Planet Terror

So, they’ve started a Saturday night art house horror series. And after last week’s superb Teeth, here’s one that i wasn’t really inspired to see when it came out.

As I remember, there was mutual advertising between this film and that Tarantino one with Kurt Russell. And watching the Tarantino one – filmed very much in his “meh” period, was enough to make me think, that’s quite enough of this to be going on with.

So, how does it hold up 12 years on? I guess we first need to deal with the elephant in the room. Especially if your film has been produced by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, I don’t care how often you say you’re just being ironic, those lingering close ups of the actresses’ cleavage just look creepy.

And I know that the women are occasionally allowed to kick ass – as long as they don’t kick as much as as their male counterparts. And when Quentin Tarantino comes on and acts all rapey, he is suitably punished, but even then he looks like the director’s mate who can’t really act, but was allowed on set to ogle the women who are almost exclusively wearing less than half the clothes as the men.

But i think the main problem is that for most of the time it’s not batshit crazy enough. It does try to make up for this in the last 10 minutes, but that’s too little too late. For the rest of the time it’s the stilted dialogue in pastiche of daytime hospital dramas which has been done so much better by Garth Marenghi and others.

To be fair, there are some visual gags which are absolutely hilarious, but in general, it tended to confirm my existing prejudices about Robert Rodriguez films – more an exercise in style than anything with any heart or soul. It just keeps rolling over and asking you to tickle its tummy, but feels just too needy for you to respond for any other reason than a sense of duty.

There were some laugh out loud moments in this evening’s showing, but these were the moments when people felt they ought to be laughing, rather than at the few genuinely funny bits.

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