Fragment: Planet Terror.

My back has been killing me today, and I’ve not been in the mood to write. Fortunately for you, heh, I wrote this yesterday. It’s pretty much finished; it just doesn’t have a proper conclusion. Think of it as one of those Lovecraftian fragments: if I put it all together, you’d go mad. Mad, I tell you!

Of course, sometimes blood and guts, explosions, violent car chases, and frantic gunplay have their play. You see, I also had Planet Terror in my Netflix Queue.

The plot, in a nutshell:


Oh, you want more detail, do you? Whiner.

Go-go dancer Cherry decides to quit her job. Unfortunately, she chooses the same night that a weapons dealer unleashes a plague on the town where she lives. Not that would have made much of a difference if she hadn’t quit, though. Her mysterious ex-boyfriend shows up in town that night, too. There is also a psychotic doctor and his adulterous wife, and a guy who runs a barbecue restaurant. The plague creates zombies throughout the town, and the survivors fight back. They run into a psychotic Army colonel and his psychotic henchmen, and fight back some more.

The thing about Planet Terror is that, if it had been played straight, it would have been a good but otherwise ordinary zombie movie. With its over-the-top violence, quirky plot, and ridiculous situations, however, it is not only a prime example of the genre, but also a parody of it. The movie was one half of Grindhouse, the double-feature released last year by directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino (the other half was Death Proof, which I have not seen). Rodriguez is the director here, with Tarantino appearing in a cameo.

Grindhouse aspired to recreate the experience of the 1960s “grindhouse”, theaters that played lewd, semi-competent exploitation films. To create that effect, Planet Terror opens with its own fake trailer (Machete) and theater announcements, and the movie is plagued by damage to the “film”, out-of-focus shots, and even a missing reel.

To compare this to the subject of my previous entry, Planet Terror is a completely different example of the horror genre. However, given its nature as parody, it makes no attempt to create a sense of horror, but instead plays around with the clichés of that genre. Unless you are extremely easy to scare, it would be more correct to think of it as a comedy.


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1 comment:

yelblank152 said...

Hilarious and revolting, but I agree it's not scary.