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Planet Terror (SE)
DVD disk
Oct 16, 2007 By: Jason Adams
Planet Terror (SE) order
Director:
Robert Rodriguez

Actors:
Rose McGowan
Freddy Rodriguez
Marley Shelton

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When a toxic biochemical is released in a small town, a group of strangers must band together to survive the plague of infected sickos who want nothing more than to sample their flesh.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
A girl with an M4 carbine assault rifle for a leg; thats either the dumbest thing youve ever seen or its so awesome your face melts like Nazis just opened the Ark of the Covenant. If you fit in the latter category, PLANET TERROR easily qualifies as one of the most entertaining and satisfying movies of the year.

Even though the machine gun appendage only makes a fairly brief (but glorious) appearance near the end, PLANET TERROR still reaches near-illegal levels of fun. I mean, whats not to love here? Lethally hot women (Rose McGowan was built for this movieboth physically and performance-wise), some badass dudes (Jeff Fahey and Michael Biehn as brothersgenius) and more than enough gore, goo and splatter to fill twenty horror movies. Most of all Robert Rodriguez nails the tone, look and feel in his half of GRINDHOUSE, complete with his signature creative carnage and blend of practical-digital effects. Its filled with moments both cringe inducing and applause worthy (and one instance of Holy hell, I cant believe Rodriguez just did that!). And with a groovy synth score, the result seriously feels like John Carpenter kidnapped George Romero and took the Delorean back to the 1980s to make an unapologetic movie of that era with a modern day budget.

PLANET TERROR fits in the genre its honoring so perfectly that its almost tongue in cheek in nature. After the missing reel kicks in, the movie goes absolutely insane; from El Wray rocking the pocket bike to liquid-filled hit and runs to helicopter decapitations, it borders on too much insanity without ever crossing the line. The missing reel gag itself is a genius meta nod to the genre. Its hilarious in how its used, but more importantly allows Rodriguez to cut to the glorious chase in a way that filmmakers can only dream of. This means it leaves you with a cool sense of backstory and answered questions, but skips the boring exposition parts and instead concentrates on having fun. So much fun, you just might lose your balls.
THE EXTRAS
The Extended and Unrated cut doesnt offer nearly as much new footage as DEATH PROOF, but it is punctuated by some more gore and a few extra character moments. (The missing reel, thank God, is still missing.) The second disc of bonus material offers a nice splattering of extras.

MACHETE Trailer: The fantastic trailer for the not-yet-existent Danny Trejo movie is thankfully included and plays before the feature film.

Commentary by Robert Rodriguez: The one man filmmaking army always gives informative and entertaining talks and this one is no exception. From cast to effects, if you enjoy the film youll definitely get something out of this track. Its always reassuring for aspiring filmmakers to hear this guy live his dream in his own terms.

Audience Reaction Track: If theres one movie that you want to hear an eager audience scream, laugh and groan throughout, its definitely this one. When I saw GRINDHOUSE in the theaters opening weekend it was unfortunately empty, so this track gave me the experience I was looking for.

10 Minute Film School (11:51): This is fairly short, but oh so sweet. Rodriguez goes through pretty much all the big how did they do that? parts of the movie and shows youhow they did it. From the machine gun leg to the makeup to the gore (both practical and CG), thisll show you what a creative madman Rodriguez is.

The Badass Babes of PLANET TERROR (11:49): Should I be concerned that the sexy babysitter twins are Rodriguezs own nieces? (Nah.) Anyways, as expected, this offers look at each female cast member, with interviews and little bits of trivia, including how Quentin Tarantino randomly bit Fergie.

The Guys of PLANET TERROR (16:31): The chromosomal opposite of the previous extra.

Casting Rebel (5:34): Rodriguez talks about the experience of having his own son Rebel play the Marley Sheltons kid, which if youve seen the movie adds an interesting dimension to things. [Spoiler: The man actually shot alternate footage throughout the film where the kid lives, in case his son ever asks to see the movie].

The Stunts of Planet Terror (13:17): Annnnd zombie action! Your basic look at the stunts and fights covering all the major set pieces.

The Friend, The Doctor and the Real Estate Agent (6:42): A handful of the different supporting actors in the movie are actually just random people Rodriguez knows and decided to put in the movie. I want to be friends with you, Robert Rodriguez. (My email is above.)

Theres also a Poster Gallery, Trailers and Previews. And if youre like me and looking for Rodriguezs trademark 10 Minute Cooking School, he assures you itll be on upcoming double-disc Grindhouse DVD and will reveal Jeff Faheys secret barbeque recipe.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
PLANET TERROR is an over-the-top, nonstop blast of a movie thatll please its audience as much as it makes them squirm. I know it sucks that we cant get the whole GRINDHOUSE experience on DVD just yet (Rodriguez even plugs the upcoming combined set in the extras). But if you cant wait to own this movieand who could blame youI think youll be pleased with this pre-emptive release.

Extra Tidbit: Listen to the radio in Fergies car for a timely connection to DEATH PROOF. Zoe Bell also has a cameo if youre quick enough to spot it.
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