The idea of your friends and loved ones being turned into flesh-eating zombies is a truly terrifying concept. But what’s worse than those undead beings tearing you apart is the thought that you might join their ranks. If you knew you were destined to become a stupid shell that would prey on the living, death would look like a mercy.
But the worst thing about turning into a zombie is the transition itself. Depending on the rules of the story, it can take seconds, minutes, or an entire day for an infected to turn around. But once a person has been bitten, there is almost nothing they can do to reverse it.
In a way, it’s worse to see this change happen to another, because you have to watch their humanity and personality strip away as they become a mastermind-hungry revenant. Even if you know a person is about to become a zombie, the shapeshifting can still blind you. Whether it was because the alteration happened at the least expected moment or because we had no idea how much the infected’s body would mutate, everyone was totally wiped out by these zombie transformations.
Planet Terror is Robert Rodriguez’s love letter to sex and splatter-driven exploitation films. And because the story centers on a poisonous gas that turns infected people into mutated zombies, the film is filled to the brim with all sorts of creative grotesqueness.
However, Planet Terror saves the most imaginative (as well as the crudest) gore for last. Throughout the film, Cherry and her friends attempt to stop Lt. Muldoon, who they believe is using zombie gas as a bioweapon.
But when Cherry’s allies confront the lieutenant at the climax, he explains how his men were infected with zombie gas while on a mission, forcing him to do what he must to survive. Suddenly, the chemical he was using to slow his mutation runs out, causing Muldoon to transform into a gigantic malformed blob. While we’ve seen dozens of people transform into undead aberrations at this point, we’ve seen NOTHING like Muldoon transforms.
He may be the bad guy, but you can’t help but feel sorry for him right now. After seeing what a monstrosity he has become, you understand why Muldoon acted the way he did.