Wednesday, October 10, 2007

DVD Review: Grindhouse presents Planet Terror (2007)

Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, the intentional B-grade zombie film that was the first half of the theatrical flop Grindhouse (I'm quite certain it will be a cult classic, though), arrives on DVD next Tuesday, October 16th.

Planet Terror is about several individuals, including a stripper (Rose McGowan) who has a machine gun as a leg and a mother who can't use her hands because her husband has injected her with a numbing agent, who have to face off against a horde of zombies and even more dangerous military personnel. The movie is camp, but done so quite specifically. The first time I watched it I liked it but didn't love it; the second time around, on DVD, I appreciated Planet Terror a bit more - the gore is great, the women scorching and the excitement non-stop. It's not a perfect movie, but that's okay - in reality, it was never meant to be. Read the full Planet Terror movie review here.

The 2-disc Special Edition version of Planet Terror is well worth it even if you are even a mild fan of the Grindhouse movies. Planet Terror is a great movie to watch with friends, and the special features are just as good:

10-Minute Film School With Robert Rodriguez
This is a very insightful little featurette with Rodriguez showing us "how easy" it is to make a movie such as Planet Terror. Of course, not anyone can just inject computer graphics and gore, Rodriguez does break down his film pretty well, showing how he did a lot of the snazzy things in the film, from the machine gun leg to heads blowing apart to explosions and a dozen other things.

The Badass Babes and Tough Guys Of Planet Terror
The great thing about the featurettes on this DVD are that they are insightful, short and too the point. There are some great 45-minute featurettes out there (see Pirates of the Caribbean), but it's tedious watching something so long. These two 12-or-so-minute featurettes look at the hot women in the movie and the reasoning for their casting and characters; and the men - I didn't really pay attention to that one too much.

Casting Rebel
Is Robert Rodriguez's son really called Rebel? Anyway, it's his son who's the kid in the movie, and Rodriguez talks about his decision to cast his son. Of course, the other stars praise the kid - not that there was anything wrong with him, but would they really say anything bad even if they thought he sucked?

Sickos, Bullets and Explosions: The Stunts of Planet Terror
This one looks at the special effects and such in the movie. It's a fun one and delves into the behind-the-scenes workings of several of the big stunts in the movie. The big explosion scene at the end is certainly the highlight.

There are a few other special features, and don't forget that the movie itself is extended and unrated (I noticed a little more almost-nudity, among other things). The special features are quite good, as they provide a more detailed glimpse into the workings of the movie without spending too much time on any one thing. Recommended.

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