Today's Pick: Planet Terror (2007)
I was abnormally excited for Grindhouse when it was announced. A double feature from two balls-to-the-wall filmmakers (Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino) that promised fanboy levels of reverence to the exploitation cinema of yesteryear? I couldn't wait. Walking out of the theater, I was perplexed at the fact that the few fake trailers made for the film were better than the two movies themselves. Over time, I've actually come to appreciate Tarantino's Death Proof as a strange double feature in of itself, but that flick doesn't really jive with the Halloween season. Instead, I'm going to tell you why you should watch Planet Terror, even though it is an a absolutely awful picture.
To be fair, there is one arena where Planet Terror excels, and that's in the excessive and often deliriously disgusting gore. KNB EFX goes all out here, and it's definitely the highlight of the picture. Blood, pus, and an inordinate amount of testicular mishaps makes this a gorehound's gold mine. If you want nothing but lots of yucky shenanigans, then Planet Terror will assuredly satisfy you.
Plenty of the actors are enjoyably trashy, so the film isn't a complete waste, but everything else is deafening levels of stupid. The movie is way too self-aware and polished to ever become the schlocky cult hit it's trying to emulate, and its attempt to be both cartoonish and somewhat dramatic (we are actually supposed to care about some of these "characters") collides together in the worst kind of crash test dummy way. And don't thinks this all congeals into the magical realm of "so bad it's good." Planet Terror is just bad.
But even so, it's possible to like this movie. I liken it to watching videos of people on the internet being stupid or oblivious and getting their comedic comeuppance. Planet Terror is a film you can feel okay about laughing at. It's the little kid who tries to do some cool stunt to impress their friends and family, and they end up falling on their ass. You know the kid was trying, but his failure is too funny not to acknowledge.
I deliberately chose this movie to show up on a Friday. This is a movie you watch when you're hammered. I don't mean you start drinking when the film starts, but rather you pop this in when you are full blown plastered. This movie is that state of mind transferred to celluloid. You will have a blast while you're in that mode, but come the next morning, you are going to be regretting ever picking it up. It's your week before Halloween primer!
Tomorrow, we go apeshit with a lawnmower. See you then!
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