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290 of 356 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Two against the world, baby!"
First, a word about this childish boycott. "Grindhouse" gave us two brilliant genre films for the price of one in the theaters. It was a once in a lifetime experience for most of us and a chance to see the two most bada$* directors in Hollywood give us 3+ hours of hardcore horror entertainment including the funniest faux-trailers your likely to ever see. And it bombed...
Published on August 22, 2007 by trashcanman

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun romp through homage to zombie-fest flicks offers chuckles rather than screams
Robert Rodriguez ("El Mariachi," "Once Upon a Time in Mexico") and Quentin Tarantino (do I need to list references?) have famously teamed up on a number of projects ("Desperado," "Sin City"). While these two cinemaphiles always appear to have a blast making their movies, the "Grindhouse" project may be the paragon of their mad-cap filmmaking self-indulgence...
Published on February 1, 2010 by Scott Schiefelbein


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290 of 356 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Two against the world, baby!", August 22, 2007
This review is from: Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
First, a word about this childish boycott. "Grindhouse" gave us two brilliant genre films for the price of one in the theaters. It was a once in a lifetime experience for most of us and a chance to see the two most bada$* directors in Hollywood give us 3+ hours of hardcore horror entertainment including the funniest faux-trailers your likely to ever see. And it bombed. Big time. Why? Because lazy America said it'd wait for the DVD because the film was too long and lost the chance to support a truly brilliant idea and show that we are sick and tired of cardboard cutout PG-13 teen horror and bad remakes of beloved cult classics. They went to see "Disturbia" instead. "Grindhouse" was what true horror fans -hell, what all true film fanatics- have been dying for and shame on all of you who missed it. So the studio took a loss for taking a chance on this idea and as a result, they've split the two films up with extra scenes that were cut for time and are giving us these two films as we haven't yet seen them, each in double-dic editions packed with extras. Awesome, right? Weeeeeellllll, now the same whiners who stiffed the films in the theaters are angry they missed out and want both films on one DVD (as if there'd even be room) for a discount price. Sorry, but it don't work that way. The theatrical cut was packaged as just that, an experience for the theaters simulating the double-feature drive-in days of old. Even if that experience would translate to DVD, why would the company re-release it in a form that already failed miserably? The bottom line is this: we now have another chance to show that THIS is what we as horror fans want to see and the only way to do that is to buy these great-looking DVDs. The notion that making the films bomb yet again on DVD is going to lead to some super-duper deluxe theatrical edition must have been conceived in the mind of a five year old on crack. If we don't support these editions, these films will die and the studio will waste no more money on this failed project or any like it in the future. This is basic business sense. Support true horror and boycott crappy remakes and bloated sequels *cough*Spiderman3*cough* instead.

"Planet Terror" as you already know, was Robert Rodriguez's half of "Grindhouse" and while it's artistically inferior to it's sister film (Tarantino's "Death Proof"), Rodriguez brings the campy action, hardcore gore, and zombie awesomeness hard and fast like you know he can. The music, as always, rocks and grooves, the deaths will make you laugh and recoil in disgust, and Rose McGowan may well be the sexiest thing on the planet. The story is nonsense, of course, and the dialogue is hammy and shooting a grenade launcher directly into the ground will NOT launch you into the air (not in one piece, anyway) like a superhero, but this film is of the kind where this sort of unreal madness only makes you love it more and leaves you drunk and giddy with the chaos. It's silly, but you will love it. Much of "Planet Terror" makes me feel like I'm watching the most kicka$# video game ever made; a game I'd really love to play.

The movie is packed with recurring jokes and funny, memorable dialogue (much of which is based on Rose McGownan's real personality) that pays off in spades down the line. Rodriguez did not skimp on the cast, either. Sure, he cast most of his family plus his doctor and even his freakin' real-estate agent, but they are all fantastic. Bruce Willis chews the scenery, Freddy Rodriguez is THE zombie-killing machine, Quentin Tarantino plays "rapist #1", and you know it's a true undead party when Tom Savini hits the scene. Also, Fergie plays a lesbian who gets her brain eaten by the marauding undead. Yes, I know if this was realistic the scene would have played out like the Simpsons episode where the zombies moan "braaaaaainsss" as they feel her head and then, finding none, leave the so-vapid-she's-sexy pop tart to ponder her 15 minutes of fame; but like I was saying, this is not a realistic movie and any dead Black-eyed Peas member is a good one.

