Planet Terror (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

Review byMatthew Turner26/10/2007

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Exciting, sexy, gory – in a good way - and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, Rodriguez's zombie exploitation flick is the most fun you'll have in the cinema all year.

What's it all about?
The other half of the intended Grindhouse double bill with Tarantino's Death Proof, Robert Rodriguez's zombie exploitation flick is prefaced by a trailer for an ultra-violent (and non-existent) thriller called Machete (starring Danny Trejo, some naked women and lots of guns), in order to add a bit of drive-in flavour before the zombie action starts. After a glorious title sequence featuring Rose McGowan's pole-dancing act, the plot kicks off with a chemical weapon accidentally being unleashed and turning several people into flesh-hungry zombies.

In no time at all, almost the entire town is infected, leaving pole-dancer Cherry Darling (McGowan), her ex-boyfriend Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), military scientist Abby (Naveen Andrews) and Sheriff Hague (Michael Biehn) to defend themselves as best they can. Meanwhile, sinister married doctors Dakota and Bill (Marley Shelton and Josh Brolin) put their marital problems aside when their hospital becomes overrun with zombies.

The Good
Planet Terror is terrific fun from beginning to end. Rodriguez's script gleefully exploits all the exploitation conventions, layering in sex, nudity, explosions, motorbikes, bonkers stunts and terrific special effects work.

The cast are fantastic too, particularly the super-sexy McGowan, who becomes the film's iconic image when she somehow ends up with a machine-gun for a leg. Marley Shelton is equally good as the homicidal doctor planning to leave her husband to run off with another woman (early zombie victim Stacey Ferguson, aka Fergie) and there's also a fabulous cameo by Bruce Willis.

The Great
In addition, the characters all get really interesting back stories and the dialogue is frequently laugh-out-loud funny. Also, the gore effects are brilliantly used and the script even manages to pull off a spot of political subtext in amongst the mayhem.

Worth seeing?
Planet Terror is a hugely entertaining zombie exploitation thriller that delivers laughs, gore, terrific characters and more zombie ass-kicking than you could possibly hope for. As such, it's one of the best films of the year. A masterpiece.

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Content updated: 22/09/2018 21:30

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