Sunday, April 15, 2007

Grindhouse

I went to the movies this evening. I saw Grindhouse the newest Robert Rodriquez/Quentin Tarantino vehicle. Grindhouse is a movie that is over the top, which seems to be what Grindhouse Cinema was all about. Grindhouse was a form of cinema that was popular in during the 60' and 70's. I'd seen it and I didn't even know it. I used to enjoy watching those bad kung fu movies that used to be shown on Sunday afternoons when I was a kid, but Grindhouse was also bad horror (slasher films) and the like. It also falls under "exploitation" genre of film, i.e. blaxpoitation films (i.e. Shaft and Super Fly). For some better examples you can check this out. I have a friend who just loves these kinds of films. I mean he loves 'em. Its his fault that I'm kind of into the whole genre to begin with.

Grindhouse is a hell of a good ride. Its kitsch-ie, raw, silly, strange, over-the-top, funny, sexy and bloody. I could go on with the adjectives, but you I think you get my meaning. Grindhouse is a "double feature." That is there are two full length films as well as fake movie trailers.

The first movie is Planet Terror. It is a blood spattered good time. The basics are this: a biological weapon is released by accident that causes humans to turn into these strange zombie like creatures. This has all kinds of great horror and bad sci-fi elements as well as just strange stuff. I was particularly intriqued by the go-go dancer with a machine gun for a leg. Weirdly, it works. The movie is just so far-fetched and my disbelief was suspended to such a degree that I just went with it.

The second movie, Tarantino's offering, is called Death Proof. I really liked that one. It has one of the best car chase scenes I think I've seen in a long time. Kurt Russell stars as Stunt Man Mike a somewhat disgruntled and disturbed stunt man who has done stunts in movie no one has ever heard of, but the time he gets done with people he comes in contact with, though, they know very well who Stunt Man Mike is. Death Proof felt a lot like Reservoir Dogs, at least at the beginning, particularly with the dialogue heavy scenes and the camera work, but the second half is well worth the build up.

In between the movies there are fake movie trailers that are actually quite fun. One of these trailers was directed by Rob Zombie of White Zombie and House of 1,000 Corpses fame. Another of the trailers was for a "movie" called Machete. It "starred" Danny Trejo. You probably don't know the name, but you've seen the actor. He is the Latino actor with the bandito tattooed on his chest. He usually plays a bad guy.

The whole experience was a good time. This movie is certainly not one to take the kids to, but if you're looking for a hell of a good time and want to be thoroughly entertained by all means go check this film out. From what I understand the movies will be released seperately on DVD so you won't be able to get the "Grindhouse experience" unless you go to the movies and see it. I may have to go see it again.

3 comments:

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thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Tarantino is generally too bloody for my tastes. But I also enjoy (modern) movies that strive to be "B," and this certainly sounds like it qualifies.

I dunno. Maybe I'll see it.

Frank said...

My wife and I went to see it opening weekend. I was a little disappointed with Death Proof. I was expecting something a little more stylized than what I got. That being said, I enjoyed Death Proof because Tarantino still writes better dialogue for women than anyone else in Hollywood today, period. While the movie was slow in the middle, the chase scene did pay off.
Planet Terror, that was just plain fun! I’m sure the saints of sanctification are going to rake me over the coals for saying that, but it’s the truth. It really had that “70’s” feel I remember so fondly.
I don’t know how it’s working up in Indianapolis, but down here the movies were split into two showings. The theaters had too many people walking out after Planet Terror! To quote my wife “what part of double feature don’t they understand?”