The other half of Grindhouse is quite the surprise. I should know better than to forget about Robert Rodriguez since he is certainly a filmmaker who knows how to make entertainment. I would never confuse Planet Terror with a "great" movie, but it is a hell of a lot of fun.
The movie starts with a deal going bad between some black market types and a group of soldiers led by Bruce Willis. A toxic chemical gets into the air and starts changing the residents of a small Texas town. More or less, the infected start changing into zombies. Michael Biehn (who has been AWOL from good films for awhile) plays Sheriff Hague, who is trying to deal with the crazy mess that is going on. Freddy Rodriguez plays an ex-soldier type named El Wray that is thrust into action with his exgirlfriend (Rose McGowan) has her leg ripped off by some zombies. All the survivors come together (like they always do in zombie films) to try and get to the bottom of what is happening.
Okay so plot out of the way, Planet Terror is just a blast to watch. The key to all this is great casting . In addition to the main's I already mentioned, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Nicky Katt, and the wonderful Jeff Fahey(Lawnmower Man) are all dead on in their roles. Everyone knows this is being played for camp and they have a great time doing it. Each has some great scenes of their own, but one with Nicky Katt and Josh Brolin is hilarious. Katt plays a man who comes in with a bite to see Brolin (who plays a doctor)... I'll leave it at that... Marley Shelton also has some great material was a cheating wife of Brolin who still has to work with him during the outbreak of infection.
Rodriguez knows how to make great b-movie action. Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico were both lots of fun to watch and that continues on here. I think Tarantino (who made the other half of Grindhouse) still needs to work on his actual movie making skill because while his dialogure is great, the actual movement of the film is quite benign. Rodriguez gets what makes a film rock.