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A fun ride

Posted : 3 years, 11 months ago on 23 January 2011 02:08

I wasn't sure what to expect from this flick but, honestly, it really seemed to be some kind of vanity project for Tarantino and Rodriguez. Seriously, except for them, is there seriously an audience expecting an homage to those 70's exploitation flicks? Anyway, it was a flop, Tarantino's first one, and the whole thing was never released theatrically expect in North America. As a result, I have been waiting for 3 years to see this movie as the original 'Grindhouse' was literally banned in Europe so my expectations were pretty high. To start with, I really liked 'Planet Terror'. What a ridiculous, outrageous, preposterous picture! I had a grin during the whole thing, thinking "how could they get away with this and this and this...". The trailers were in the same spirit and were very enjoyable as well. Then I was hopping for a nice home run with 'Death Proof'. But, unfortunately, it just didn't happened... I liked the car crash and the car chase but I get more and more fed up with Tarantino's "pointless but so cool" dialogs... I mean, In 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Reservoir Dogs' those dialogs were some of the best ever but now they were just really pointless and not so cool anymore... Above all, if you make a short movie for an anthology, don't split it into 2 stories, for crying out loud!!! Indeed, instead one of fully fledged story like in 'Planet Terror', you ended up with 2 half-baked tales. Of course, this is a personal opinion and I still think 'Death Proof' is an Ok movie and you can deny that the guy still can direct a movie (even Tarantino has said himself that it was his weakest movie so far). To conclude, the whole thing was a bold and daring project and without Quentin Tarantino's misfire, it could have been really awesome. Still, I thought it was a fun flick and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Tarantino's and/or Rodriguez' work.

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Grindhouse review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 28 October 2010 09:08

A pair of excellent films that really compliment each other well. They had moments of extreme tension, and this is the sort of film I love. I haven't seen a Tarantino film or a Rodriguez film that I don't like yet, and these two didn't disappoint.

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Better Than Going To The Drive-Thru

Posted : 5 years, 3 months ago on 12 September 2009 08:15

Despite Tarantino's sub-par effort on Death Proof, there was still enough in his half (like the car-chase & the first "car-killing" by the "car-killer") that added to the much superior first half, Planet Terror, a zombie-fest by Robert Rodriguez. And while the shlock that comes with most zombie flicks usually puts me off, Robert Rodriguez's style of depicting his half of The Grindhouse as a caricature of a genre that has already gone cartoonishly over the top, makes this a walking undead gore-a-rama that I could not only stomach, but enjoy as well. Coupled with a modern sense of violence that we've all mindlessly grown to love, it's a zombie action flick of an energetic quality that sparked some life into my usually dead reaction to most shambling corpse fare.
So, if you're into chicks with guns, zombie apocalypeses & amputees (& let's be honest.... who isn't?), then this is the zombie flick for you.



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Grind in the house...

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 28 October 2008 01:52

''Ladies, we're gonna have some fun.''

Two full length feature horror movies written by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez put together as a two film feature. Including fake movie trailers in between both movies.

Rose McGowan: Cherry Darling (Planet Terror)

Kurt Russel: Stuntman Mike (Death Proof)

Absolutely a blast from end to finish. Such a brilliant soundtrack and old style feel to it as intended by QT and RR.
The joint film revolves around one plot about some hot looking young girls and a mysterious guy who seems to stalk said girls. We find out hes Stuntman Mike (magnificently played by Kurt Russell). The other a zombie infested virus movie which has shoot outs and over the top gore galore.

What i like about this double feature is all Quentin's and Robert's intricate attention to detail. How all the dialogue these people deliver comes across and they makes it interesting to view as if your along for the ride.

''There are few things fetching as a bruised ego on a beautiful angel.''

What theDeath Proof contribution lacks in gore( there is some great gore though in places) it makes up for with complex character detail layering and the dialogue. This is an intelligent film that could be a reality, and the superior half of the Grindhouse feature.

