Horror Movie Review: Planet Terror (2007)
Planet Terror is a 2007 American action horror film written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Set in Texas, the film follows the survivors of a biochemical outbreak as they battle zombie-like creatures and a rogue military unit.
The film was originally released theatrically as part of Grindhouse, a double feature that combined Planet Terror with Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof.
In rural Texas, go-go dancer Cherry Darling quits her job and hits the road. Eventually running into her mysterious ex-boyfriend El Wray at the Bone Shack, a restaurant owned by brothers J.T. and Sheriff Hague. After a heated discussion, Cherry decides to hitch a ride with El Wray. Meanwhile, the demented Lt. Muldoon and his men make a transaction with chemical engineer Abby for mass quantities of DC2, a deadly biochemical agent. When Muldoon learns that Abby has an extra supply, he attempts to take Abby hostage. This causes him to release the gas into the air, mutating most of the town’s residents into deformed zombies. The infected townspeople are treated by Dr. William Block and his unhappy, unfaithful, and bisexual anaesthesiologist wife, Dakota at a local hospital.
Random attacks begin along the highway, causing El Wray and Cherry to crash. In the aftermath, several zombies tear off Cherry’s right leg. At the hospital is Tammy, the former lover of Dakota, who Block recognizes. Upon realizing Dakota was about to leave him for Tammy, he stabs Dakota’s hands with her anaesthetic syringe needles repeatedly, rendering them useless, before locking her in a closet.
El Wray is detained by Sheriff Hague based on past encounters between the two. As the patients mutate, El Wray leaves the station and arrives at the hospital. He attaches a wooden table leg to Cherry’s stump. As El Wray and Cherry fight their way out of the hospital, Dakota manages to escape in her car. Meanwhile, Block becomes infected along with others, while Cherry and El Wray take refuge at the Bone Shack.
With Hague badly injured, the group decides to flee to the Mexican border, before being stopped by a large mass of zombies. Muldoon’s men arrive, killing the zombies before arresting the group.
Can the infected be stopped? Can they escape? Will Cherry stay off the pole for good this time? Watch and find out.
Planet Terror is the type of movie you dream of coming across in the middle of the night, halfway through and being in awe with the wild, crazy scenes going on. If you’re into horror comedy, then this is absolutely your jam. It’s beautifully gory, bloody and has moments so effective they’ll make even a seasoned horror fan squirm. Tom Savini is on point with the effects. They’re realistic and hold up perfectly for a 15 year old film. But that’s the glory of practical effects.
You can tell Planet Terror is a real love letter to the genre of cheesy over the top horror comedies of the 70s/80s. It’s the definition of a pastiche. Not a parody but a celebration and imitation of something.
Although, it’s not original, intentionally so I believe, it does give its own spin on an already defined concept and genre. Every actor is clearly having fun and delivering interesting performances. Rose McGowan, although wooden, plays her role perfectly. She’s sexy, badass, convincing and pulls off the peg leg look.
Overall, Planet Terror just does it all damn well, is really funny and full of fantastic gore. What more could you ask for?
The Final Score - 9/10