probably too gross for anyone with a weak stomach, but just enough for any horror fan, or if you're a mortuary student. I never knew blood could splatter in a movie as much as it did in this! In fact, it’s hilarious at how over-exaggerated the scenes are whenever someone is shot. Second, this movie is not to be taken seriously. This is made intentionally to come off as a low-budget horror film. And it seemed that Rodriguez went all out to give you the feeling of sitting in a cheap Grindhouse theater, complete with grainy picture, and even at one point, the film being stopped because the movie reel has “melted”! For someone who was too young for the original Grindhouse films, but who’s watched his fair share of B-movies, and experienced a movie reel melting in the theater (Pirates Of The Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest, Man I was pissed), I got a good laugh out of these small details.

As with most action or horror films, there’s always some type of hero. The heroine here is none other Charmed star and former Mrs. Marilyn Manson, Rose McGowan. She plays Cherry Darling, the machine-gun legged girl who helps save our world from flesh eating zombies. Just as George Clooney kicked some vampire ass in From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, Rose's character Cherry uses her leg to help wipe out the infestation of zombies. Cherry is an unlikely hero though. In the beginning, she’s an unhappy go-go dancer who quits that to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. On her way out of town she bumps into a guy named El Wray (who also kicks his share of zombie ass). Cherry seems frustrated with the cards that life has dealt her. And when talking about goals in life, she says, “That's the problem with goals, they become a thing you talk about instead of a thing you do." Well, Cherry Darling never did get to become that stand-up comedian. Instead she was destined to become something bigger. She helped save the world from zombies!

Along with Rose McGowan, there’s a diverse cast consisiting of Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin (yes, that guy from The Goonies), Quentin Tarantino, and even Fergie (who's character winds up becoming 'roadkill')!

Like I said, this is a horror movie not to be taken too seriously. But it’s seriously a zombie movie in it's own class.

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