This film was directed by Robert Rodriguez who has also directed "Desperado" and the Spy Kids movies (among other films).
In the US, this was released with Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof."
They did not do well at the box office. For overseas release, instead of being a double feature, both films had extra material added to them and were released separately. They did better overseas. The DVD issues followed the two film format. (Though you can get the original double feature on BluRay.)
Of the two, I prefer "Death Proof." That's because of many reasons including that the cast includes Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Tracie Thoms. There are no Black performers with major roles in "Planet Terror." I think I saw one or two at the hospital in crowd scenes. That's it.
Even the military crew Bruce Willis heads in "Planet Terror" appears to be all White.
A whole town is attacked by zombies created by a virus. And we have no major Black characters?
I don't get how that happens.
Rose McGowan is the best thing about the film. She's very strong and offers the performance that holds the film together. Freddy Rodriguez plays her boyfriend El Wray. He's supposed to be some threatening force. He's not. His body's soft (covered with fake tattoos) and when he should be speaking he instead whines. He comes close to sinking the movie.
In fairness to him, it's not that he's a bad actor, it's that he's all wrong for the role. He could have played Josh Brolin's evil doctor character easily with no problem. But he's all wrong for the bad ass leader.
Other than Rose McGowan, there's not a lot to praise. Bruce Willis is badly used. Why do you cast Bruce Willis and give him so little to do?
Nicky Katt is fine in a small role but he would have been better as El Wray. Jeff Fahey brings some humor to the show but the script overdoes his Texas talk and the humor dries up. (That's not a slap at Texas the state. But if you see the movie you'll notice how, especially at the end of the character's journey, every other word is Texas, Texas, Texas.)
Blink and you'll miss her, Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) isn't bad. But to call her "good" would require that they give her something to do. (She can act, she demonstrated that in "Nine." My point here is that her part is so small it is insignificant. The character matters for the storyline between the two married doctors. But Fergie's barely in the movie.)
When everything's misfiring or outright not working, the camera usually finds Rose McGowan who invests so much in her role that she keeps the movie going.
I don't dislike Robert Rodriguez and honestly assumed I'd like his film better than Tarantinos because, among other things, Rodriquez always has stronger and zippier visuals. But that and Rose is about all his film has.
No one seems to understand why the films failed at the box office.
So let me explain. Robert's is a lot better off for women. Rose and another woman are survivors and Rose plays a fighter.
But that's not how the films looked on TV when they were being promoted -- or on that awful Rolling Stone cover where she and "Death Car"'s Rosario Dawson were topless cupping their breasts with ammo acting as briefs.
It appeared that Quentin was making a woman-in-peril film and with Rose's leg in "Planet Terror" (Rose has a small role in "Death Car") is a machine gun, it just looked really beyond cheesy and kind of trashy. Not trashy as in B-movie, trashy as in borderline porno.
Add in the awful title of Rodriguez's film. "Planet Terror."
I thought, until I watched the film Thursday night, that the zombies were from outer space.
Why call the film "Planet Terror"?
The bulk of the film, over 95% takes place solely in one small town.
So they have themselves -- Tarantino and Rodriguez -- to blame for the films failure at the box office.
They want to try it again. Hopefully, they will and will do a better job with their next double feature in terms of promoting what the film actually is. They had a lousy promotional campaign that didn't make it clear what the films were.
They should have promoted Rose as a strong character in "Planet Terror" not as a freak. It would have helped the box office.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"