(Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)
For the first time in a long while, (perhaps even the first time ever) I sat down to watch a Zombie film that belongs to my Flatmate and not me. Sure, I saw this film months ago at the cinema but I never got around to picking it up for my own collection. I guess that my desire to find zombie films at paltry prices through eBay and other *cough* miscellaneous legitimate sources *cough* means that the thought of paying around £15 for an easily available DVD just doesn’t sit well with me. Besides, i’m kind of trying to get hold of the Japanese 6 disc version of the whole Grindhouse release – with the proper theatrical release that only the lucky USA peeps got to see originally – but that’s looking like it’ll cost me around £50 so I shouldn’t really complain about the price other people pay for individual movies. Anyhow enough winging about the price of DVDs these days and onto the film itself.
Planet Terror is pretty much the type of movie I would make if I were a reasonably famous Hollywood director with free reign to film whatever I choose. Take a bare bones nonsense zombie plot, borrow several well known actors, chuck in liberal and stupendously O.T.T. CGI special effects, not to mention various lovely ladies and you’ve more-or-less got the ideal film for lovers of pure cinematic guff. There are no morals to this story, no dippy romances, no character development, just a bunch of ridiculous people and some chemically poisoned zombies shooting the bejeezus out of each other. What more could you want?
OK, possibly there are too many human characters here as each of their ‘stories’ gets a tad lost in the mixture, but each one serves their purpose, (ie, for us to enjoy their misfortune). There is a female doctor exposed as a lesbian by her husband who consequently anaesthetises her and locks her in a closet, an ex-stripper with a machine gun for a leg, a child whose sole role is to shoot himself in the face by mistake, and some army jocks who are infected with zombie virus but are gassing themselves in an attempt to prolong their lives. The film also features the typical gun slinging outsider, a couple of useless sheriffs, some other randoms i’ve no doubt forgotten at the moment and of course Tom Savini (who else would you give a substantial cameo to in a Zombie homage movie?).
The gore effects and unique storytelling techniques are way too sensational for a mainstream movie, with bloody gunshot wounds splurging miles into the air and a comedic Missing Reel screen midway through – which allows all the humans and zombies to mass around the same vacinity with no explaination as to how everyone arrived at this situation.
Everything about this movie it utter, utter nonsense. How do you pull the trigger of a gun attached to your stumpy leg without using your hands? Why would you collect a jar of testicles? Why would you stay with your abusive husband when your lesbian lover is Fergie from Black Eyed Peas? None of this matters as the whole experience was the perfect mix of gore and comedy. It’s just a pity that the only norks on show were during the fake trailer for Machette at the beginning, but then that’s essentially still part of the film so I’ll accept it.
Gore Score B
Norks Score C-
Overall Score B