In the modern cinema there are only two artists directly responsible for recent exploitation/grindhouse style revival – Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, both ardent fans of 70’s tits and guns. While we know very well what Tarantino’s been up to for the last 15 years, we sometimes forget, that he’s brilliant friend and associate has been DOIN’’ HIS OWN THING all this time (Tarantino made sure to sidekick). Strictly nothing else, but pushing agenda to the edge’s limit! What’s his agenda you’ll ask? Bring back home the joy of blood and brains splattering all over with zombies, bikers and chicks DOIN’ THEIR THING. I cannot help to say: Great vision, isn’t it.
"Planet Terror" is a high praise of exploitation Renaissance – intelligent and DEFINITELY predatorial homage to 60’s & 70’s drive-in cinema. Movies like "Night Of The Living Dead", Zombie Holocaust", "Blood Feast" or "I Drink Your Blood" are only couple of flicks which stand right in front of your eyes, when you watch this awesome picture. I sincerely loved Rodriguez’s effort from beginning to the end enjoying the uncut version very, very much. What is here not to enjoy anyway? Stripper character named Cherry with a machine gun leg? Bruce Willis self-parodying his own style of acting? Texas bar owner trying to invent a perfect recipee for a beef barbecue? Toxic zombies eating brains out? For a real exploitation lover I can hardly think of a better treat.
Obviously it watches more like a blockbuster… but it never stormed the box office, when screened with "Death Proof" as a double feature in USA (a homage to B-movie drive-in packages). The reason in my opinion is simple, "Planet Terror" is not just another high budget (boring as fuck) clone, but pure exploitation in it’s essence taken over the top for the fun of it. In this case form is it’s own guardian, thus won’t be appreciated by people, who cannot read it’s correspondences and musings. After all, certain sense of humour is inevitable for watching this picture, without it you’re not gonna get far. Last but not least we cannot undermine cinematography, scenography and aciting in "Planet Terror" – they’re all very tight and themselves call for an applause.
It’s so hilarious indeed when you see Tarantino doing his episodic role. You just start laughing, while a teaser for "Women In Cages" (1971) is played in the background ("Soft flesh for hard cash"). Moments like that make this film a perfect parody – a general proof that two boys had a plenty of fun writing and shooting it. In my eyes "Planet Terror" stands as an example of modern cinema redefining itself one more time and giving at least some people exactly what they want! If you didn’t expect this, then I guess that "Transformers" would be more suitable.