If you're still smarting from the fiasco that was Quentin Tarantino's 'Death Proof', it's understandable if you had decided you wouldn't hand over money for Robert Rodriguez's 'Planet Terror', the other movie which appeared with 'Death Proof' in the US as the directors' 'Grindhouse' double bill. But those still trying to get the right tone for their complaint email to Tarantino should prise themselves away from the keyboard for a few hours and check 'Planet Terror' out: it's cool, cheesy and everything 'Death Proof' should have been.
Billed in its promo material as "noir-inspired romance amidst a future shock vision of a chemical apocalypse", 'Planet Terror' is... a zombie movie. When a gas is released near a small Texas town the locals are turned into flesh-eating psychopaths, leaving a rag tag bunch of survivors - a go-go dancer (McGowan), her very dangerous ex (Rodriguez), the sheriff (Biehn), his diner owner brother (Fahey) and a luckless doctor (Shelton) - to fight their way to safety. Cue girls, guns and gore galore - and grins from anyone who's made a vocation out of watching B-movies.
Whereas 'Death Proof' only had enough going for it to be a pre-feature cartoon, 'Planet Terror' could have been a four-hour epic or an entire TV series. There are unfinished subplots aplenty and characters going a-begging to be developed. It's as if Rodriguez, in keeping true to the film's roots, held himself back from making a better movie. Devoid of the going nowhere dialogue that made 'Death Proof' as interesting as the queue in a bank, 'Planet Terror' has some class one-liners and enough attitude to make anyone reckon they can give guff to the teller.
It's not 'From Dusk Till Dawn', but then again it's not every film that has Naveen Andrews from 'Lost' playing a bad guy who carries his enemies' testicles around in a jar.