Planet Terror (2007) Director: Robert Rodriguez

You need a strong stomach to make it through the 1 hr 40ish minutes of carnage in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror; from the start, we have castration, head explosions, popping juicy abscesses, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas losing her brain and a multitude of gore and splatter. It's not going to be for everyone but if you stick with it, it's one of the best 'zombie' movies ever made.

Planet Terror is the second half of Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's exploitation double feature Grindhouse, scheduled to play after Tarantino's Death Proof. Both viewed together, along with the tongue in cheek exploitation fake trailers that play with them - Eli Roth's Thanksgiving, Rodriguez's Machete (actually set for release this year, fantastic!) and Rob Zombie's Werewolf Women of the SS - would be a geeksville dream come true but in the UK, we get to watch them as seperate entities. A huge disappointment really as they're not meant to be seen like this. Whilst I enjoyed Death Proof, Planet Terror is on a different league and to fully enjoy it, you must have some prior knowledge of the films it is playing homage to. There's more than a bit of Troma in there.

So what's Planet Terror all about? Go-go dancer Cherry Darling (a phenomenal Rose McGowan) quits her job and bumps into ex boyfriend El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) at a BBQ joint called the Boneshack. Meanwhile, there's some sinister activities happening at the military base two miles away involving chemical engineering and a strange green vapour that is making people turn into zombies. The infection spreads as we see Doctor William Block (Josh Brolin) and his unfaithful nurse wife Dakota (Marley Shelton) trying to cope with the escalating carnage. Cherry loses her right leg in a zombie attack and she and El Wray team up with the surviving townsfolk and sheriff to fight off the zombies.

I have never seen such a violent film before and such ingenious ways to get rid of people. Zombies are cut down via gun fire, helicopter blades and trucks. Townsfolk are literally ripped apart, have their guts eaten or are sliced up by naughty zombies in the hospital. It's unbelievable. You have to applaud Rodriguez, who is not shy of carnage, for his sheer audacity of bringing this to screen. He's a show-off. He's a bit arrogant. But, oh boy, he delivers sheer pulsating, in your face, lusty, frequently hilarious and disgusting adult entertainment. Just don't eat before watching it.

There is one scene where you will cry out 'he didn't just do that, did he?' involving a child shooting himself in the face. This is a major taboo but Rodriguez still does it. There is no escape here. However, if you watch to the very end, past the credits, perhaps he does wimp out. I've never been so glad to see a little turtle and scorpion scampering across the beach.

I loved it. The dialogue is witty, the action jaw-dropping, the splatter perhaps a bit too much for many. It's the kind of film that inspires me and I want to make.

5/5 popcorn bites