Robert Rodriguez is a phenomenal writer and director. As part of the “Grindhouse” double feature paired with Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (2007), Rodriguez brought Planet Terror (2007) to the table. A completely different movie from its companion, Planet Terror is an action-packed, humorous combination of sci-fi and horror that is entertaining to watch. It’s got enough guns and shooting for everyone. And if I may say so, this movie is a fun contribution and shows respect to the grindhouse genre.
Planet Terror is an interesting movie. Something disturbing is going down in Texas. A confrontation goes down at a military base between a scientist (Naveen Andrews) and an army lieutenant (Bruce Willis) resulting in the release of a biochemical agent known as DC-12. The chemical agent turns people into melting flesh-eating monsters referred to as “Sickos”. The gas causes a pandemic that fills the local hospital where Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton) and her husband (Josh Brolin) work. Among the patients is a go-go dancer named Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan) who just quit her job in search of change. Earlier that night Cherry reunited with her ex-boyfriend Wrey (Freddy Rodríguez) and they have an encounter with the sickos causing Cherry to lose her right leg and be admitted into the hospital. As chaos continues to unfold around the hospital as well as the town, Cherry, Wrey, Dakota and a variety of additional characters try to fight their way through the pandemic and remain alive.
I liked the two main female characters, Cherry and Dakota. I fancied Cherry’s cynical personality. The journey for her is about finding the direction for change in her life, all while knowing how to shoot an M4A1 carbine assault rifle with her leg. Let’s say that her cleverness makes her adapt to situations and think quickly. She isn’t a pushover, you wouldn’t be if you were a go-go dancer in a questionable part of town. As tough as Cherie is, she is a romantic as well; but she keeps that passionate heart close to her.
Dakota is a different version of femininity compared to Cherry. Where Cherry’s looks are obvious and displayed throughout the movie, Dakota is a determined mom who demonstrates her intelligence in medicine. Like Cherry, she’s also looking for a change. It just so happens that the search for change came with bad timing because flesh-eating sickos are out on a hunt. She doesn’t have an assault rifle appendage, but she is quite gifted in knocking people out with medication. Needless to say, she’s also a heroic female figure that makes a great pair with Cherry.
Planet Terror is a great movie to watch. It’s gross and rough with gorgeous women who kick ass. I think that it’s an awesome grindhouse film with two solid female leads. Give this movie a try if you’re looking for monsters, guns, and girls. This movie is an accomplishment by Robert Rodriguez and I think most people would agree. Happy watching!