Genres: Action, Crime,
Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Runtime: 191 minutes
Review done by: Serial McKiller
Starring: Freddy Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson,
Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino
Synopsis: Two full length feature horror movies written by Quentin Tarantino
& Robert Rodriguez put together as a two film features. Including fake movie
trailers in between both movies.
Like a child hopping out of bed at 6am and running down the hallway on
Christmas morning. Like that first time you get the girl you DO want and it
looks like the heats gettin' turned up that night. That's how rip-roaring and
badass "Grindhouse" has been. This is the most original, hilarious, pushed to
the limit, three-hours any cinema lover could ask for. Hell it's almost cruel to
call it just a film, because it's really an experience of sorts. Personally the
closest I've come to a real-deal Grindhouse happening was last fall when
myself and some friends went two hours out of our way for a midnight
showing, at a ratty one theater place for a film that was going to run twice.
And that was one of the best film experiecnces I've ever had. This isn't quite
that, but hey not every thing's 100 proof. I'll begin with the work of Robert
Rodriguez, leading off with his fake trailer for "Machete" about a set-up
It's ultra-violent and hilarious and looks very close to the true style of 70's
rundowned prints, as did what followed his feature "Planet Terror" which in a
nut-shell is about a small Texan town that's had an outbreak of infection
from nuclear gas creating gooey, pulsating, rancid zombies. Sounds like my
kind of night... And it was. Rose McGowen plays the uber-sexy Go-Go dancer
Cherry Darling whom I'd say is having a bad night, if it weren't for the fact
that she sounds like she's a bad life. Freddy Rodriguez (whom I'm only mildly
familiar with) is a rough and tumble cool bad ass named El Wray. Along with
them also happens to be Dr. Dakota Block played by Marley Shelton.
Together they lead a pack of survivors to the truth about the outbreak one
blown off head at a time. Basically it strikes me as Rodriguez's ode to John
Carpenter and films his finger-prints may have gently been on one way or
Throughout both pictures are joke after joke, but they're cinematic ones.
Lines and hints and blips and fractures and everything. They're jokes to a
world some might remember and I bet upon watching this film again, you'll
find even more. A prime example is the kick ass local police force that
consists of Michael Biehn ('The Terminator' and 'Aliens'), Tom Savini
(acclaimed make-up artist, actor 'From Dusk Till Dawn, 'Dawn of the Dead'
both the original and 2004 remake, and director) and Carlos Gallardo (the
star of Rodriguez's first film "El Mariachi" a character played later by Antonio
Banderas in "Deserpado" and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"). In any case
'Plant Terror' really embodied everything Grindhouse was and on DVD at
least, still sort of is. Right down to the ridiculous lack of continuity and
cheesy, unnecessary one-liners.
Next came a great batch of trailers from the likes of Rob Zombie with
"Werewolf Women of the S.S.", a trailer jam-packed with ridiculously funny
things. The idea of mixed Nazi-ism, werewolves and Chinese evil genius Fu
Manchu... madness or genius. "Don't!", which takes after the British horror
films that were part art, part gore hound and upon coming to America were
alternated by their new distributors. And finally "Thanksgiving" by good ol' Eli
Roth. I think this one might be my favorite, although I loved them all a hell of
a lot, this one sold me. It's the only holiday without a slasher film, c'mon
writers! Also look for a lot of special guests in these trailers, and REALLY look
hard during "Don't!" and you'll see some familiar faces. OK, now comes the
one that has been getting the most criticism, Quentin Tarantino's "Death
Proof". A lot of people I know (and many I don't) have complained that it's
too long, there's too much talk etc. Well there is a lot of talk. I was actually
surprised by just how much there was.
On the upside of that, what everything these girls said was pretty damn
interesting. And also Tarantino plays a dangerous game by removing his main
character for a good portion of the film. Your set up is great as you have
Stuntman Mike (played by Kurt Russell), slyly stalking these various girls and
then quite graphically killing them using his car in the place of a chainsaw, axe
or machete. They get to meet Mike, and some girls then "poof"; They're all
gone. Then you see the cycle begin again, this time with a bunch of
ass-kickin' ladies who don't mess around. Now as I watched it there were
things for me that felt wrong. The picture was more clear, there was an
increased amount of talk and deeper conversations then you'd find in these
types of films. However... I figured it out. At least I believe I did. Tarantino
was making a picture that was chop-suey. Meaning in real life this would've
been one those movies where the studio cut and paste the cooler stuff
Will a lot of people get this? I doubt it, but still that's what he was up to.
Now when "Death Proof" does get into itself, it gives you one monster chase
sequence that honestly had me wondering what the hell would happen next.
Where can and will this go? And in a pretty humorous and loud "hell yes!"
sort of way it comes to it's conclusion. So at the end of the day, all chips on
the table, what is this? I mean really. It is a double feature of B-action,
comedy, thrillers with a nice amount of horror textures. It's cool, it will divide
people for sure and it can be something that young filmmakers, writers,
anybody can go to and look and say, 'whoa... what was that from?' 'Man,
maybe I should check out this "Vanishing Point"' (which everyone SHOULD
see). These are brilliant and different works that are getting the main stage
treatment after decades of being in the corner. Ladies and gentleman, boys
and girls, welcome to the "Grindhouse" and hope you come again.
Online since: February 20th, 2006