A double-bill of thrillers that recall both filmmakers' favorite exploitation films. "Grindhouse" (a downtown movie theater in disrepair since its glory days as a movie palace known for "grinding out" non-stop double-bill programs of B-movies) is presented as one full-length feature comprised of two individual films helmed separately by each director. "Death Proof," is a rip-roaring slasher flick where the killer pursues his victims with a car rather than a knife, while "Planet Terror" shows us a view of the world in the midst of a zombie outbreak. The films are joined together by clever faux trailers that recall the '50s exploitation drive-in classics. Written by
A haven't had this much fun in movies since, hell, a long time ago. Back when summer blockbusters actually delivered the goods and didn't rely solely on massive amounts of CGI that Hollywood seems to be churning out more than anything these days. Grindhouse takes us on a trip to the good days of yonder. Back when movies like Rolling Thunder, The Street Fighter, Zombi 2, Caged Heat and Cannibal Ferox (among MANY others) were all the rage at late night movie theaters. Sadly, I didn't live to form part in those days, but thankfully I have seen some of those in late night movieplexes in recent years and all the others, well, thank God for DVD I'll tell you that much. Grindhouse is the closest thing to a filmgasm I have received. You might be thinking "You are an exaggerating nerd", and I'll respond "Your damn right I am". This movie is for people who love films, period. If you are thinking that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the best movie of the year, then you are hallucinating and probably won't like this.
Grindhouse as you may know already (If you don't, then what the hell are you waiting for to find out) consists of two movies: Planet Terror and Death Proof. Planet Terror is directed by none other than El Mariachi Robert Rodriguez, while Death Proof is directed by Quentin Tarantino. Both of these guys have been friends since they made it big on the screen. They collaborated on From Dusk Till Dawn all the way back in '96, Tarantino wrote and starred in the movie, while Robert directed it. Fast forward to 2005 with the release of Sin City, Robert gave a scene for Q.T. to direct; thus, they have worked officially two times. Both of these directors are alike somewhat in style and that they use same actors for their movies (Ex: Antonio Banderas, Cheech Marin, Carla Gugino on Robert's side and Tim Roth, Uma Thurman and Samuel Jackson on Q.T. side). Grindhouse is like their dream movie, made by fans for the fans, and it shows. The ultimate homage film.
Planet Terror and Death Proof both use some of the most obscure and big name actors that probably a lot of people wont recognize their name, but they'll be like "Ohh, that dude from the Adam Sandler movies" or "Hey, that guy from The Marshall", yup, it is gold. Michael Biehn (Terminator), Tom Savini(Dawn of the Dead), Nicky Katt(Dazed and Confused), Vannessa Ferlito (Online), Rose Macgowan(Charmed), Bruce Willis, Kurt Russell, Josh Brolin and f*cking Fergie is in this among many more. Even cameos by Q.T., Eli Roth and bunch of others on the fake trailers are just incredibly funny and surprising.
Planet Terror is a badly written movie about a Zombie infestation in a backwater town. Death Proof is a horribly bad written movie about a serial killer stuntman, who kills women while using his "Christine" like car. Both horribly written, yet so incredibly entertaining and cheesy; filled with nonstop gore and violence, hot girls, quirky dialog and references galore.
Planet Terror just ups the sleaze and gore to the ridiculous level, just like the horror movies in the 70's, they even got the cheesy gore effects right (Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger as always doing an excellent job). The script? Who cares? The acting is as cheesy as it can be and funny as hell. The dialog? Same as the acting. Everything is cheesy. In the end, Planet Terror is a brainless zombie movie, that entertains as well it makes you laugh. I give it an 8.
Death Proof isn't as gory as Planet Terror (except for one kickass crash scene), and it is more on the slow side. In fact, that's the only reason I didn't give Grindhouse a perfect score. Tarantino just gets so caught up in the dialog, that the first half of the film almost made me go comatose if it weren't for the chicks. When Q.T. introduces the character of Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) at that point, the movie takes a necessary kick in the balls that it needed in the first place. The final car chase is an obvious homage to Vanishing Point and every other 70's action movie and television series that had zero plot and a lot of cool car chases. When the movie introduces Zoe Bell, that hot cheerleader chick, Rosario Dawson and the equivalent to Jules Winnfield and Foxy Brown, miss Tracy Thomas, the dialog gets a lot more entertaining compared to the boring beginning. Still, Q.T. has to stop relying too much on his expertise and focus more on the action (as in the last scene of the movie). But then again, this is an homage to the Grindhouse experience. It isn't suppose to be perfectly written so let me contradict everything I said. Overall, Death Proof is cool, but it could've been better and it is not as good as Planet Terror. A good 7.
The fake trailers, 10/10, nuff said. With so much content on this one, one can't help but be graceful. And you will be. I'll finish with a sentence: "Release the f*cking Grindhouse DVD already, not that separate crap!" Grindhouse gets a 9/10.
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