In fact all QT films have wonderful convos, character interaction and stories, this latest offering is deliciously laden too. Love all the intricate small attentions to details too.

Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike is the perfect weird loner guy with a sadistic penchant for stalking hot young ladies.
Rose McGowan has a part in this too, smaller than her lead part in Planet Terror, but she plays it well although looking weird with Blonde hair.

''Well, in Hollywood, anyone fool enough to throw themselves down a flight of stairs can usually find someone to pay them for it. But really, I got into the business the way most people get into the stunt business.''

Vanessa Ferlito's lap-dance was awesome yet i thought she had an unusual face for sure. Very seductive. Loved the dark clever conversations, her character Arlene has with Mike on the porch of the bar.
Sydney Tamiia Poitier as Jungle Julia was a typical bitchy girl but I thought it was sweet her text messaging. Another example of little details that I love.
Rosario Dawson was awesome as Abernathy as usual although the character she played did have some times where i thought she was weak willed or being bossed around by her buddies. She had some great lines though.
Zoe Bell as Zoe Bell and Tracie Thoms as Kim were stand out characters yet they seemed abit mean and manly in some parts with their gruff hard tones. Liked there witty comments.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lee was in my mind stunning and lovely as usual but she was completely sidelined in this, that was bad. Felt like she was just put there for looking at for male audiences, could of included her in the finale chase or had a story to show what she does while their away.

''The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.And I've got promises to keep.And miles to go before I sleep.Did you hear that butterfly?Miles to go before you sleep.''

I loved all the references too in Death Proof, QT's love of yellow and black stripes, of feet and classy retro-y music. The whistle ringtone that Abernathy has. The movie sign-post Mike crashes into. Also his lusty appreciation of young ladies and killing them with his car! And what amazing car chases and action in Death Proof!

Put this film with Planet Terror as it was intended, and they totally compliment each other. Planet Terror with its OTT action, gore and horror/fantasy basis then Death Proof with its intelligent dialogue, thrilling chases and closeness to being reality.

''If you're going to hire Machete to kill the bad guy, you'd better make damn sure the bad guy isn't you!''

I must mention the Machete(which should be a film!) trailer and Grindhouse obviously feels like it was made for the cinema. The whole style and old cracking lines feels like you're watching a vintage, a dirty, sleazy, personified old school movie.

Rose McGowan was delicious and excellent as the main heroine of Planet Terror.
Freddy Rodriguez was a hard man although i thought it was a stupid outcome. Short too height wise.
Naveen Andrews, seen him in the series Lost, and English Patient and still when i see him speaking in his normal English accent it takes me time to adjust. He was excellent. Shocking us with his obsessions and ball collecting. ''OH SweetHeart I just want your balls!''.

Marley Shelton and Fergie Lessie couple, was I hearing things?! Seeing things?????
More Bruce Willis needed.
More Tarantino needed(He was f**ing awesome in his part made me laugh what happens!).

The gore was amazingly cheesy in this, splatter chopping, things blowing up! Limbs being ripped off! Semi-naked women! Crazy splattery shootouts, Helicopter limb chopping. Gun Leg action!

''I've seen me a lot of weird shit in my day, but I ain't never seen a one-legged stripper. I seen me a stripper with one breast. And I seen me a stripper with twelve toes. I've even seen me a stripper with no brains at all, but I ain't never seen a one-legged stripper. And I've been to Morocco.''

The music and the sound effects are immense in this film, they simply rock BIG TIME! Very atmospheric.
The ending reminded me of Dusk Til Dawn, good old Robert Rodriguez! I also love his company name too, RIP Productions, RIP AKA Rodriguez International Pictures.
Overall we have Planet Terror with its OTT action and gore and Death Proof with its intelligent dialogue and thrilling chases.

''Hey, Pam, remember when I said this car was death proof? Well, that wasn't a lie. This car is a hundred percent death proof. Only to get the benefit of it, honey, you REALLY need to be sitting in my seat.''

