Title: Planet Terror
Dir.: Robert Rodriguez
Producer(s): Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Elizabeth Avellan
Writer(s): Robert Rodriguez
Company: Troublemaker Studios, Rodriguez International Pictures (RIP), Dimension Films
Starring: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Naveen Andrews, Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, Stacy Ferguson, Bruce Willis
BIG DISCLAIMER UP FRONT: I am strictly focusing on the film and the film’s subject matter. I am not going to go down the path of the recent #MeToo movement and the allegations/history of Harvey Weinstein and McGowan, etc. This blog is not for that.
2007 feels like a long time ago, doesn’t it?
I was curious to see what other big or small horror films came out with in 2007. The Mist, 30 Days of Night, Dead Silence (which I swear was much older but it’s from that year), Trick r’ Treat, Paranormal Activity, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, The Poughkeepsie Tapes, George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead and 28 Weeks Later.
So we’re getting original content and sequels. And included is a throwback collaboration called “Grindhouse” which is based off theater experiences/exploitation films that were very big in the past (pornrographic, violent, showcasing of drugs, etc) and you have two very big directors of the genre in Rodriguez (From Dusk til Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, Spy Kids, Machete and recently Alita: Battle Angel) and Tarantino (Kill Bill, Django Unchained, Inglorious Bastards, Pulp Fiction and recently Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) working together to create a theater experience by combining two films together, including intermission, fake trailers (some had become actual films and not Thanksgiving??! That was my favorite one) as well.
Planet Terror is a zombie/military style horror film and you also have Death Proof, a tale about a stuntman using his vehicle to hunt and murder women. We’ll get to the latter very soon in a future post.
Now I enjoyed Planet Terror. I liked the gore factor, it’s definitely bloody as fuck and goes over the top with SPX and make up (Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger) but I also really like the characters. I think Cherry Darling (McGowan) is fun as our eventual heroine. I mean, where else can you see a character waltzing around with a machine gun as a leg? I’d take that over having a chainsaw for an arm (sorry Ash, I still love you).
It’s been awhile since I’ve watched it. Let me go watch it.
Okay cut to many many many minutes later…
I love the interaction between Wray (Rodriguez) and Cherry a lot. I wish they had delved into their past relationship because it is a complete 180 from the relationship we get with Dakota (Shelton) and William (Brolin, pre-Thanos). God, that dynamic is definitely toxic, dangerous, abusive and even though Wray and Cherry had differences, from what is gathered, there is genuine true love and appreciation there that blossom throughout the film.
And I’m trying very hard to not compare it to other zombie films of the past. I mean, this isn’t Night of the Living Dead or even… 28 Days Later. This is about action. This about the gore. The violence, basically people who are already fucked up in some manner is now thrust into this world of zombies.
I love the color tones throughout the film. It’s a mixture of cool tones and warm and not gonna lie, my heart swelled up a bit at looking at the film after years not seeing it. I’m not sure if they purposely created the set to have these colors or if it was post production and perhaps played with gradients and whatnot to create this vibrant world. It’s similar looking (or shot) to From Dusk til Dawn but there are some clear differences.
The only critique I have is I wish for more character development and possible plot development with the military doing what they do which is experimental but I thought about the film Overlord (2018) and how there was a great mix of character/plot points mixed with a military film as the focal point but there’s also zombies? Or even 28 Days Later where it is more about the characters and the zombies are secondary but even int here, the military has a big role in the aftermath. Does anyone else get where I’m coming from? I wish there was more depth, that’s all, but that’s not exploitation so I can’t have it.
Those movies gave me range. This gave me fun and excitement. And gore, lots of gore.
Disgusting, over the top, bloody, bloody gore.