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Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

We two against the world.


So we watched Planet Terror. Did I enjoy it? Stupid question. It was everything I expected it to be, and awesome to boot.

PT is unashamed trash, glorious wonderful trash. The script is knowingly awful (but never at the expense of a few good lines - say, the running joke about useless talents), but you watch it to see a babe with a machine-gun-leg, not Proustian digressions on the nature of the self.

Speaking of legs, this movie came out last year when my sister broke her thighbone. At the time I suggested she have it replaced with a gun - even though it was the other leg. I'm not sure she appreciated the suggestion. Ironically enough, the broken leg would resurface as we watched - she repeatedly pointed out the medical flaws in Cherry's ability to walk, talk, swear, shag, ride a bike, on account of her being a) in shock and b) under anesthetic. Everytime I began to explain that, having been attacked by zombies, presumably the zombie-juice would cauterise the wound in some way, she replied defensively that I had no idea what it felt like, and she did. Which presumably means there's something about the whole "I just broke my leg while on a cycle" scenario that she's not telling me...

I loved the jumpy, scuffed up style. In my opinion, the film would have been dire without it. It took the film one level more away from reality - allowing for greater gore content and excusing the deliberately terrible bits. At the same time, the raw nastiness of the screen quality amped up the nastiness of the movie, giving it a surreal, lurid quality. When I was looking for a copy of Saw to view at Halloween, the only one I could find to borrow was a pirate edition which was savagely blurred - I bought it in the end, because the script and performances alone were not atmospheric enough without the mucky detail of the bathroom set. And thus here, the occasional jumps and scuffs, those moments when everything but red washed out of the film, the sound was all crackled up, the image wobbled or the film burnt up entirely. Hell, its just like our local cinema!

At the same time, it still made a good movie. I loved the Wray-Cherry relationship, the sherrif-Wray relationship (and wasn't the idea of placing the inevitable scene when they bond man-style in the "missing reel" a genius one - we instantly know what's gone on), and the two brothers (particularly when it gets all buddyish). And I want Dakota's syringe gun!

Turns out my family are as nerdy on Robert Rodriguez as I am - Dad identified Cheech Marin as Sex Machine from Dusk til Dawn, while my sister spotted the running Machete gag from Spy Game, and I identified Dakota's son Tony as Rodriguez's own son Rebel. Incidentally, don't RR's kids have the coolest names - Rebel, Racer, Rocket and Rogue. His daughter is a more restrained Rhiannon. Although it might come as a hinderance when Rocket wants to become a tax attorney, it's an awesome name for a kid.

RR still makes his films like indie films, despite having the mainstream budget. Planet Terror, for example, stars his personal physician as a doctor, and his real estate agent as a strip club owner. He used his own son because he didn't want to genuinely traumatise a child. And if you've seen the film, check out the imdb FAQ for further details of his son's role because its just fascinating. The bottom line is: I love this guy.

Favourite fact from imdb: John Carpenter was originally involved in the music, and although RR eventually wrote it himself, extracts from Escape from New York appear. You may well ask why this is so interesting. One of my mid-movie reactions was noting the similarity of both movie and music to John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. It's always nice to prove yourself right...

Afterwards, we watched a particularly violent episode of Battlestar Galactica, and I was back to wincing. Planet Terror's gore is so over the top - the lurid over-saturated colours make it look less like ketchup and more like a sort of salsa - that it soon ceases to have an effect. Coupled with the outlandish plot, its far less disgusting than BSG's rather restrained garotting which was set in a realistic place. Well, relitavely...

I just wish I could have seen it on screen. And I wish I could drag my friends around to see it - it's the type of film that should be seen with friends. As it was, I watched with father and sister who were a good audience. It's just a pity its way. way. way. way. too unpleasant in every way for my buddies. I wouldn't enjoy it, because they wouldn't. But I might get them to see Death Proof - a girly movie, with lots of car chases.

My only fear is that, with Planet Terror turning out so good, I won't enjoy it as much. Especially because that movie was the one I was most excited about - the grunge, grime and horror. Death Proof sounds like more its own film, and less of such a faithful pastiche.

Speaking of QT, I saw a horribly exploitative offer in town today. It's one thing to be ripped off; its quite another to recognise you are being ripped off, and want it anyway. It's a limited edition Reservoir Dogs case. I say limited edition - I mean cheap knockoff. The DVD cover's like none I've ever seen before, and the whole thing smacks of a shoddy pirate effort. It comes in a case with handcuff cufflinks, Vic Vega dogtags, a Vic Vega flick-razor (it's actually a comb, but it looks like the razor, so who's counting), sunglasses and - the ultimate in tasteless cool - a Vic Vega cigarette lighter. Now what the fuzz would I do with a lighter? I don't even smoke, and I'd run out of cops to burn pretty quickly. But...but...its so preeeety...

Anyway, good sense prevailed - I can't justify it. But I can ogle it lovingly all the same. Instead, I got Paths of Glory and The Big Lebowski in the HMV £4 sale, and took All About Eve out of the library. It's gonna be a good week...

2 comments:

Will said...

Maybe your sister broke her leg on a bike when a zombie attacked her and that is how she knows?

Ninquelosse said...

Exactly - I'm suspicious...

 
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