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Planet Terror

Humanity's Last Hope... Rests On a High Power Machine Gun 

Year: 2007 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Planet Terror

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Starring: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Josh Brolin, Bruce Willis

A stripper with a machine gun for a leg, fending off hordes of zombified soldiers. Need I say more?

Blasting off with a spoof trailer for a film called Machete - where the US government find out they’ve double-crossed the wrong Mexican. The tone is set for what is about to come.

Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror is a fun, tongue-in-cheek zombie film designed to pay homage to the old Grindhouse films of America. Originally it was intended to be shown as a double bill with Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (Saturday Week 3), together simply called Grindhouse. However, for the UK release, the two parts were released separately, with extra footage added to the considerably cut down double bill versions.

Planet Terror is by far the more fun of the two. Rodriguez manages on the one hand to give it the feel of the stories it is honouring, while on the other, managing to make it fresh and original. It thus avoids the trap of becoming just another bad film from the genre it’s inspired by.

The story starts with a shootout involving a crack team of renegade soldiers led by Lieutenant Muldoon, played by the ever-reliable Bruce Willis. These soldiers have been infected by a virus that turns them into zombies, only managing to stave off the effects by continuingly inhaling small quantities of the infected gas. In the shootout, the gas is released into the atmosphere and the effects are soon felt in the local town. Can a mysterious small-time criminal, El Wray, and his ex-girlfriend, a stripper called Cherry, save the day?

Planet Terror only received a limited theatrical release, so this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it on the big screen. A definite must-see for anyone who loves Grindhouse films, or who just wants to see a horror film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The unforgettable finale alone is worthy of the ticket price.

George Marshall

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Screenings of this film:

2007/2008 Spring Term (35mm)