Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Now That's Just Gross: Planet Terror (and friends)

The following review is in depth and contains plot points and funny moments. You've been warned

I don't get grossed out at movies. It just doesn't happen to me.

I mean, I've seen so many heads severed and intestine removed via fist through stomach that I simply can't find conventional gore disgusting anymore.

All that changed at the onset of "Planet Terror", Robert Rodriguez's addition to "Grindhouse."

But before we begin, let me tell you about "Machete."

In order to give the film a complete "this is a drive-in" feel, Tarantino and Rodriguez got some of the best B-movie directors to come up with fake trailers to fake movies, all parodies of other films.

"Machete" is the tale of a Mexican immigrant who'll do anything for money...even kill a senator.

But when he's betrayed by the mob, he becomes their worst nightmare.

They just messed with the wrong Mexican.

It's honestly the funniest trailer I've seen in a while, save the oh-so-crappy Tooth Fairy thing I saw when I watched "Voodoo Moon." But that wasn't intentionally funny, so I don't think it counts.

"Planet Terror" is a fantastic film, and an homage to zombie movies from time immemorial.

It begins with the introduction of the monster, in this case a diseased soldier trying to find a cure (Bruce Willis, who is in every freakin' movie coming out this summer).

A crazy scientist (Naveen Andrews from "LOST") is willing to sell the deadly poison needed for the officer's devious purposes, but all goes awry. The gas is released and spreads everywhere, and it has a nasty side-effect of melting skin and causing spontaneous zombitus.

Oh, and the mad scientists collects balls.

I'm serious, he collects two out of three of a man's holy trinity when he's angry (or when the mood strikes), and he keeps them in a jar. Now that's the kind of detail you just don't get anywhere else.

This movie has all kinds of sick and twisted moments. Fergie of BEP gets brain eaten, a dog is run over, spraying hot latina twins with blood, and a man pulls a boil off of his cheek and pops it in another man's face. And those are the tame moments.

What makes PT amazing are the characters. Freddy Rodriguez plays Wray, a possible-ex-soldier-super-spy who's turned junkyard worker. He flies around the screen, killing zombies with flare and landing every scene with a witty one-liner.

His love interest is the one-legged vixen Cherry (Rose McGowan from "Phantoms"...come on, you saw that movie and loved it). Her line comes after performing some pointless acrobatic act: "That's useless talent number four" etc. Once Wray straps an M-203 grenade launcher to her leg, she becomes something more.

Wray's line is "I never miss." This will mean more in a bit.

The whole film is hilarious, with cameos every other scene and a running gaggle of disfunctional players, including a mother who lets her son blow his head off.

I can't go into every scene, as there's too much to cover, but there is something I should mention.

Aside from the previously stated fact that a scientist collects johnny's bowling partners, there are a lot of low blows in this film, if you take my meaning. Quentin Tarantino performs his usual "I'm gonna die soon" cameo and, well, partsparts of him melt off.

It's kinda graphic.

The movie ends on a somber note, with humanity running away from the viscious zombie-face-melter virus, and Cherry as the leader of the survivors. Along with her is a beautiful baby girl, Wray's daughter (like he said, he never misses).

I fell in love with this film, and it disgusted me at the same time. Well played, Rodriguez.

Well played.

Before signing off I'd like to talk about another preview.

"Werewolf Women of the SS."

I really don't have to say much about this film. You get the general point.

One thing I need to mention is the cameo by Nicholas Cage...

As Fu Manchu.

Utter genius.

That's all for now, folks. Come back soon for "Death Proof."

Watch carefully.

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