If Killer Klowns is lovingly sewn together by your coulrophilic neighbour (wait, no…), Planet Terror is a grindhouse pastiche ruthlessly tailored by a master craftsman. It’s ridiculous fun, and as much as I am not an admirer of style at the expense of story, this did make me laugh out loud at the sheer excess of it all.
Lieutenant Muldoon tries to buy a consignment of a biochemical weapon, DC2, from an arms trader for his mercenary army, but some people already infected with DC2 escape. Cherry Darling is a stripper who quits her job, runs into her ex-boyfriend El Wray, and after a car crash leaving town, has her leg ripped off by a pack of marauding flesh-eating mutants. Dr Dakota Block is planning to leave her husband for another woman during their joint shift at the local hospital, but just as he finds out, the DC2 infection hits the local population. All of these characters, and more, converge in a relentless circus of cheesy dialogue and amusingly extreme violence.
This film has everything from a rogue scientist who keeps his adversaries testicles bottled to a stripper with a machine gun for a leg. I particularly enjoyed the ‘missing reel’ that skips through a chunk of unnecessary plot to get to the action. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarentino collaborated in the making of this and the Tarentino-directed Death Proof, with both films released as a double feature, Grindhouse. They weren’t a hit in 2007, but I think this is glorious fun.