Written by: TheDudeWithTheShotgun
From the birth of this project and the many trailers which have driven fans (such as myself) mad we have been promised a rebirth of the exploitation genre (which many of us love). The title of this rebirth was to be GRINDHOUSE. The reason for such a title explained (for those who were unaware) by a simple definition at the beginning of a trailer: Grindhouse (n): A theater playing back-to-back films exploiting sex, violence, and other extreme subject matter. And with that simple definition came a sudden wave of interest in seeing what Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez would bring forth to all of their fans.
That was all it took. A simple spark. And from that simple spark came the rebirth of a genre, long believed dead by many (but kept alive by most of us here and other horror fans). GRINDHOUSE, the birth child of Tarantino and Rodriguez, delivers just that which the definition made ever so clear. Back-to-back films with awesome trailers and one single ticket price; sexy, curvaceous, beautiful women with looks that could melt any man and bodies which can make any man want to come back for more; violence up the wazoo, as a car explosion takes effect every three seconds or blood hits a camera on its way out of a person's lone neck; and the exploitation of everything else that could possibly have been used.
To properly review this movie, I feel that it should be divided into sections, so that is just what I will do. Do not worry about spoilers because I will give nothing but the bare details away.
Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror:
Starring mainly Rose McGowan (Cherry Darling), Freddy Rodriguez (El Wray), Josh Brolin (Dr. William Block), Marley Shelton (Dr. Dakota Block), and Bruce Willis (Lt. Muldoon), this Zombie Flick carries with it one hell of a punch. Influenced heavily by the Zombie films of such great legends as Romero and Fulci, Planet Terror offers its viewers everything a good Zombie movie should have: the government as always cannot be trusted and we must look to a group of down and out rebels to be our saviors; fire-power is no option as a gun goes off every few minutes to splatter blood everywhere (I mean come on Rose McGowan has a gun for a leg); gore is the paint on which they design this Mona Lisa, as the gore both frights and delights; and of course... happy ending?... never.
As for how and looked and sounded, I have no complaints at all. It was lovely on the eyes, as Rodriguez offers his grand talent in directing and Rose McGowan offers everything else. The SPFX are great as the movie does not use any CGI as a crutch and offers up plenty of gruesome moments. Also, the soundtrack was excellent and I could hear everything well.
Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof:
This slasher film crashes together the legendary (and deadly) Kurt Russel (Stuntman Mike) with one hell of a female cast, including, but not at all limited to, Zoë Bell (Zoë), Tracie Thoms (Kim), and Rosario Dawson (Abernathy). Tarantino's nod to slasher films is excellent as he offers up to his fans everything a slasher movie should have: stalking of the innocent; sexy victims; a psychotic killer; and the final girl... or girls in this case. As already known, this killer's weapon of choice is a suped-up American muscle car that is 100% death proof (thus giving way for the title). With this car he creates the perfect slasher environment where no one is safe and death is just around the corner. Excellent pacing and the well written dialogue paves the way perfectly for the brutal scenes which would make any fan of Jason Voorhees proud.
The look and sound of this Tarantino film pleased me as much as all his other films. The car crashes were authentic and of the olden days where stuntmen would tie themselves into a car and pray to God they did not die. The audio was excellent and only added to the crisp dialogue which he is famous for writing.
Overall these trailers were amazing and will make any fan of old school trailers happy. The four trailers which were shown (for those of you who have been hiding under a rock) are: Machete, Werewolf Women of the SS, Don't, and Thanksgiving.
Rodriguez's shock exploitation trailer, Machete, is a true work of Grindhouse art. It features everything a person would want from a shock film. With its over the top violence, and depictions of sex, it is no doubt this film is getting its own release. Danny Trejo (the title character) is excellent as always, playing a grizzly and righteous action anti-hero who seeks and achieves revenge.
Rob Zombie's Werewolf Women of the SS is an amazing nod to the Nazi exploitation films, such as, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS and Love Camp 7. Zombie does an excellent job catching the psychotic, outrageous and overall odd atmosphere that came with such a branch of the exploitation era. Also, who does not want to see Nicholas Cage as Fu Manchu?
Edgar Wright's Don't excellently captures the 70s foreign film market in America. Since most films released in the United States then (and now) do not keep the titles, Wright wished to do something similar. Therefore, this trailer perfectly pokes fun at the way voice overs and title changes would be used in America, and how they would usually have nothing to do with the film.
And last, but not at all least, Eli Roth's Thanksgiving superbly captures the slasher films of old. Using a holiday which has never been the subject of such a film, he manages to create a slasher film which just sends shock waves through a crowd at the fear of ending up as white and dark meat; laughter from those who truly see the humor in such films; and an overall cheer from those who just die for gore.
Overall, I say, stop reading this review right now and go see GRINDHOUSE. And if you get to this review later then go out and by it on DVD, however, they have it. These movies and faux trailers are priceless and should be seen. Tarantino and Rodriguez do an excellent job of capturing the old look of the exploitation era that would make any fan of the Grindhouse and awesome horror want to run out and see it.