We all know that this Halloween will not look like other Halloweens from years past. And yet, the month of October waits for us all the same. It is about time we put the spirit of Halloween back into that abandoned department store that we call the year of 2020. So to celebrate, we at Full Circle Cinema put together a curated, month-long series called Screen Screams. This time, we will be covering all things zombies. For this review, we look at Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror.
The zombie genre of horror died off for a while after the amazing run in the 60s from George Romero and others. Here and there you got a few zombie films up until about 2005. Once 2005 came, there was a surge in zombie films and the genre took off again. Today, we are focusing on the 2007 film Planet Terror by Robert Rodriguez… A very very bad film.
The film focuses on Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan), a go-go dancer that’s just trying to find her place in the world. After a biochemical engineer accidentally releases an experimental weapon into the air and causes an entire town to turn into zombies… Cherry gets thrown into a world filled with chaos. Teaming with other survivors – Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), Dr. Dakota Block (Mary Shelton), J.T. (Jeff Fahey), Sheriff Hague (Michael Biehn), among others they try to stop the spread of the zombie virus and save the world.
I applaud Robert Rodriguez for writing, directing, and shooting his own film… The film is an absolute disaster though. The cinematography and the dialogue fit the campiness of the film, but it honestly just reads like a parody. There is nothing about this film that stands out to me. It’s a gorefest zombie film that doesn’t strike fear in you unless you really dislike bad films. The special appearances by Fergie (Tammy) and Bruce Willis (Lt. Muldoon) couldn’t even keep this film afloat. It’s very ambitious in its essence, but it’s just a film that falls flat on its face.
If there is anything remotely good about this film, it’s the chemistry of the actors. The cast was the only decent thing about this absolutely ridiculous film. McGowan and Rodriguez definitely held their own throughout the movie. Josh Brolin, Shelton, Fahey, and Biehn also did a good job gluing this film together. The actors took a bad script and did what they could with it; which wasn’t much in reality.
This film had so much potential, but it falls flat. I personally couldn’t tell if the film was supposed to be serious or a parody. The amount of nuance throughout made it hard to understand what the film wanted to be. I know some horror films have their comedy relief, but it just seems like that’s all this film is. There was never a moment of general horror or suspense for me. I just think it’s a horribly put together film. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Planet Terror is now streaming VOD across multiple platforms.
The film stars Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Mary Shelton, Jeff Fahey, and Michael Biehn.