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A great experience!!

Posted : 6 years, 2 months ago on 18 October 2008 09:21

The sleaze-filled saga of an exploitation double feature.


Robert Rodriguez's and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse is a crazily funny, campy, exciting tribute to the grimy glory days of 1970s exploitation cinema. The concept is simply a stroke of pure genius - merge two intentionally shitty 1970s-style horror B-movies into one double feature, and then add a reel of hysterical fake trailers for added authenticity.

In the 70s, the local "grindhouse" was the place one headed to see flicks you couldn't see anywhere else. Most of the time this was because they were so awful no-one else wanted to play them. It was also because they existed on the border of respectable society as they showcased overzealous violence, sex, explicit nudity, as well as berserk experimental ideas and themes. With Grindhouse, Rodriguez and Tarantino endeavour to capture the essence of that experience and resurrect it in one great event with two movies (one from each director) played back to back. This is an event, not just a movie, so Grindhouse comes complete with suitably over-the-top fake trailers and cheesy old-fashioned bumpers prior to each film.

In order to get the thorough sleaze effect, Grindhouse emulates the look of a 1970's double feature. In post-production the filmmakers opted to manually age the film: there are deliberate scratches, muted colours and imperfections all throughout the two films and the fake trailers. In fact there are also a few occasions when a "MISSING REEL" card flashes on the screen briefly, and the story jumps ahead. Trust me, it's great stuff! The result is a delightfully faithful recreation of 1970s exploitation movies. Those who experienced the real grindhouse era have testified to the film's faithfulness (this became apparent after reading online reviews and IMDb user comments). The fact that this peculiar concept is able to successfully engage a 21st century audience is due to the uncanny ability of Tarantino and Rodriguez in figuring out what moviegoers don't know they're dying to see.

Grindhouse commences with a fake trailer to get the ball rolling. Machete is the film the trailer is advertising, and it's the perfect way to begin the film. It's simply hysterical: a priest wielding a shotgun, extreme violence, and badass lines such as "They fucked with the wrong Mexican!" are among the inclusions.

This terrifically atmospheric trailer is followed by Robert Rodriguez's feature film contribution: Planet Terror. Rodriguez was born to be a grindhouse director. Planet Terror explodes onto the screen with little respite. It slathers on layer after layer of absurdity, action, repulsive gore and manic wit. When the film reaches the point where movies usually pause to allow a breather, Rodriguez fakes a missing reel in order to skip over the boring parts and get right back down to business: zombies getting shot to bits in explosions of exaggerated blood, and shit getting blown up.
There's no need for a solid plot at all, so Rodriguez simply employs the weak premise of a military chemical experiment going wrong, causing an outbreak of some B-movie zombie virus. Oh, and there's a bunch of survivors who shoot as many zombies as possible. And then there's the lovely Rose McGowan. Her leg is eaten by zombies, so the leg stump is fitted with a machine gun.

Planet Terror is loads of fun. It's the feature highlight of the three-hour experience. This is the flick that represents the outrageous spirit of the B-movie. It's an action-packed, extremely gory zombie flick that moves at lightning pace. Nothing fancy to find here...just a whole lot of blood and guts to keep the fans happy.

Following this, we're treated to three additional faux trailers: a trailer by Rob Zombie for the ridiculously action-packed Werewolf Women of the SS (featuring a cameo by a famous actor who never seems ashamed to be wacky), a trailer by Edgar Wright (the guy who did Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Both Nick Frost and Simon Pegg appear in this trailer) for a standard horror fare entitled Don't, and finally there's an Eli Roth splatterfest slapped with the title of Thanksgiving. There are typical restaurant adverts thrown in for good measure, and some titles to mark what we're up to ("Our Feature Presentation", etc).

