PLANET TERROR

Robert Rodriguez’s extended and unrated DVD release of his half of the horror/camp double feature “Grindhouse” (the second half is Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof”) is as gory, goofy and fun as a zombie film can get. The film stars Rose McGowan as Cherry Darling, a go-go dancer who (at the urging of those around her) thinks she ought become a stand-up comedienne. Freddy Rodriguez (formerly of “Six Feet Under” and perhaps atoning for the dreadful “Harsh Times”) is El Wray, a wrecking-truck driver with a penchant for fancy footwork, knives and general violence. When a mysterious outbreak hits the small Texas border town, turning the local populace into flesh-munching zombies, it’s up to Cherry and former lover Wray (and a small band of survivors) to fend off the evil invasion. Marley Shelton and Josh Brolin (who had a great year in this film, alongside Paul Haggis’ “In the Valley of Elah,” Ridley Scott’s “American Gangster” and-of course-the Coen Brothers’ “No Country for Old Men”) are standouts among a stellar B-movie cast, truly getting into the over-the-top spirit of the cliche’s they are playing. Rodriguez too brings his entire cinematic bag of tricks to bear on a grade-zilch horror movie parody. By itself, it’s entertaining, but along with Tarantino’s work, makes “Grindhouse” a one of a kind must-see!

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