When Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror was released in April, fans cheered the film as a triumph. Critics used phrases like “modern classic”, while the film festival crowd praised Tarantino’s Death Proof as a marvel of modern film work. With the decision to release the two Grindhouse Double Feature films individually on DVD, it was time to find out which movie was superior. Planet Terror is an old-school zombie flick in just about every way. The movie follows the typical zombie movie blueprint. A military experiment goes wrong and releases a mysterious gas into the air. The problem with the gas is that it turns everyone it comes in contact with into bloodthirsty zombies. Through a series of random events, a group of survivors ends up together.
Among the survivors is a go-go dancer named Cherry, a doctor named Dakota, and a tow truck driver named Wray. They find themselves not only fighting off townspeople who have been turned into zombies, but they are being pursued by a team of mercenaries who are seemingly addicted to DC-2, the mysterious gas that has turned everyone into zombies.
The highlights of this movie are quite plentiful. In the first 20 minutes, you will see a castration, an amputation, and a basic mauling by some zombies on a defenseless woman. There are a lot of pure gross-out moments in this movie. For example, the zombies attack and eat a victim while he screams that it’s not fair.
Another great moment in the film has to be when Cherry’s peg leg is replaced with a machine gun. She deals out so much bloody justice to the mercenaries; you will either throw up from all the blood, or stand and cheer her defeating the bad guys.
This film, just like Death Proof, suffers from a skimpy list of bonus features. If there is one thing that makes this movie stand out a little above Death Proof, it could be that this looks and feels like an old zombie flick. Every frame is grainy and has that old movie crackle. There is even a missing portion of film. This one gives off the vibe that you’re watching a movie at a dingy, dirty theater that may get condemned any minute.
If you want an old school super bloody zombie flick with tons of humor, then look no farther than Planet Terror, but avoid it at all costs if you are squeamish.