When "Grindhouse" was released last year, the trendy critique was that "Death Proof" was a masterpiece, and "Planet Terror" was just awful. The problem with that logic is that most critics are notoriously hard on genre films, especially those of the horror/sci-fi variety. If viewed through a horror fan's eye, this film has a lot to offer, from nods to other great horror films to terrific cameos from genre legends.
The film has a typical B movie premise. A Scentist (Lost's Naveen Andrews) has developed a chemical that turns people into mindless, brain-craving zombies. A group of deranged Military men, led by Bruce Willis, are after the scientist because they've been exposed, and the only cure after exposure to the chemical is a slow, constant supply of the chemical in concentrate. Needless to say, all does not go as planned and the store of chemical is released on the unwitting inhabitants of a small town. The story weaves several characters stories as they fend off zombies through the night in an effort to meet up and try to flee the country.
This is schlock on a grand scale, from the gratuitous gore to the stylized violence-- even a 5 year old kid is fair game in this one. If you're a fan of Zombie films, B films, or even just want to push the limits of suspension of disbelief and chomp on some popcorn, you should see this film. Whether or not the popcorn will stay down during the gory parts is another question entirely.
Score: 4 out of 5