If anyone knows how to do extras right, it's Robert Rodriguez. You've got the standard commentary, plus the audience reaction track from the film's premiere (a personal favorite), his patented "10 minute film school", and yes, the "Machette" trailer still precedes the film. Sweet. The rest of the bonus features largely mirror the "Death Proof" DVD with lots of love for the cast and stuntpeople; very informative and very entertaining. I was actually hoping for more restored footage to the actual movie then we get (more crazy babysitter twins, anyone?) and the visual defects and missing reel -which was fun in the theater- are still there and not nearly as cute, but these are my only gripes. I could seriously write for days about all the things I love about this movie, but I'll just say one more thing before wrapping up: I sure could go for some barbeque.

"Planet Terror" brings some seriously awesome action-horror that delivers everything you want in a zombie film and you'd be a fool to pass on it just because you don't get a whole other movie free. Buy it, buy "Death Proof", and then go wave your copies at the moron down the street who's boycotting.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun romp through homage to zombie-fest flicks offers chuckles rather than screams, February 1, 2010
By 
Scott Schiefelbein (Portland, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
Robert Rodriguez ("El Mariachi," "Once Upon a Time in Mexico") and Quentin Tarantino (do I need to list references?) have famously teamed up on a number of projects ("Desperado," "Sin City"). While these two cinemaphiles always appear to have a blast making their movies, the "Grindhouse" project may be the paragon of their mad-cap filmmaking self-indulgence.

"Grindhouse" was a double-feature in which RR and QT each provided a flick designed to be a homage to the low-budget horror/exploitation films of the 60s and 70s. "Planet Terror" is RR's entry, although QT makes quite an impression in an extended cameo as a deranged military nutcase. QT's half was "Death Proof," which I won't review here, but it's definitely of a piece with "Planet Terror."

Zombie films are seemingly as popular now as ever, so RR's spoof/tribute is timely. The flick opens with a hilarious mock trailer for "Machete," an X-rated revenge flick. The film quality of the trailer is terrible - RR fakes wear-and-tear on the film and includes skips and flaws in the soundtrack as a tribute to the grindhouse experience. This works fine in the trailer, but as it continues into the feature film, it gets more than a little annoying after 60 minutes.

"Planet Terror" opens up with a zombie outbreak in Texas, thanks to military hijinx led by Lt. Muldoon (Bruce Willis) for reasons unknown. Soon zombies are tearing across the countryside, rending the innocent and not-so-innocent limb from limb. Unfortunately, "Planet Terror" is aiming more for humor and gross-outs rather than genuine scares, so be prepared to wince rather than cringe. Some of the jokes really work, such as several close-ups of the "humps" of Black Eyed Peas singer/ornament Fergie, just before the zombies tear her humps apart. There's also a clever "Missing Reel," alert, with apologies from theater management, just when a love scene between stripper Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan) and Wray (Freddie Rodgriguez) gets its most "exploitative."

Ultimately, this is not a good horror movie in that it will not create any genuine terror, a la the original "Halloween," "Nightmare on Elm Street," or even "Dawn of the Dead." But it must be said that there are two types of horror movies, and this is the second type - the kind that goes for dark humor, ridiculiously-sensational death scenes, and blood by the barrelful. That kind of horror movie doesn't appeal to me all that much, truth be told, but if that's your game I expect "Planet Terror" will find its way to the top of your DVD stack pretty quickly.

For what it is, I cannot imagine a movie doing a better job of hitting its target than "Planet Terror." It is a tribute to bad taste and bad movies - and for what it is, almost as much fun as RR and QT had making it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely Fun, October 22, 2007
By 
JD (Provo, Utah USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
What makes Planet Terror so good is that it is just simple fun. The plot the characters, the acting, the effects...they are all horrible. The film is simple one-liners, idiotic characters and over the top mayhem. It is an excuse to blow stuff up and spout cheesy lines while taking down zombies in a rain of blood. There are a few clunky "heavy" moments in the film that feel bogged down and are quite painful but if you can make it through them there is a fun ride in store for you. The filming made me laugh when the missing reel message popped up and the warbles and pops are a fun throwback to horrible, horrible "grindhouse" films.

