Grindhouse   April 21st, 2010

Originally Written 04/14/07

I went to see Grindhouse tonight and it pretty much rocked! If not for the stain of Quentin Tarentino it would’ve been nigh perfect, but even so it was two-thirds of the way to being the best movie ever. I’d been looking forward to this for awhile, and the first half of the double feature didn’t disappoint me. It opened up with a trailer to a non-existent Mexican exploitation flick, Machete. That dripped of the 70s, including using one of the classic voice-over narrators.

The genre love continued with Robert Rodriguez’s bio-zombie fest, Planet Terror. That managed to combined gritty action with dark humor and clever satire. It also had a lot of cameos by famous actors, and it was fun watching everyone enjoy playing out their roles. They kind of overdid some of the aging effects they did to make the film look worn out. The scratches weren’t bad, but some of the blurriness and color shifting got a little distracting.

Most times it worked at giving the feel of a double feature in a sleazy movie house, but there were a couple of instances where I thought it could’ve been toned down. Otherwise it was great. The effects and gore were well done and it was a fun film. Plus, with an ex go-go dancer taking out zombies with her machine-gun leg, it had something for everyone.

The other fake trailers during the intermission were also a hoot. Rob Zombie’s Werewolf Women of the S.S. was amusing, and the short project suited his editing style; as one critic put it, it wasn’t long enough for him to suck. The second one, Don’t was another spoof of a very specific trailer style that can’t really be described. The best one though was Eli Roth’s Friday the 13th spoof, Thanksgiving.

Then came Quentin Tarentino’s half of the project, Death Proof. He’d shown up in Planet Terror and also had a cameo in this film. He got killed in the first movie, which was some satisfaction, but his insertion into the movies was the least of his sins. He’s done that before, and while his presence here was less effective than in earlier films, it was tolerable.

Unfortunately, his love for wacky dialog and discussions of obscure Americana dialog weighted the movie down like an anchor. That technique worked in Pulp Fiction, but it was mostly boring here. I kept on waiting for something interesting to happen.

Kurt Russell was wonderful in his role, but the two fast sections of the film were interspersed with dull bits of characters yammering at each other. The good news though is that once the second action scene hit, it had some great payoff.  It’s all the car chase and action sequences from every single 70s movie rolled together.

I had a good time. Even with the dull bits in the second movie, it was still a fun experience and a great recreation and tribute to genre films. I’ll probably get the DVD when it comes out, and just fast-forward through Tarentino’s over-indulgent masturbations.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 6:18 am and is filed under Movies and TV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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