Finally the second half of Grindhouse is revealed: Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Personally, I prefer Rodriguez' Planet Terror. Tarantino's half unfortunately spoils the experience. It's talkie, repetitive, and self-indulgent. The essence of campy B-movie horror isn't captured adequately here. There are some payoffs (a number of awesome car crashes are included), but the wait getting there really tested my patience. After merrily bathing in Rodriguez' violent guilty pleasure of Planet Terror and having a great time watching heads explode in all their gruesome glory, Tarantino's dialogue-heavy Death Proof is like being rudely awoken by means of a bucket of icy cold water being thrown onto your face. Dialogue is Tarantino's greatest strength. In this case, it's also his greatest weakness. It's his weakness because he loves to hear lots of banter...every time a character speaks gives him yet another chance to reference a movie or a TV show, or vaguely reference pop culture, or it merely gives him the opportunity to have a character babble on about nothing. Some may call this characterisation. On the other hand, I call it filler. Tarantino's gift of gab isn't as effective with women. These women are developed so thoroughly, but they're boring characters and the dialogue leads no-where. There's so much empty space that one could visit the toilet for 20 minutes and not miss anything essential.

Tarantino's film is decent at best. The long car chase at the end is pretty good, and there's a great car crash in the middle, but it's just boring and drawn-out compared to Rodriguez's frenetically paced Planet Terror. I howled with laughter at the exaggerated gore during Rodriguez's segment, but there are scarce jokes or amusing moments to find in Death Proof. There are also too many sub-plots that go no-where. Like one character texting her boyfriend. And the point of that was...?

For once, I think Tarantino missed the point. Grindhouse as a whole could have been far more effective had Tarantino developed something more exhilarating or something better suited to a grindhouse atmosphere.

It's impossible to write a review of Grindhouse without mentioning the controversy surrounding the film. Upon initial release in the early months of 2007, Grindhouse opened to an unfortunate reception. Critics certainly enjoyed the experience, as did a majority of audience members...however there were a number of people who just didn't "get it". After Planet Terror concluded they left the cinema thinking it was over. The film's distributors therefore became somewhat concerned. Adding to this, foreign audiences never would have experienced the grindhouse era and wouldn't understand the gimmick. Thus the decision was made to split Grindhouse - individually screening Planet Terror and Death Proof as separate movies without the fake trailers. Naturally, audiences were outraged. Personally, I had looked forward to seeing the double feature and was devastated as the film was split before reaching Australian shores. Thus I boycotted the individual films, waiting for an opportunity to witness the entire experience in its three-hour glory. Now that I've finally seen Grindhouse in its entirety, I can recommend you do the same. The magic of Grindhouse is in the experience instead of the individual movies. Planet Terror without Death Proof (or visa versa) is like pizza without cheese - they complete each other. Grindhouse needs to be experienced in its theatrical glory, and I implore you to see it given the opportunity.

As a whole experience, Grindhouse ranks a solid 4.5/5. Taking all the factors into consideration, the score is only let down by Tarantino's predominantly boring movie. Planet Terror earns a solid five stars (in the context of the movie), with the four faux trailers also earning five stars apiece (again, only in the context of the movie), and Death Proof earning a disappointing three stars. Thus this average is roughly 4.5/5. (In a mathematical brain it averages to 4.67...but seriously, fuck that!) Maybe the flaw isn't just with Death Proof, but with the order in which these two films are screened. There's so much happening in Planet Terror (so much in every single moment of the film) and it's so explosive and action-packed that it's an impossible act to follow, let alone with a dialogue-heavy, action-late flick like Death Proof. If shown first, Death Proof could have been the ideal ramp up to the truly out of control experience Rodriguez delivers. Ultimately though, the hiccups in Death Proof are a minor problem as everything else is so perfect, thus Grindhouse works as intended. I wanted B-movie thrills, and I got 'em. With its missing reels, warped look, changes in tone, colour variations, exaggerated violence (the gunshot wounds in Planet Terror are hysterical) and some deliberately horrible acting at times, Grindhouse does its job of making those who can remember spending hot summer nights at drive-ins or real grindhouses (only occasionally paying attention to what was on the screen as they were usually too busy making out with partners, eating food, etc) nostalgic for those long-gone days of horribly bad fun films. The best part is that for the batch of contemporary movie-goers that haven't a clue about double features or the old cheap campy horror movies of the 70s, Grindhouse provides a genuine look at what they missed out on. It's a very long movie at 191 minutes, but there is a lot of fun to be had.