I think there is a lot of the experience that was lost when the movies were split up outside of the theater. I wish that a true theatrical running of double-feature with advertisements and trailers was available because that is what I really want. By themselves, I wouldn't purchase either Planet Terror or Deathproof but I'd rent them for a weekend with the guys while knocking back a few and tearing into some good BBQ.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great disc [blu-ray review], January 23, 2010
After seeing Grindhouse in the theaters, it became an instant favorite of mine. I've gone through a few DVDs so far (US DVD and Japanese 8-disc set) before getting the blu-ray - I have to say there definitely is an upgrade here (despite the old/torn up/dragged through the dirt look of the film). I'll start off by saying that it looks exactly as it was intended to look (and I hate it whenever people say that, as it usually means "It doesn't look that good, but it's not supposed to, so I give it 5 stars") - there is a significant increase in the sharpness of the film, but the blu-ray also includes an exclusive version of the film without the "grindhouse look" - a nice clean print if you ever just want to sit down and watch it without all of the damage (a very cool extra, even if just to check out). Overall the video is a significant jump from the DVD Release and looks very nice. Great audio track to go along with the video - definitely a fun action/horror movie to sit back and crank up the volume to. All extras from the DVD release are carried over and round out the package nicely (the only new extra being the scratch-free version mentioned above)

For anyone who has seen Grindhouse in theaters, it's important to note that this is only the Planet Terror portion of the film - it has been extended (almost half an hour longer) - this may be a good or bad thing based on which version you like. I personally like both versions (extended individual versions and the double-feature) for different reasons - currently, the double-feature isn't available on DVD or Blu Ray in the US, so there aren't many options.

What could have made it better? Picture in picture track and all of the theatrical trailers on the disc (currently the disc only has Machete on it).

If you don't have it on any format, I highly recommend it. It's a nice zombie/action movie - don't expect too many scares, but if you want to sit back and have a fun time, this is the perfect movie. If you own it on DVD, I still recommend the upgrade to the Blu Ray for the extra feature (scratch-free version) and the significant A/V upgrade.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular, October 16, 2007
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This review is from: Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
The best part of Grindhouse (besides the fake trailers) was Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, which is now on DVD nearly a month after Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof was released. Though the Weinstein Company sadly decided to split the films for home video release (besides Machete, the fake trailers aren't here), the pair's Grindhouse films are an experience to say the least. Planet Terror revolves around Go-Go dancer Cherry (Rose McGowan) and her ex-flame El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) who are caught in the middle of an undead outbreak. As survivors gather together, the military steps in with their own intentions, and thus let the blood bath begin. What really makes Planet Terror so good is that Robert Rodriguez is clearly having a blast with the proceedings, as he pays delightful homage to the exploitation flicks that inspired Grindhouse as a whole. There's nifty gore effects from industry master Greg Nicotero, and the rest of the cast, including Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, Stacy Ferguson, and Lost's Naveen Andrews, make memorable turns as well. Instantly enjoyable for zombie addicts and Rodriguez fans alike, Planet Terror is a deliciously bloody and gooey treat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Look At Filming Styles Of Ol', November 8, 2007
By 
B. Merritt "filmreviewstew.com" (WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
You've gotta love blood, gore, sex, lesbianism, and impossible human feats to enjoy something like PLANET TERROR. It is, in essence, a hardboiled 70s slasher/zombie film with all of its nonsensical sexual under (and over) tones surrounded by reel-to-reel style filming with its scratchy and skipping that those who've spent time at the drive-ins of ol' will no doubt enjoy as it harkens them back to days gone by (gotta love that run-on sentence, eh?)

Rose McGowan (Death Proof) plays Cherry Darling (no, it's not a p0rn name ...although it could be), a strip dancer who's suddenly thrust into the middle of a pending apocalypse. The military has unleashed a zombifying chemical and it threatens Cherry's nearby one-horse town.

