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Friday April 6, 2007 5:25 pm

Grindhouses Not Just Theatres With Tarantino

Grindhouse movie poster It’s so hard to find a good Grindhouse these days. Theatres that cater to the darker side of the psyche by showing grisly, gory violence just aren’t easy to come by. In fact, the days of most Grindhouse theatres are days gone by. What’s a movie maker that wants to grind violence into the minds of moviegoers to do in these post-Grindhouse days? To fill this grinding gap in current culture, Quentin Tarantino (with the help of Robert Rodriguez) decided to make his very own Grindhouse double feature. Always striving to take movies to a new level of violent chills and thrills, Tarantino’s signature movie style is most definitely in place for the new double-feature flick. Early reviews are in…will Grindhouse grind out?

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The double feature begins with Planet Terror, a zombie-based gorefest from Rodriguez. Rose McGowan plays go-go dancer Cherry Darling (no, seriously), part of the group who will unite against humans turned zombie (after sucking on experimental gas). Centered around a ficticous Texas night spot called the Bone Shack BBQ, the Terror inspired by this film centers around cannibalistic zombies and bloody gore that just won’t end. Bruce Willis plays hardened military man Muldoon, while Michael Parks comes back (from Kill Bill) as Sheriff Earl McGraw. Is it gory? Is it disgusting? It is a tongue-in-cheek salute to all (even crappy) zombie flicks of film days gone by? Yes…and that’s the whole point of this opening Grindhouse feature.

Tarantino brings his unique style back to the theatres for the second feature of Grindhouse with Death Proof. Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) cruises around in a Death Proof car looking for potential victims. Gritty mayhem ensues when Mike encounters a group of four lovely ladies, again including McGowan (this time as a blonde) as Pam and Sydney Tamiia Poitier as Jungle Julia. But the scene that’s got everyone talking occurs when Mike targets another group of four. This time, Zoe Bell (playing herself, Bell has been in movies for a while though fans may not know her face, this is the stuntwoman who doubled for Uma in Kill Bill and gained Tarantino’s notice) will defy death her own way while hanging from the hood of the Death Proof automobile. The incredible car scene was shot without special effects, in real-time speeds. While Zoe hung screaming from the hood and Russell defied physics with crazy driving, Tarantino rode along in a camera car to get that perfect shot. His craftsmanship shows, and it’s this memorable scene that will stick out in the minds of moviegoers.

The script, the plot, the costumes, and the settings probably won’t. Grindhouse wasn’t made to be a polished, posh piece of violent gore and action-packed thrills – this is not another Kill Bill in brand-new movie clothing. Grindhouse pays homage to those low-budget B flicks no movie rental place would be complete without, those gritty gorefests that gave us nightmares and had us looking over our shoulders for maniacal, blood-soaked killers. Grindhouse is about one intense scene after the next, about testing the audience to see how much they can take, about saying “hey, what’s wrong with a little (or, in fact, a great deal of) blood, brains, and bashing?” Enjoy the types of low-budget, violent thrills that only 1970s movies used to provide? Grindhouse is just the flick for you. And, after all, it is a Tarantino movie. This, by itself, ensures success.


Forum Discussion

Wes Anderson: Bottlerocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenebaums, Ocean Life (coming soon) All of these films have a dry wit and a very sedated pace but they offer something far different from what you normally get. Not to mention his soundtracks are extremely well done and offer great contributions from Mark Mothersbaugh. Tim Burton: Ed Wood, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish, (I didn't want to mention The Planet of the Apes because it sucked) The man is a pure genius. He offers these frightening characters full of disgust for their surroundings and situations yet he endears them to us. He turns outcasts, weirdos, freaks, and storytellers into heros who you can relate to. Of course his films are backed by Danny Elfman's brilliant scores and songs. Johnny Depp's performance in Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands can't be ignored either. I'm looking forward to the remake of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" which Burton is directing and Depp is acting in. I liked the original but apparently this will pertain more to the book. I'm sure we can all look forward to it.

Yeah I agree Tarantino is one of the best directors.

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