TAGLINE: "Humanity's last hope...rests on a high power machine gun!"
ENTIRE STORY IN AS FEW WORDS AS POSSIBLE:
It's the zombie apocalypse with a Texas flavor as a rag-tag band of living fight to survive!
IT'S ABOUT TIME ROBERT RODRIGUEZ GRADUATED FROM VAMPIRES TO ZOMBIES!
Well said! In 1996, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez worked with Quentin Tarantino to make "From Dusk Till Dawn", which to many horror fans was a showstopper of a vampire movie. Fans asked themselves how those guys could top that. Rodriguez and Tarantino undoubtedly asked themselves the same thing, and bingo! As they each directed a "Grindhouse" film meant to salute the salad days of exploitation cinema, Rodriguez crafted "Planet Terror", a zombie movie that definitely cleaves its own bloody path!
How? Rodriguez puts in just about every exploitation element guaranteed to have horror fans grinning and to make the politically correct have a heart attack. At the forefront of it all is Rose McGowan as Cherry Darling, an exotic dancer who already has her own fair share of problems as the end of the world is brewing. Clandestine crimes are being committed at a nearby military base, and before you can say 'whoops!', a deadly gas escapes that starts turning normal folks into what the movie calls Sickos, Infected-type zombies that ooze as much as they eat human meat. Other plotlines converge, from a lesbian anaestesiologist (Marley Shelton) trying to get away from her borderline-homicidal husband (Josh Brolin), the local sheriff (Michael Biehn) and his barbecue-cooking brother (Jeff Fahey) feuding, an Army officer (Bruce Willis!) with ominous intentions, to lastly (but far from leastly) a guy named El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), who is much much more than he seems.
But first and last, the heart of the story is centered on Cherry, who undergoes a reluctant hero's journey unlike anything you could imagine without heavy liquor involved. First she must suffer the pain of losing one of her lovely money-maker legs. Then, after facing all manner of threats that bring steel to her soul, she's given the means to fight for her own life and for others immune to the zombie plague...by having a machine gun slapped on her stump and blowing away every Sicko in sight!
SO IS IT GOOD?
You have to ask?! It's AWESOME! Even if anybody who watches "Planet Terror" doesn't like it, they can't accuse it of being boring! This movie has a fast and furious pace that pauses only to briefly center on Cherry and other characters Rodriguez and the cast honestly want you to care about. But it's all done with a wink and a pure desire to have fun, which translates to fun for the viewer. And in this movie's universe, exploitation is the name of the game. The fact one lady character is cheating on her husband with another woman can safely be called normal compared to other things that happen! One character, for instance, has a thing for cutting off and collecting testicles! A little boy is looked after by a pair of sexy and foul-mouthed twin sisters. (They're related to Rodriguez, and billed as The Crazy Babysitter Twins!) And another character obsesses about making the perfect barbecue sauce even in the face of zombie invasion!
OKAY, BUT DOES IT HAVE PLENTY OF BLOOD AND GORE?
Ahem. Let's do the math. Rodriguez also directed "From Dusk Till Dawn", one of the goriest, most nihilistic vampire movies ever. This is his self-described exploitation movie. You want gore? How does one character getting pulled apart by Sickos grab you? Trust me, it's GORY!
BOTTOM LINE, DID ANYBODY GET OUT ALIVE?
Never mind, just go see the movie!
THE MORAL OF THIS STORY:
In an uncertain world, when one suffers tremendous loss...even losing a part of oneself...one must reach within to find the strength to face any obstacle as one reaches without to find the means to preservere. Or, one can simply say, whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. So if you don't get infected by zombies, just take a machine gun to sub for your missing body part and start kicking ass!