She is quickly reunited with El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez, Lady in the Water), a lost love turned truck driver who's never forgotten her. The two zip this way and that in an attempt to avoid the newly walking dead but Cherry meets up with a hungry bunch and has a lower leg gnawed off. She's taken to a local hospital where it rapidly becomes apparent that the zombies are taking over.

Meanwhile, El Wray is taken into custody by Sheriff Hague (Michael Biehn) and there's an unmentioned tension between the two that escalates as the Sheriff's town begins falling apart. But the Sheriff knows how good El Wray is with a gun ("I never miss.") and eventually hands over his pistols to him. The ensuing head shots are gruesomely wonderful (I believe the handgun was a .45).

Also amongst this chaos is the strained marriage of two physicians, Dr. William Block (Josh Brolin, The Dead Girl) and Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton, DON'T COME KNOCKING) who work at this hospital where zombies begin increasing in numbers. William suspects his wife is having an affair and it is later confirmed; but it was with another woman, something that incenses him. Dakota is excellent at anesthetizing patients and her skills with her sexy syringe-stuffed garters comes in handy.

The running gag throughout the film is a take on a barbeque restaurant which is besieged by the undead. It is run by Sheriff Hague's brother and the two are at odds over a secret sauce recipe. The brothers eventually come together in a very destructive way, but come together they must.

In the end it is El Wray and Cherry who save the day. El Wray with his dead aim and Cherry with her newfound leggy weapon (gotta love the handicapped!)

This will be a film of contention for many. For those who want a serious telling of a great zombie flick, they won't find it here. For those wanting a laugh-out-loud comedy in-line with such things as Shaun of the Dead, they won't find it either. But it is nicely wedged in-between those two, with some rousingly good gore and a few chuckles thrown in for good measure.

A decent film for those that might enjoy a stroll down memory-film lane.

(Note: This is part 2 of 2 in the Grindhouse Film duet. The first movie, Death Proof, was directed by Quentin Tarantino and the two were broken up upon DVD release. The two films come with an intermission that shows a few hilarious "coming soon" featurettes.)
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Review, December 24, 2008
By 
J. Kelm (Michigan, USA) - See all my reviews
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I'll forgo a movie review since there's an abundance of them online and there's a good chance you've already seen it. Here's a review of the Blu Ray:

Video: 4/5

This is a grindhouse experience, so the film was given a rough, blemished appearance. Now despite this rough look, the video is still quite sharp and pleasant to see. Grain appearance is just right, not overdone like Spider Man or Weeds 1st Season on Blu Ray. Now if the rough look isn't for you, don't worry: there's a "scratch free" version included which also looks quite nice. I won't lie: although I enjoy this movie, I was worried the scratches/rough look was going to equal nasty picture. But really, it was a pleasant surprise.

Audio: 4.5/5

The audio options include English TrueHD 5.1; Dolby 5.1 English, French and Spanish; Dolby 5.1 English (crowd reaction track)

The high def audio is just as thundering as the surround track found on the DVD release. The surround effects do their job well enough, are immersive as best as an action movie may offer. Bullets whiz by and the flame sounds surround, but the subtle ambiance that makes you look over your shoulder is missing. Nevertheless, the audio is not bad. The crowd reaction track is also a welcome inclusion and something I enjoyed on the DVD release. Perhaps not for everyone, but it makes you feel like you're in the theater again.

