Grindhouse Film

Film, Movies | | April 8, 2007 at 17:20

I don’t normally go to blood and guts horror movies cause I have this idea that all those sick images cannot be good for my psyche. But with all the buzz about Grindhouse, I just felt I was missing out on a bit of culture, if I didn’t see it first hand. To my great surprise, I had a mostly hilarious evening. Sure, some of it is just plain gross, but certainly not scary. It is all so tongue-in-cheek and camp, that you can’t take it seriously enough to even get sweaty palms.

In my humble opinion, Robert Rodriguez did a far superior job with Planet Terror than Eli Roth/Quentin Tarantino did with Death Proof. Luckily Planet Terror is the first of the double feature; otherwise I think there might be a number of walk-outs. Maybe Tarantino is a cult icon and I’m committing sacrilege here, but Death Proof could have benefited from more than a little editing. "Way too long," was the comment I heard from other viewers. And these were young dudes, not old fogies like me who might be considered not hip enough to "get it."

We went to the Orleans, which is probably not a good venue for films like this. I’m sure the Palms is where you need to see these. There was hardly anyone in the huge theatre, which is always a downer when you want to share the experience. The age mix was surprisingly across the board. I thought I would be the only person over 40, but indeed, the over 55 set was just as well represented. But only one couple walked out, which is pretty amazing considering what was shown on the screen.

Not to totally pan Roth/Tarantino’s Death Proof, it was a marvelous vehicle for the sexy and vibrant young actresses who were given plenty of opportunity to strut their stuff – not only looking great in shorts and tight T-shirts, but dialogue and dialogue and dialogue – all delievered with a lot of attitude. Either Tarantino is a great lover of women or a misogynist who thinks they have nothing in their heads and talk too much. Actually, the piece would have been very entertaining, if he had just edited. He should give the audience some credit. We got the point.

Kurt Russell obviously had a ball playing the blackest villain imaginable, and all from behind the wheel of a really fast car. I loved the way Rodriquez captures the authenticity of old film with special film damage techniques, scratches and blobs etc. But I’m not going to spoil the show by telling you more.

The fake trailers were laugh-out-loud funny. Especially endearing was "Female Werewolves of the SS." Honestly, everyone involved in this project had the time of their lives. And so did the audience. "Let it all hang out" and "anything goes" had to be the mantras on the set. I’d say go see it and find out for yourself. Get over any fear of it being "too much," "too scary," "too sick," "too graphic." Planet Terror borrows from all the fun sci-fi films you watched as a kid (at least I did.) Death Proof is an interesting, if at times tedious, stream of consciousness commentary on the new generation of womankind, with some kicker car chase scenes.