Planet Terror (2007)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Better than Death Proof, fun homage/spoof of the genre

Easy to make an internationally bad film and sometimes loses the low budget idea

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Planet Terror

Studio:  Troublemaker Studios

Genre(s):  Horror/Action/Adventure/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  April 6, 2007

MPAA Rating:  R


Giving shooting up new meaning…

An elite military group has unleashed horror on a small Texas town when a chemical is spilled into the atmosphere.  As zombies rise, a small group of survivors fight the zombie plague and realize their only hope could be a military base where the secret to the chemical is held.  A plague is coming and the horror will not stop!

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, Planet Terror was part of a joint venture with Quentin Tarantino and originally released as part of a double feature under the title Grindhouse with Tarantino’s Death Proof.  The movie received relatively positive reviews from critics, but Grindhouse as a whole was box office failure.  Both Planet Terror and Death Proof were released as individual films in some markets and on DVD.


Someone’s got wood!

I was excited when I heard about Grindhouse.  Rodriguez and Tarantino had worked together multiple times and generally made good stuff.  My friends and I went to see Grindhouse in the theater and found it both inspiring and dull.

I have to say that Planet Terror was the inspiring part of the experiment by the two directors.  The movie was a homage to low-budget horror, sci-fi films.  As a result, you get a really stylized film that is scratchy and rough to watch.  There are gimmicks throughout the movie (including the fun fake trailers that included Machete which became a feature film; Hobo with a Shotgun also played in some versions), and at moments of big scenes, missing reels and bad edits which weren’t uncommon in the time grindhouse films were popular.


Leg upgrade!

The cast is quite good.  Like many survival stories, it is an ensemble cast with tons of actors in small roles.  Rose McGowan stars as the de-legged go-go dancer Cherry and probably would be considered the star along with Freddy Rodriguez and Marley Shelton as the nurse with the needles.  Bruce Willis plays the villainous general and Lost vet plays the scientist who can (or can’t) shut the whole plague down.  Jeff Fahey and Michael Biehn play the brothers caught in the middle of the story and Quentin Tarantino himself also appears as one of the soldiers having a (disgusting) negative effect to the chemical.

The story is cliche (intentionally) but enjoyable.  I like what was attempted by the two Grindhouse films and wished that they had done better so it could have become a “regular” with new grindhouse films making the theater with different directors.  The problem I had with Grindhouse as a whole lies more with Tarantino’s Death Proof which was attempting a different genre, but I felt Tarantino couldn’t stick to his own plan.  If you only have time for one of the two Grindhouse pictures stick with Planet Terror.

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Related Links:

Death Proof (2007)

Machete (2010)

Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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