Dec 27, 2007

[Movies] Planet Terror

Grindhouse: Planet TerrorIt was only recently that we finally acquired copies of the two Grindhouse movies originally released as a double feature in theaters outside the country. Sadly here in the Philippines, it seems the censors went other both films with a fine-toothed comb and ended up releasing the movies separately. Planet Terror was first to get past the MTRCB, more or less while Death Proof isn't due to come out until next year. Boo to close-minded censors!

During it's original run, the two movies received mixed reviews, mainly because the average movie-goer these days isn't very familiar with the grindhouse theater concept, I suppose. However given my own understanding the sometimes termed exploitation films and was pretty much prepared from the get-go. So on one peaceful evening my partner and I opted to watch Planet Terror first.

Planet Terror brings back memories of all the cheesy zombie movies of our campy social past. The premise is both ridiculous and simple at the same time - a biological weapon gets released into the air and turns a small town into a zombie den in the same style as the Resident Evil storyline. Of course there are those who find themselves to be immune to the effects of the gas and the odd crew band together to survive.

The treatment of the film tries to stay in line with the grindhouse concept given the movie was made to be intentionally grainy and outright dirty in some parts and I have to admit a part of me was trying to see if there were ulterior motives behind certain splotch patterns, as if it was a humorous way of censoring certain parts or hinting at further action not directly stated. There was even a portion of the movie where one of the reels was supposedly missing, so you end up jumping forward significantly in terms of the story.

The movie was jam-packed with fairly big name actors / actresses and multiple cameos - I suppose the main attraction was the nature of the project after all. There was Rose McGowan and her logically-impossible machine gun leg, Bruce Willis got to be the leader of the military zombie group, Naveen Andrews of Lost fame was the scientist involved in the bio-weapon and Fergie got to be a sexy pair of legs for the most part. There were many others including Michael Biehn, who I totally crushed on back when he appeared in sci-fi classics like Aliens and The Terminator, and of course the directors themselves.

I have to warn you that the movie gets pretty graphic - it is a grindhouse film after all. Given the film style they made sure many of the scenes looked obviously faked and such but still there are plenty of scenes that make your popcorn want to come out the the wrong way. If you thought Tarantino's Kill Bill was pretty bloody, this movie is even worse - and I mean that in a good way!

So if you're thinking of going back to the old days of blood, gore and senseless sex, then this is definitely the kind of cult classic that you need to make the effort to see.

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