(Horror) A fun zombie film that busts at the seams with gross special effects, amazing action, and deliciously over-the-top moments, as gun-legged Cherry Darling and one man wrecking crew El Wray try to save the world ... more »from a horde of flesh-eating zombies.« less
Robert Rodriguez' half of the "Grindhouse" two-fer finds a little Texas town under attack from brain-eating zombie mutants. The townspeople must band together to survive, led by Rose McGowan as a one legged stripper who fights back against the evil with her machine-gun prosthetic.
This hilarious homage to 70s exploitation cheese is just pure fun. Ya got boobs, ya got violence, ya got gore, ya got stuff blowin' up on a regular basis, what more do you need?
...and one legged or not, Rose McGowan has NEVER looked hotter than she did in this movie, before or since.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jefferson N. from BLAIRSVILLE, GA Reviewed on 2/23/2012...
Planet Terror was Robert Rodriguez' half of the Grindhouse movie...and it's actually good. It has more of that "grindhouse" feel than Tarantino's Death Proof did. Death Proof was good, but it felt like a Tarantino movie, not a Grindhouse flick. In spite of himself, Tarantino rises too far above that genre...sorry Quinton. Anyway, I'm not putting Rodriguez down, but he's good at making down and dirty action flicks, and that is easily tranferred into that 70's grindhouse feel. The movie is about a bunch of drug dealers who have concocted a biological weapon that makes the victims rotting, flesh-eating zombies. Nothing new there. A group of goverenment agents come to take the toxin. Trouble ensues and the head drug dealer unleashes the toxin. Soon, the nearby town, which is filled with quirky, crazy characters, is being overwhelmed by zombies. The only one that can help is lone wolf El Wray, a tow truck drive with a past. By the end, we have a full-on zombie massacre that puts all but some of Romero's zombie films to shame. It's full of wild stunts and crazy characters...and no shortage of gore. Rose McGowan plays El Wray's ex who ends up losing a leg to the zombies and getting a machine gun for a prosthesis. If this sounds nuts, it is. And great fun for zombie fans.
Now you're probably wondering since I like it, why I didn't give it more stars. I know they were going for the grindhouse feel with a "lost reel" in the middle that has lost information on who El Wray really is and the characters coming together. That was great for the theatrical version, but on a two-disk extended version, I would have liked to see that added in. I know they didn't film it, but that should have been taken into account for posterity. They made a whole movie out of Machete, the fake trailer you will see here...and the "missing" fifteen minutes of this film would have probably been better than that whole movie. Plus, the extras aren't that great for a two-disk film. The first disk has all you need...the movie, a commentary by Robert Rodriguez (which is always fun...he does good ones for the most part), and an audience reaction track...which frankly sounds liked canned stuff. I know in a real audience, you will hear more than cheers and laughter. So, even though this is a good zombie film, you would be just as well off with the one-disk version...unless you're just a Rodriguez crackhead...in which case, by all means, go ahead and get this one.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Eric C. from SLIPPERY ROCK, PA Reviewed on 7/2/2010...
OK....Wow, loved it. It is exactly what you think. A good time zombie movie. Everyone is just having fun with the whole thing, actors, director, you name it.
And the "Missing Reel", absolutely Brilliant!!!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Meg B. (Megatron) Reviewed on 1/26/2010...
Amazing. Mind-numbing. Awesome at all costs. Stylized gore and brutal humor to please even the most refined tastes. Congrats, Robert Rodriguez, you pulled Rose McGowan from that sinking ship known as 'Charmed' and made her hot again. One of the best movies ever made.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rita B. from SEATTLE, WA Reviewed on 1/18/2010...
What deliciously fun romp! Rodriguez manages to capture the grit of an old grindhouse horror film in the best way possible- great dialogue, action and even a touch of romance. This was by far the best part of the Grindhouse dbl feature (sorry Quentin- Death Proof had its moments but Planet Terror is a truly joyful movie-going experience).
It's too bad that the Grindhouse dbl feature didn't do well when it was officially released and it's really too bad that it wasn't released on dvd as a double feature because true fans want to sit through the whole experience again, complete with all the incredible trailers.
For this dvd release you at least get the best of the fake trailers- Machete. There are rumors that Machete is being made into a film- I sure hope so! The trailer is incredible.
If you like old b-movies, old gritty straightforward sci-fi, action, horror films, you'll enjoy this. It's not full of slick digital special effects like a typical sci-fi (or should I say syfy) channel film- its more earthy and more viscerally satisfying.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michael G. (mgmirkin) from PORTLAND, OR Reviewed on 10/20/2009...
