Hello everyone! Welcome to Rod-Tino Tuesday, where we watch a movie directed by either Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez. This week, we are watching the craziness that is 2007’s Planet Terror, by Robert Rodriguez. The release of the film back in 2007 was in the vain of the old grindhouse double feature. The movie was released in conjunction with Death Proof. There were also trailers, one of which is Machete. I would’ve loved to experience something like that in theatres. But, I was in Iraq at the time. Enough about past regrets, let’s start with a brief summary of the movie and bring in the terror.
Oh, the (planet) terror!
Planet Terror takes place in a small town in Texas. Located in this town is an old military base, where a deadly chemical is stored by scientist, scumbag businessman, and testicle collector Abby (Naveen Andrews). Army Lt. Muldoon (Bruce Willis) wants to relieve Abby of the toxin, including some that Abby has hidden. Instead, Abby shoots one of the containers and releases the deadly toxin into the atmosphere. This causes people in the town to become zombies. You can imagine the chaos that occurs after the release of the toxin.
Cherry and Wray
There are so many people in the cast, it’s ridiculous. So, I’ll focus on the most important people. Cherry (Rose Mcgowan) is a miserable go-go dancer who wants to be a stand-up comedian. What I like about her character is that she could have easily been a victim when the zombies attacked and ran off with one of her legs. But, her badass boyfriend Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) does not allow her to sit around feeling sorry for herself. With his encouragement, Cherry becomes something of a superhero, especially when he attached a gun to the stump where there was once a leg. She winds up being the leader that the survivors of the contagion need.
Dr. Dakota Block
When you’re married to Thanos, you will do your best to get away. Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton) works in a hospital as an anesthesiologist. Her brute of a husband Dr. William Block (James Brolin) is an ER doctor at the same hospital. One can deduce that Bill is not a good guy. He proves as much when he stabs her in the hands with a local anesthetic after he finds out that she is taking their young son and leaving with her lover Tammy (Fergie…that Fergie).
Dakota is put through the ringer in the movie. She manages to escape the hospital once the toxin takes over, with two paralyzed hands! Dakota handles her son shooting himself in the head better than anyone under the circumstances. She even gives Cherry advice that helps Cherry realize her full potential.
If you ever watch Planet Terror, make sure you don’t eat lunch while doing so. These zombies make the ones in 28 Days Later look downright sexy. They are riddled with boils and pus. There’s one scene where a zombie squirts pus out of one of his boils and wipes it on Bill. But the scene that brings the gross-out to a climax is with Quentin Tarantino. He is one of Lt. Muldoon’s soldiers. These soldiers are infected with the toxin, but take small doses to keep their “humanity”. Well, Tarantino’s character was so busy trying to sexually assault Cherry, that he neglected to take a dose of the toxin. When he pulls down his pants, his man parts start oozing off of his body. You can’t help but frown at this disgusting sight.
If you’re looking for some profound cinematic experience, you are barking up the wrong tree. But, like The Faculty, Planet Terror offers a campy, crazy good time. You can see the grindhouse influence, from the old movie reel style to the cool soundtrack. It’s gratuitous, over-the-top, and loads of fun.
Wrapping it up
Well, that’s it for Planet Terror. The random number generator has selected the sixth Tarantino film on our list. Grab your sword and call Pai Mei. We’re watching Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Click here if you need the movie list. Until then, be sure to join me on Anime Thursday for Planet With. On Saturday, I discuss Disenchanted. Serenity Sunday continues with Firefly episode seven, Jaynestown. See you later!