Planet Terror Movie Poster Image

Planet Terror



Rodriguez's gory zombie Grindhouse tale.
  • Review Date: October 26, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the Hispanic and white characters are treated equally (a Robert Rodriguez trademark), they're still B-movie caricatures of rogues, strippers, outcasts, maniacs, etc. The women are as tough as the men (though they're also heavily sexualized). The movie's murderous military marauders turn out to be military troops.


Almost every possible mutilation is on display (including actual forensic photos). Pus-oozing zombies eat people, get dismembered, and burst into bloody messes. One of the victims is a little boy who accidentally shoots himself accidentally; a pet dog is run over by a convoy. The female lead loses her leg to zombie cannibals and replaces it with a gun and rocket launcher. Attempted rape.


Brief toplessness early on in the phony trailer for Machete and in strip-club dressing room. "Artful" near-explicit nudity in a love-scene montage (interrupted by a "missing reel"). Female characters dress skimpily in shorts and tight tops, and there are glimpses of what are supposed to be diseased, decayed, and mutated male testes. Lots of suggestive exotic dancing. Discussion of lesbian relationship.


Lots and lots of "s--t," "f--k," and other expletives and clinical terms.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking in a bar scene; talk of drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this tongue-in-cheek zombie gorefest celebrates and partially re-creates the brutal sex-and-action "exploitation" movies that played in bad-neighborhood theaters from the 1960s through the '80s. That means it luxuriates in blood-soaked violence and sexually suggestive sleaze and has loads of swearing, carnage, and erotica (though actual nudity is brief). It's a campy takeoff, but the humor is quite gruesome, not the goofy silliness found in Scary Movie-type parodies.

What's the story?

PLANET TERROR is set in Texas, where a group of military men under the command of Bruce Willis try to steal some kind of gas bio-weapon, which is released into the air. People all over town wind up infected and crowded into a hospital, where they mutate into pus-oozing, cannibalistic, zombie-like psychopaths, while a number of untainted civilians come to fore as the main characters -- chiefly a tow-truck driver named Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), who's actually some sort of legendary commando-gunfighter living under an alias; his foulmouthed, estranged lover Cherry (Rose McGowan); Dr. Bill Block (Josh Brolin), the hospital's nasty chief surgeon; and his medic-wife Dakota (Marley Shelton).

Is it any good?


Planet Terror originally visited theaters in a two-part concoction called Grindhouse that was an attempt by directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez to re-create a double-bill of the shabby exploitation movies of bygone days. Planet Terror is Rodriguez's contribution, a campy tribute to zombie-horror gorefests of the 1970s and early 1980s. Though shot digitally, Planet Terror re-creates the look of ultra-cheap, mismatched, faded film stock; emulsion scratches; bad splices; and missing footage.

Rodriguez puts his typical high energy into the exercise, as well as indulging in what makes grindhouse movies so fascinating to their adherents. Lots of people die in excruciating and tasteless fashion. Pets die. Children die. (In his DVD commentary, Rodriguez states that exploitation filmmakers would do anything to get a reaction from their audience, chucking out all sense of right and wrong in the process.)

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's intentionally shocking material. Why would the ultra-violence and butchery of this film be considered entertaining? At what point do viewers become desensitized to this type of barrage of violence and gore? Is the excess meant to be funny? Do you think films like this one only appeal to a certain audience? Who is that audience, and why are they drawn to material like this? Are the vintage '60s and '70s exploitation movies that this one was inspired by still relevant today? How would you characterize the women in the movie? Are they victims or heroines? How does their sexuality work for and against them?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 31, 2007
DVD release date:October 16, 2007
Cast:Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Rose McGowan
Director:Robert Rodriguez
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Planet Terror was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written bySuperParent August 31, 2009

Robert you cool-cat!

WE LOOOOOOOOOOVE THIS FILM!!! me and my 13 yearold watched it, and we are amazed on how good it is! i might show it to my ten yearold, but it does contain extremely, brutal, graphic, gross-out violence involving alot of blood spurting from wounds, hands breaking, decapitated heads, and guts! not to much sex or nudity, there is a few really really brief nudity involving a fake trailer called machete where we some boobs and nipples for like 5 seconds! and another pair of boobs that if you blink you will miss them, so tell your children to blink when a go-go dancer is done dancing! Oh yea! and you see a girl dance sexually in the opening credits for kinda a long period of time (no nudity is show), there is also one scene when is a girl is about to get raped, but is saved! and a really short sex scene with no nudity!this is defenently a guy movie! but this film is a great zombie film! watch it with your buddies and your kids, but make sure to be next to them to tell them to close their eyes through some scenes. GREAT FILM!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bydoctorrockso January 6, 2015
Kid, 12 years old July 20, 2014

Good movie for horror-comedy lovers

It does have violence but there is the edited version on tv with little language but still violence but kids today like violence so let your 11+ watch it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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