Unbelievable... In many senses of the word. One being that it requires serious suspension of disbelief, another being that it's unbelievably gory as only a zombie movie can be. Rose McGowan is a little unbelievable as the heroine. From Charmed to action star all in a single bound? Meh. She was okay, but I kept wanting her to whip out a spell book and hex the lot of 'em back to kingdom come...
This movie definitely had the "grindhouse"feel going for it in spades, from the faux film scratches and defects to the "missing reel" gag and the take-no-prisoners action, violence and splatterfest moments. Did I mention things tend to blow up spontaneously. I lost track of how many cars seemed to blow up with nothing around them...
Seriously though, probably one of the more slick zombie movies out there. Right up there with Dawn of the Dead (remake), Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil, Zombieland, 28 Days Later and a couple others. If you're into zombies pretty hardcore, this may be the movie for you. If you dislike gore or zombies in the least, keep this at arm's length, in fact, ship it to the other side of the country.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
James B. (wandersoul73) from LINDALE, TX Reviewed on 6/18/2009...
Bravo! What a wonderful film.
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Vanessa V. (sevenspiders) Reviewed on 3/12/2009...
Planet Terror is magic. Apocalyptic, decaying corpse-filled, gut-spewing, ultracampy, manic, frenetic magic. If you wouldn't care to see a guy turning into a zombie with pustules bursting banana-yellow goo, spare yourself the trauma. If that's your cup of tea, look no further.
The plot, in an extremely cliched nutshell, is that all hell breaks loose in a small southwestern town, when the local military loses control of a deadly virus that turns people into flesh-eating monsters covered in infected sores. A small group of survivors, including a GoGo dancer who's lost a leg to the undead, a mysterious mercenary, the battered wife of the local doctor, and the owner of the local barbeque, band together to fight off the ravening hoard.
Along the way one-liners are cracked, cars are blown up and enough blood is shed that the actors might as well have been given water-guns filled with fake blood and told to reinact the battle of Gettysburg. The whole thing is done in true B-movie style, with a sort mad glee as infectious as the zombie plague. You'll laugh your way through this love-letter to camp horror films, if you can stand to watch.
8 of 8 member(s) found this review helpful.
Robey S. (Robey) Reviewed on 5/21/2008...
Really fun to watch, but serious B movie. LOL
3 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
"Two against the world, baby!"
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 08/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, a word about this childish boycott. "Grindhouse" gave us two brilliant genre films for the price of one in the theaters. It was a once in a lifetime experience for most of us and a chance to see the two most bada$* directors in Hollywood give us 3+ hours of hardcore horror entertainment including the funniest faux-trailers your likely to ever see. And it bombed. Big time. Why? Because lazy America said it'd wait for the DVD because the film was too long and lost the chance to support a truly brilliant idea and show that we are sick and tired of cardboard cutout PG-13 teen horror and bad remakes of beloved cult classics. They went to see "Disturbia" instead. "Grindhouse" was what true horror fans -hell, what all true film fanatics- have been dying for and shame on all of you who missed it. So the studio took a loss for taking a chance on this idea and as a result, they've split the two films up with extra scenes that were cut for time and are giving us these two films as we haven't yet seen them, each in double-dic editions packed with extras. Awesome, right? Weeeeeellllll, now the same whiners who stiffed the films in the theaters are angry they missed out and want both films on one DVD (as if there'd even be room) for a discount price. Sorry, but it don't work that way. The theatrical cut was packaged as just that, an experience for the theaters simulating the double-feature drive-in days of old. Even if that experience would translate to DVD, why would the company re-release it in a form that already failed miserably? The bottom line is this: we now have another chance to show that THIS is what we as horror fans want to see and the only way to do that is to buy these great-looking DVDs. The notion that making the films bomb yet again on DVD is going to lead to some super-duper deluxe theatrical edition must have been conceived in the mind of a five year old on crack. If we don't support these editions, these films will die and the studio will waste no more money on this failed project or any like it in the future. This is basic business sense. Support true horror and boycott crappy remakes and bloated sequels *cough*Spiderman3*cough* instead.
"Planet Terror" as you already know, was Robert Rodriguez's half of "Grindhouse" and while it's artistically inferior to it's sister film (Tarantino's "Death Proof"), Rodriguez brings the campy action, hardcore gore, and zombie awesomeness hard and fast like you know he can. The music, as always, rocks and grooves, the deaths will make you laugh and recoil in disgust, and Rose McGowan may well be the sexiest thing on the planet. The story is nonsense, of course, and the dialogue is hammy and shooting a grenade launcher directly into the ground will NOT launch you into the air (not in one piece, anyway) like a superhero, but this film is of the kind where this sort of unreal madness only makes you love it more and leaves you drunk and giddy with the chaos. It's silly, but you will love it. Much of "Planet Terror" makes me feel like I'm watching the most kicka$# video game ever made; a game I'd really love to play.