Conclusion: If you have the DVD, I'm sure watching it upconverted isn't going to be a huge jump in quality for you. However, if you wish for a scratch free version or a bump in audio, that is what the Blu Ray offers, so give it a rent and see if it's for you.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Lets see how fast your friends work", December 31, 2007
This review is from: Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
Don't get me wrong, "Planet Terror" is a fun film. But, it is not "amazing", "terrific" or even "awesome" as I keep reading in so many other reviews. This film is exactly what it set out to be; a cheesy take on 70's drive-in films, with one huge exception: Unlike those films in the 70's, which were cheesy due to a low budget, it's very obvious that "Planet Terror" had a larger budget, but choose to go the cheesy route, possibly thinking it would be more entertaining. I found it lazy. There is no plot, no attempt to give ANY of the characters a persona and possibly the worst dialogue I've seen in a movie. There are so many spots where it becomes so obvious that the script is meant to be bad, that it loses the whole point and "campness" that make films of this nature enjoyable.
Going back to the characters for a second, I'd like to point out that this is what I found to be most disappointing about this film. I never cared for a single one of them. I never cared if they died, if they lived, nothing. None of them are likable and that is really because none of them are defined. You just have a bunch of people. One is a mother, one is a go-go dancer, one is a sheriff, one is a BBQ chef and that's all you get. Answer me this, how can a horror movie succeed if the audience never feels scared for the characters in the movie????
This movie is not a complete waste though. The gore is probably the one area of the film that truly excels. The way the film was shot was, for lack of better words, "cool". I love the grainy footage that is splashed in throughout the film. The action is great, especially at the end. But, again, here is another problem with the characters; they almost seem invincible, especially el-ray and peg leg. How am I supposed to be scared for them when they can't seemingly be hurt?
Anyway, the film is entertaining, but nothing that I will ever watch again. I'm a huge fan of cheesy horror(check my reviews for proof), but I find something sad about purposly making a big-budget film for the purpose of cheese.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A funny and action packed zombie flick, October 28, 2007
By 
Kindle Customer "Pimmy" (LINDENHURST, NY, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
Planet Terror is Robert Rodriguez's best movie since Shark Boy and Lava Girl....j/k I mean his best since Sin City lol. It's about a gas that's released on the world that turns people into zombies. What seperates this from other recent zombie films though is the great cast and the great action and b-movie goofiness.

Rose McGowan has been good in movies like Scream but she shines here more than she has in other movies. She also wasn't bad in Quinten Tarantino's Death Proof. But here she steals the show as an extremely sexy stripper that loses a leg due to a zombie attack. She soon is transformed into the toughest chick with one leg when El Wray (Freddy Rodríguez) gives her a gun for a leg.

Of course you also have people like Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Nicky Katt and Naveen Andrews in good form. But what I also love about the movie is that it casted Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens) as the sheriff and Jeff Fahey (LawnmowerMan) as his cook brother. Although he's the sheriff, Biehn also wants a recipe that his brother won't give him. Anyway what I like about them being in the movie is that they haven't been in many in years. Although I hear Fahey will be in Lost season 4 which is pretty cool. Now if only they had a part for Biehn lol. What I'd also like is another Grindhouse double feature but that probably won't happen since for some reason the Planet Terror and Death Proof combination didn't do fantastic in theaters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Now you've got a gal in your wrecked truck with a missing leg? A missing leg that's now missing?", August 27, 2009
By 
Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) - See all my reviews
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It's "Night of the Living Dead" meets "Showgirls" meets "Smokey and the Bandit"...!

When toxic biochemicals are released into the Earth's atmosphere, transforming innocent bystanders into flesh-guzzling zombies, mankind's only hope lies with former go-go dancer Cherry (Rose McGowan), who wears a machine-gun in place of an amputated leg...one of her many "useless talents"...

That's the bizarre plot of PLANET TERROR, writer/director Robert Rodriguez's homage to the blood-spattered, beaten-up horror movies of the 1970s. This was originally part of the double-feature presentation "Grindhouse" along with Quentin Tarantino's DEATH PROOF, and whilst both movies play well as a double feature, you can easily enjoy PLANET TERROR as a stand-alone movie experience.

Rose McGowan is a natural fit for the role of Cherry; and it's a complete mystery--to this reviewer at least--why it's taken her so long to be the leading lady of an action/horror film; she's perfect! Rodriguez's script is totally tongue-in-cheek with lots of fun references and cliches for the veteran horror experts. Marley Shelton, Josh Brolin, Bruce Willis, Freddy Rodriguez, and "The Crazy Babysitter Twins" co-star.

The Blu-ray comes stacked with extras, including director commentary, cast interview featurettes, "scratch-free" version of the movie, audience reaction track, "Film School" tutorial featurette and BD-Live components. The perfect movie for starting a lazy weekend!
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Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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