Written by: DirtyRobot
It's two movies for the price of one! It's four trailers for movies that don't exist! (Yet?) And yes, it's a big bag of gory, sleazy, retro fun! Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino are attempting to show us their version of a 'grindhouse' movie as well as emulate the actual experience of watching a double feature in a sleazy old theatre where the film prints were raggedy and worn out, and a creaky unmaintained projector might burn a hole through the film before your very eyes.
Our first feature is Robert Rodriguez's PLANET TERROR, a manic and extremely wet ode to the zombie apocalypse we all hoped would happen in the 80's, cheesy synth score and all. It's easy to see that this will be the overall favorite of the two films, considering it's almost entirely one payoff after another of outrageous and copious blood, action, and cringe-worthy humour. Besides, how can you go wrong when you have a go-go dancer with a machine-gun leg? So yes, it's fun as all heck! That being said, it's problem is that you have too many characters running around who we really don't get to know or care about, and you almost feel like Rodriquez is parodying his own films. It's another case where the action is carrying the story, not the characters.
Next up is Quentin Tarantino's DEATH PROOF, his 70's flavoured mash-up of fast car/girl revenge film. It's pure Tarantino in its long stretches of geek-cool dialogue and film buff references. In a great performance by Kurt Russell we get Stuntman Mike, a killer with a car instead of a knife, stalking two groups of young women. It's a slow build up to the 'white-hot juggernaut at 200 miles per hour!" we've been promised, and considering the almost constant chaotic pace of the previous feature it may seem even slower. This will no doubt be the rally cry of its dejecters. I have to seriously wonder though what we'd all feel about it if seen on it's own and not as part of a double feature? That being said, there is some great action in between all the chit-chat, especially in the stunt work of Zoe Bell, who in a nice bit of casting actually plays herself.
The fake trailers are great little gems, the scratched up and damaged look of the film is a nice reminder of an age before our obsession with digital perfection, and the missing reels will infuriate in the best possible way. GRINDHOUSE does succeed in conveying an experience at the movies that has never been seen in your gaudy and shiny multiplex, and it's well worth it.