The movie is packed with recurring jokes and funny, memorable dialogue (much of which is based on Rose McGownan's real personality) that pays off in spades down the line. Rodriguez did not skimp on the cast, either. Sure, he cast most of his family plus his doctor and even his freakin' real-estate agent, but they are all fantastic. Bruce Willis chews the scenery, Freddy Rodriguez is THE zombie-killing machine, Quentin Tarantino plays "rapist #1", and you know it's a true undead party when Tom Savini hits the scene. Also, Fergie plays a lesbian who gets her brain eaten by the marauding undead. Yes, I know if this was realistic the scene would have played out like the Simpsons episode where the zombies moan "braaaaaainsss" as they feel her head and then, finding none, leave the so-vapid-she's-sexy pop tart to ponder her 15 minutes of fame; but like I was saying, this is not a realistic movie and any dead Black-eyed Peas member is a good one.
If anyone knows how to do extras right, it's Robert Rodriguez. You've got the standard commentary, plus the audience reaction track from the film's premiere (a personal favorite), his patented "10 minute film school", and yes, the "Machette" trailer still precedes the film. Sweet. The rest of the bonus features largely mirror the "Death Proof" DVD with lots of love for the cast and stuntpeople; very informative and very entertaining. I was actually hoping for more restored footage to the actual movie then we get (more crazy babysitter twins, anyone?) and the visual defects and missing reel -which was fun in the theater- are still there and not nearly as cute, but these are my only gripes. I could seriously write for days about all the things I love about this movie, but I'll just say one more thing before wrapping up: I sure could go for some barbeque.
"Planet Terror" brings some seriously awesome action-horror that delivers everything you want in a zombie film and you'd be a fool to pass on it just because you don't get a whole other movie free. Buy it, buy "Death Proof", and then go wave your copies at the moron down the street who's boycotting."
Together or Apart, "Grindhouse" is a Truely Thrilling and Un
Boss Fan | Take a Right at the Light, Keep Going Straight Unt | 09/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes it sucks they are releasing Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's films separately. And yes it sucks most of us will more than likely end up shelling out more dough for either the theatrical version of "Grindhouse," or some form of special edition package that, even if doesn't recombine the films the way they were in their glorious theatrical release, combines these two movies in some fashion - and gives us back the faux trailers, which were just as much a reason to see "Grindhouse" as either of the films themselves.
"Grindhouse" was an experience. That was the whole point of the project. Bigger than just seeing a double feature, the creators wanted their audience to experience the exploitation pictures of the 70s, many of which inspired them to become the directors they are today, in all their over-the-top glory.
Because the film was too long, too violent and released on Easter weekend, people just didn't get it, didn't want to see a couple of grainy, odd 70's exploitation style flicks (they weren't hits then either, and that's the whole point), it was rated `R' and largely off-limits to its target audience, or because the promos for the film so heavily focused on something as admittedly strange as a stripper with a machine gun leg - there are several theories - "Grindhouse" disappointed in theatres.
It is perhaps because of that we are now getting the films released separately and the experience has been, for the most part, broken up and abandoned. Gone are those terrific trailers, though they admittedly would have seemed out of place as individual special features on just one the films; and gone is the thrill of what was a three-plus-hour, down and dirty, drive in spectacular. Who knows if this decision was meant to recoup lost funds in order to release more versions down the road, or if the two films were always planned to live on their own after theaters, like any film that was part of a double feature during its theatrical release.
As I said, this is not the way I would prefer to relive "Grindhouse," and I sympathize with those who would bash these two DVDs because releasing them separately not only distorts and truncates the experience, but this decision feels like it will ultimately prove to be a cash-grab by the studio when, six months down the line, they decide to release another version. But the fact is, the "Grindhouse" films are still great and work well on their own. Just because they are no longer a double feature doesn't mean each doesn't accomplish what it sets out to do expertly well. And realistically, this type of separate release makes sense in that these really are two separate films, not one long one. But I loved "Grindhouse" in its entirety so much that I was looking forward to reliving the experience over and over, and I envisioned it becoming one of those staple movies the next generation watches behind their parents backs during sleep-overs and such.
Well, shoulda, woulda, coulda. That's not the way, at least for now, the films will be released. And my own hopes for the film's legacy are not what I am supposed to be reviewing.
