Planet Terror trivia

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives


  • The appearance of Bruce Willis in a minor role is a subtle nod to an old marketing trick often employed by Grindhouse makers. They would contract a big-name movie star to appear in their movie for one day, for a few frontal shots only, while the rest of the scenes were done with a double filmed from the back. A picture of the big star would then be placed prominently on the movie's poster in order to boost sales. (Example: Bruce Willis character of Lt. Muldoon is never in the same frame with the other lead and supporting actors indicating that all of his scenes were filmed separately.)
  • In the scene in the hospital when Dakota is called on by her husband Dr. Bill Block to bring the needles there is a brief shot of her notepad which reads: "To do / Cereal for Tony / Crickets for Tony's pets / Kill Bill" - the latter of course a reference to Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films.
  • Robert Rodriguez first came up with the idea for Planet Terror while making The Faculty (1998). He told Elijah Wood and Josh Hartnett that zombie movies were about to come back in a major way. He wanted to be there first when it happened so he prepared a script. But he only got as far as 30 pages before he got stuck for ideas. And when he got attached to other projects, the zombie craze happened just as he predicted. Rodriguez later commented, "I knew I should've made my zombie movie."
  • Joel Coen and Ethan Coen refused to give Josh Brolin an audition for the role of Llewelyn in their movie No Country for Old Men (2007), so he asked director Robert Rodriguez to help him shoot an audition tape while Brolin was filming his Grindhouse (2007) segment (Planet Terror (2007)) for Rodriguez. Rodriguez shot and Quentin Tarantino directed the tape, which was shot using a $950,000 digital camera. Marley Shelton, who was playing Brolin's character's wife in Grindhouse, agreed to read the lines for Llewelyn's wife Carla Jean (eventually played by Kelly Macdonald).
  • The "machine-gun leg" effect was pulled off by putting a cast on Rose McGowan's leg to keep it stiff and wrapping green bandage around it. A grey wrap was sometimes used.
  • Deputy Tolo is a terrible shot. He keeps misfiring through the movie. In Spanish and Portuguese Tolo means fool.
  • Robert Rodriguez specifically wrote the part of Dakota for Marley Shelton after working with her on Sin City (2005).
  • Skip Reissig, who plays strip-club owner Skip, isn't an actor but is actually director Robert Rodriguez real-estate agent. Rodriguez thought he'd be perfect for the part of the brusque, no-nonsense, tough-talking strip-club owner because, as Rodriguez says, "that's the way he really is".
  • Robert Rodriguez wrote the first 30 pages of the script for Planet Terror (2007) back in 1998.
  • In Mexico this film was exhibited in its original unrated version in cinemas.
  • When Tammy is changing her car radio station, the DJ is heard to dedicate the upcoming song to the "departed Jungle Julia."
  • Rose McGowan has Mysophobia (fear of germs) and had to have the stripper pole sanitized before doing her go-go dance routine.
  • Felix Sabates, who plays Dr. Felix, is in fact a real doctor and is actually director Robert Rodriguez's personal physician.
  • The scene where Dakota jumps out of the window and lands on top of the trash cans was filmed twice, the first shot had a stunt double falling onto a crash mat from the original height and the second had her falling onto the trash cans from a scaffolding at a lower height. A car driving by was put in to disguise the switch.
  • The original title for Planet Terror was "Project Terror".
  • Wray's name is revealed to be "El Wray", a likely reference to surf guitar legend Link Wray whose songs were featured in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994) and Robert Rodriguez's Desperado (1995). Link Wray's first name is also Frederick. "El Wray" and El Rey, are homonyms: meaning that they are words that sound the same but mean something else. El Rey I'd the name of Robert Rodriguez 's own television network. It means "king" in Spanish.
  • While on set, Robert Rodriguez would play the soundtracks for Escape from New York (1981) and The Thing (1982) to set the mood for the movie.
  • A box of Great White Bites cereal can be seen in Dr. Block's kitchen. This fictional cereal can also be seen in Rodriguez' kids film, Shorts (2009).
  • The main character's name is El Wray. In Robert Rodriguez's earlier movie, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Seth Gecko is trying to get to a place called El Ray. Robert Rodriguez would later name his TV cable channel the El Rey Network.
  • When Wray is first introduced, he asks the owner of the Bone Shack for a pack of cigarettes. The brand he is handed, "Red Apple," is the same brand that Bruce Willis' character, Butch Coolidge, is handed in Marsellus Wallace's bar in Pulp Fiction (1994). This is perhaps a nod to the much noted friendship between Tarantino and Rodriguez.
  • Rose McGowan originally suggested her friend Rey-Phillip Santos for the role of El Wray. Instead it went to Freddy Rodríguez.
  • The scene where Wray and Cherry burst out on the motorcycle and Cherry fires the gun was filmed first and then redone with CGI.
  • Cameo: Zöe Bell as a zombie feasting on a paramedic. She appears in both Death Proof and this film. She is one of the few group of actors to be part of both Planet Terror and the Death Proof world.the others would included Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton, "the Twins" & Quentin Tarantino.
  • John Carpenter, who composes the scores to his own films, was originally chosen to compose the score to Planet Terror. Robert Rodriguez ended up taking over the job as composer instead, though excerpts from Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981) score would appear throughout the film.
  • Lindsay Lohan was rumored for the role of Cherry Darling.
  • Partly to avoid traumatizing Rebel Rodriguez with knowledge of his disturbing death scene, Robert Rodriguez shot several scenes with Tony surviving all the way to the end of the movie. Some of this is seen on the DVD, but apparently the only complete edit with this footage is a private copy of the Rodriguez family's.
  • Total body count of Planet Terror (2007) segment is 281. El Wrey has 52 kills, Cherri Darling has 50 kills and Sheriff Hague has 13 kills.
  • Robert Rodriguez found the scene where Dr. Dakota Block leaves son Tony in the car with gun to be so chilling to film he didn't want to use anyone else's children to play Tony so he used his own son, Rebel Rodriguez, so he wouldn't feel as bad "killing a child".
  • In the scene at the beginning of the movie in the go-go club, Cherry is zipping up the boot of her right leg when she says "I need a dramatic change in my life". Her right leg is also the same leg which is later amputated.
  • When asked about the ending, Robert Rodriguez said "I consider it an anti- Army of Darkness (1992) like ending. In 'Army of Darkness', Ash is returned to normal suburbia and battles the Undead. In my film, Planet Terror (2007), the characters are taken out of suburbia and now battle the undead in a more barren landscape."
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