Planetfall DVD Review
Written by Peter West "Danger Seeker"
DVD released by Heretic Films
Directed by Michael J. Heagle
Written by Matt Saari and Michael J. Heagle
2005, Region 1 (NTSC), 90 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on February 27th, 2007
Ted V. Mikels
Movie (synopsis from Heretic Films):
When a military transport crash-lands on a war-torn planet, competing factions seek the last, lost stockpile of the illicit psychic-power enhancing drug Psylenol. Set against a backdrop that combines the apocalyptic worldview of the Mad Max trilogy with the lawless antihero psychology of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, Planetfall packs a dark science fiction punch.
This fascinating futuristic journey stars newcomers Leitha Matz, Heidi Fellner, Chaz Truog and Snype Myers with a special appearance by the one and only Ted V. Mikels (The Corpse Grinders, Astro Zombies)!
Not every movie that I receive to review is watchable... The first time I went to watch Planetfall I shut it off after a few minutes and said to myself "I can't handle this right now.." A couple of weeks go by and I'm beat from a four mile walk and after checking out what's on cable, I notice Planetfall buried in a pile of DVDs and think "Okay, I'll take one for the team..." How wrong I was about this movie!!!!
Planetfall does not set itself up well initially and it's pretty easy to disregard it early in the film... As I got into it and as the film progressed into the futuristic spaghetti western theme, I found myself having a real good "campy film" time! I'm a big fan of Clint Eastwood's westerns, especially the ones he did in Spain that were directed by Sergio Leone. Planetfall has a post apocalyptic theme to a blood and guts western plot, combine that with some bad acting that Ed Wood would be proud of, this is an entertaining movie. A little while into it, the plot seems to make more sense and the 90 minutes then go by pretty quickly after that. There's a few subtle, well not so subtle references to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly thrown in, the most noticeable is Ted Mikel's character of Arch Stanton (the name on the grave Eastwood and Van Cleef are looking for).
While Planetfall is not going to win much in the area of awards, it will give you some good laughs!
Video and Audio:
Shot on DV in a 1.33:1, Planetfall is anamorphically enhanced for 16 x 9 widescreen TVs. Clearly you can tell it's digital video, there's no other way they could have done all of the special effects in the movie. While most look somewhat cheesy, they're not the worst I've ever seen... Overall for a no budget movie, it's not too bad.
Planetfall has a Dolby 5.1 surround track as well as a Dolby 2.0 one. The music is reminiscent of that found in Leone's spaghetti westerns and is enjoyable. The special effect sounds are pretty nifty as well. For a movie with zero budget, a lot of hard work went into the audio production.
More and more, indie filmmakers are loading DVDs up with so many extras that it's almost overload... Planetfall has two documentaries, three audio commentaries... Yes, I'm not kidding on that one. An interview with Ted V. Mikels as well as deleted scenes and trailers. Unlike some other indies, these are pretty good and not a total waste of time.
Films that Peter West reviews are played on a Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi DVD player, viewed on a Mitsubishi WS-55413 HDTV and listened to on a THX Ultra 2 Pioneer Elite VSX-59TXi A/V Receiver through a 7.1 setup of JBL Northridge E series Speakers.
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