Nearly as much as debating this releasing format, people have been debating which half of "Grindhouse" is the best - Tarantino's or Rodriguez's. I will admit right off that I found much more to savor, as I always do, in Tarantino's film, "Death Proof". Some have dismissed it as too talky or too boring or not the "slasher" film it was presented to be (though I don't recall being promised anything specific from the movie before its release). It is first and foremost a hot rod thriller ala "Vanishing Point". Cars, stunts, menacing characters - both evil and anti-heroes - and thrilling chases are the point of this vehicle. As usual Tarantino doesn't just mimic the films and filmmakers he idolizes, but he raises the bar and does all the old stuff in a new, interesting and many times in a shockingly audacious way. And the stunts in this flick are not only spectacular, but they are real; and I'll take that over CGI and camera trickery any day.
Which brings us to "Planet Terror."
Yes Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" is the flashier, showier, more action-packed entry here, and just because I'm in the "Death Proof" camp doesn't mean I didn't love what Rodriguz did with this zombie throwback. As both spectacle and parody, "Planet Terror" is big, loud and fun. It has a great cast, some surprising cameos, and tons of great lines. I think the problem I had with "Planet Terror" is that it was a zombie movie. Not because it is a zombie movie (I love zombie movies), but because there have been so many lately and a lot of them have already been presented in a hip, self-winking manor as if they were already sending up old-school, schlocky 70's zombie movies. Because of that, I always felt like I knew where "Planet Terror" was going and I was never that thrilled or gripped with suspense. The movie managed to have some big surprises here and there and plenty of individual great scenes and moments. I would never call it dull, or bad, uninteresting or anything other than expertly done - as I said, I liked this film too, it's just that by comparison, I think Tarantino offered up the more interesting film.
But, to each his own. The criticisms for films like this - and with the goals these guys have in mind, which is really to deliver a piece of hopped-up nostalgia - are relative and negligible. Too criticize "Planet Terror" for some of the things I did one could argue is missing the point. The whole reason for these movies is to honor and revisit the over-the-top junk that these films were. It that regard - and in terms pure entertainment and bang for the buck - these films both out do themselves. But, as they say, I likes what I likes and "Death Proof" was more my style. More ambitious and less obvious in its thrills, the movie builds a sense of dread and it gets that feeling of 70s cinema just right, from the opening shot and title cards, to its gasp-educing, thrillingly abrupt conclusion. Kurt Russel is flat-out fantastic and real-life Tarantino stunt-woman Zoe Bell is a discovery and revelation. As always with QT, this movie is dialog-heavy. I savor his stuff. If you don't, I can see why the movie may play like less than the sum of its parts for you. But I love juicy dialog as much as I love the blood and goo that spills and flies out of bodies in movies like "Planet Terror."
And that is the genius here.
By giving us both sides of the coin - two major types and examples of 70s exploitation cinema - "Grindhouse" delivered on both a promise and a concept. No two directors were more suited for the task, and it likely would have failed with any others at the helm. Now that QT and RR have laid the blueprint, I look forward to seeing what other genre-dabbling directors could do with similar material (like all the guys who contributed those terrific afore-motioned fake trailers - I would definitely pay to see full-film versions of "Machete," "Thanksgiving," and "Nazi Werewolves of the S.S."). Sadly, because the films are now split, some of you may not feel the same excitement (and if you didn't see it theatres, for now at least, you won't see any of these trailers).
But rest assured, even separated, if you pick up either "Death Proof" or "Planet Terror" - preferably both (and assuming you know what you are getting into and what these two visionary directors are trying to do) you are in for one hell of ride. For true film fans or just those in search of something daring, original, and way too entertaining, to miss these two films, or in the case of the fans boycotting their separation: to avoid buying these two films, is to miss out on a great film experience. Sure the real experience was better, but buying these separate is hardly a rip-off. First, both come in jam-packed, two-disc sets with all kinds of bells and whistles, including deleted scenes. And speaking of deleted scenes, since about a half an hour of each film had to be cut for the theatrical release, had they just released "Grindhouse" as we knew it, we would not be seeing the films in their intended entirety.
I don't know if that makes up for separating the two, but it is reason enough for fans of these films to rejoice. Face it. Had they released "Grindhouse" as we knew and loved it, we would still want to see the individual movies in their entirety, so most likely we would have wound up buying two products somewhere along the line anyway. I'm actually hoping somewhere down the line I do indeed get that chance. No I don't want to see three or four more DVD releases of the individual films, but I'll spend some money on these as they are, for what they are, and the entire "Grindhouse" someday.
