In a love letter to 1970s grindhouse cinema, Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" serves up a buffet of excess—gory violence, outrageous dialogue, and jaw-dropping action sequences. Part of the double-feature experience along with Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof," "Planet Terror" embraces its genre's tropes with such enthusiasm that it becomes an original experience unto itself.
Rose McGowan stands out as Cherry Darling, a go-go dancer turned gun-legged heroine. Yes, you read that right. After a horrific incident, her character gets a machine gun for a leg, and it's as outrageous and entertaining as it sounds. Freddy Rodriguez as El Wray plays the mysterious bad-boy hero with gusto, and the chemistry between the two leads adds a touch of authentic emotion amid the chaos.
The plot is intentionally convoluted, involving a biochemical agent, military schemes, and zombie-like infected humans. What sets "Planet Terror" apart is Rodriguez's unapologetic commitment to the genre. The film revels in its own absurdity, showcasing elaborate deaths, absurdly grotesque mutations, and lines of dialogue that are as cheesy as they are memorable.
Visually, the film incorporates grainy footage, missing reels, and abrupt edits to recreate the feel of a worn-out grindhouse film. The soundtrack, teeming with electric guitars and pounding drums, complements the movie's frenetic energy.
However, the film isn't for the faint of heart or those easily offended. It's packed with gore, crass humor, and sexual innuendo. But if you're a fan of grindhouse cinema or you're in the mood for an adrenaline-pumping, unapologetically ridiculous experience, "Planet Terror" is an exhilarating ride that delivers exactly what it promises: thrills, spills, and a whole lot of chills.