Grindhouse

Grindhouse is a pre-packaged double feature of Planet Terror, directed by Robert Rodriguez, and Death Proof, directed by Quentin Tarantino. They are intended to be similar to 1970’s era low budget exploitation movies which played in similarly low budget theaters. Before and in between the two movies there are a few fake trailers for similar movies titled Machete, Werewolf Women of the S.S., Don’t, and Thanksgiving. And the short Coming Attractions and Our Feature Presentation transitions that glue all this together seem awfully familiar. The films have been made to look like they have been playing too long in projectors that don’t work very well, including an intentionally missing reel in each film (the management apologizes for the inconvenience) and at least one case of the projector melting the film.

Planet Terror is not really my cup of tea. It’s a zombie movie where the zombies are created by some sort of military experiment gone wrong, if I understood it correctly. Infected victims quickly start having grotesque boils form on their bodies, and the film is frequently difficult to watch. But I will say that the scenes near the end (but shown in the previews so I feel okay discussing them) where Rose McGowan‘s lower leg has been replaced with a machine gun are disturbingly fun. And the one primary song from the soundtrack (heard early and repeated late) is killer. Other than that, well, it’s okay. I’ll give Planet Terror 2.5 stars.

Death Proof is quite a different movie. The bulk of the running time is people (mostly women) talking. Some of this (the earlier parts) bored me, and other parts kept my interest. But what made this movie worth watching was the stunt work by Zoe Bell. The word on the street is that that was all real, and all I can say is what I said in the theater at one point when her position went from impossible to “Oh. My. God!” Amazing. I’ll give Death Proof a strong 3 stars based mostly on that. Check out the documentary Double Dare for more on Ms. Bell.

Would this have been better as two movies? Well, the concession stand would have a better chance of selling me a soda, that’s for sure. At over 3 hours, I wouldn’t recommend even a small drink. While some people raved about the fake trailers, I wouldn’t have missed them all that much if I had needed to use the rest room, but I didn’t know that until after they were over. I guess I would say that on DVD, I hope they keep them together, preferably with a disc break somewhere between the features, and a third disc with the missing reels and other fun stuff.

I’ll give the overall double feature 3 stars out of 4 stars.

Seen 4/22/2007.

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One Response to “Grindhouse”

  1. Oomi Says:

    Isn’t Zoe Bell just awesome?

    http://livejournal.com/community/zoebell
    (most informational Zoe Bell site on the net)
    and

    http://myspace.com/zoebell

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