Here's to hoping we get that chance. "
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 10/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best part of Grindhouse (besides the fake trailers) was Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, which is now on DVD nearly a month after Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof was released. Though the Weinstein Company sadly decided to split the films for home video release (besides Machete, the fake trailers aren't here), the pair's Grindhouse films are an experience to say the least. Planet Terror revolves around Go-Go dancer Cherry (Rose McGowan) and her ex-flame El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) who are caught in the middle of an undead outbreak. As survivors gather together, the military steps in with their own intentions, and thus let the blood bath begin. What really makes Planet Terror so good is that Robert Rodriguez is clearly having a blast with the proceedings, as he pays delightful homage to the exploitation flicks that inspired Grindhouse as a whole. There's nifty gore effects from industry master Greg Nicotero, and the rest of the cast, including Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, Stacy Ferguson, and Lost's Naveen Andrews, make memorable turns as well. Instantly enjoyable for zombie addicts and Rodriguez fans alike, Planet Terror is a deliciously bloody and gooey treat."
JD | Provo, Utah USA | 10/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What makes Planet Terror so good is that it is just simple fun. The plot the characters, the acting, the effects...they are all horrible. The film is simple one-liners, idiotic characters and over the top mayhem. It is an excuse to blow stuff up and spout cheesy lines while taking down zombies in a rain of blood. There are a few clunky "heavy" moments in the film that feel bogged down and are quite painful but if you can make it through them there is a fun ride in store for you. The filming made me laugh when the missing reel message popped up and the warbles and pops are a fun throwback to horrible, horrible "grindhouse" films.
I think there is a lot of the experience that was lost when the movies were split up outside of the theater. I wish that a true theatrical running of double-feature with advertisements and trailers was available because that is what I really want. By themselves, I wouldn't purchase either Planet Terror or Deathproof but I'd rent them for a weekend with the guys while knocking back a few and tearing into some good BBQ."
A Unique Look At Filming Styles Of Ol'
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 11/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You've gotta love blood, gore, sex, lesbianism, and impossible human feats to enjoy something like PLANET TERROR. It is, in essence, a hardboiled 70s slasher/zombie film with all of its nonsensical sexual under (and over) tones surrounded by reel-to-reel style filming with its scratchy and skipping that those who've spent time at the drive-ins of ol' will no doubt enjoy as it harkens them back to days gone by (gotta love that run-on sentence, eh?)
Rose McGowan (Death Proof) plays Cherry Darling (no, it's not a p0rn name ...although it could be), a strip dancer who's suddenly thrust into the middle of a pending apocalypse. The military has unleashed a zombifying chemical and it threatens Cherry's nearby one-horse town.
She is quickly reunited with El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez, Lady in the Water), a lost love turned truck driver who's never forgotten her. The two zip this way and that in an attempt to avoid the newly walking dead but Cherry meets up with a hungry bunch and has a lower leg gnawed off. She's taken to a local hospital where it rapidly becomes apparent that the zombies are taking over.
Meanwhile, El Wray is taken into custody by Sheriff Hague (Michael Biehn) and there's an unmentioned tension between the two that escalates as the Sheriff's town begins falling apart. But the Sheriff knows how good El Wray is with a gun ("I never miss.") and eventually hands over his pistols to him. The ensuing head shots are gruesomely wonderful (I believe the handgun was a .45).
Also amongst this chaos is the strained marriage of two physicians, Dr. William Block (Josh Brolin, The Dead Girl) and Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton, DON'T COME KNOCKING) who work at this hospital where zombies begin increasing in numbers. William suspects his wife is having an affair and it is later confirmed; but it was with another woman, something that incenses him. Dakota is excellent at anesthetizing patients and her skills with her sexy syringe-stuffed garters comes in handy.
The running gag throughout the film is a take on a barbeque restaurant which is besieged by the undead. It is run by Sheriff Hague's brother and the two are at odds over a secret sauce recipe. The brothers eventually come together in a very destructive way, but come together they must.
In the end it is El Wray and Cherry who save the day. El Wray with his dead aim and Cherry with her newfound leggy weapon (gotta love the handicapped!)
This will be a film of contention for many. For those who want a serious telling of a great zombie flick, they won't find it here. For those wanting a laugh-out-loud comedy in-line with such things as Shaun of the Dead, they won't find it either. But it is nicely wedged in-between those two, with some rousingly good gore and a few chuckles thrown in for good measure.
A decent film for those that might enjoy a stroll down memory-film lane.
(Note: This is part 2 of 2 in the Grindhouse Film duet. The first movie, Death Proof, was directed by Quentin Tarantino and the two were broken up upon DVD release. The two films come with an intermission that shows a few hilarious "coming soon" featurettes.)"