If by some miracle you can get a copy of this theatrical version, then I suggest you take the opportunity without delay. It provides thrills and laughs, it provides an atmospheric experience, and it puts the 'bad' back in 'badass'. Even with Tarantino's slow-paced Death Proof, the whole movie is so much bloody fun. Until such time as the distributors get the good sense to release this theatrical cut on DVD, I suggest you boycott the individual versions.

9.0/10



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Best of 2007

Posted : 7 years, 7 months ago on 11 May 2007 02:07

I haven't had this much fun in a theater in years before seeing this film. Two movies at three hours long absolutely flew by. If you like Tarantino's and Rodriguez's previous films then you won't be disappointed; similar style and content to their previous masterpieces.

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Grindhouse is an Instant Classic

Posted : 7 years, 7 months ago on 28 April 2007 02:17

Grindhouse is extraordinary. Yes, you heard me... extraordinary. It happens to be one of the best and well put together films of the past few years. I've heard nothing but rave reviews for it and I can now understand why. If you're thinking about going to see this and feel kind of iffy because it looks too corny, I'm telling you now that you're missing something spectacular. You have to take this film for what it is. It's meant to be corny and ridiculously hilarious. The thing I love about this film is that it is well aware of it's own genre. Film masters Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have teamed up to make on of the most memorable movies I have ever seen.

During the movie (which is 191 minutes), I decided that I would take notes on what I did and didn't like. I know that sounds stupid, but with a film this long I wouldn't have remembered half of the stuff I wanted to say here. First off, let me talk about the film's posters. They are absolutely terrific. The promo posters with Rose McGowan and Marley Shelton on them are so authentic looking with the creases and fold marks and actually look like it came straight from the 1970s. Also, during the film, the whole "missing reels" and "this film is Restriced" parts add to the overall precision.

Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror is the first film in this action-packed double feature. The film is set in a small town in the midst of a zombie outbreak where only a scarce amount of survivors fight their way to safety from this infectious disease. This movie was not the better of the two, but it was definitely the goriest. It's very aware of it's own genre and like Rodriguez's Sin City, it has the look of a classic 50s/60s [horror] film. Planet Terror is also full of amazing characters which are played by amazing actors. These actors may seem to be phony and cheesy, but that's exactly how the film needed them to be and they all pulled it off quite excellently. Rose McGowan has the most memorable character in the entire film and probably in recent film history, also. Cherry Darling, the stripper/wannabe stand-up comic, gets her leg ripped off by an infected zombie. In return, she receives a machine gun to be placed where her leg once was and is now ready to kick some zombie ass. Freddy Rodriguez who plays El Wray, the man who 'never misses', is also one of the best characters in the film. However, there was two things I really didn't like. One was the two annoying babysitter twins. They really did not have to be there and if they would have been left out, the scenes they were in would have been much better. Two is Bruce Willis. He appears in every movie now in some small cameo role and to me, it's a waste of screen time. He needs a strong comeback and hopefully Die Hard 4 will do that for him so he can stop pestering us with his pop-up roles. The music in Planet Terror was great and the film had some classic lines, too. Overall, a solid film.

Now for Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. This was the best of the two films. It had me on the edge of my seat with what I believe was the best car chase scene I've ever seen. The first half of the movie was great with some witty dialogue and interesting characters, but once the characters were built up beyond belief it became a little toilsome. When Kurt Russell's character was introduced it picked up the pace and when Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Zoe Bell were introduced... wow, this movie became quite the ride. Death Proof is a road-raging slasher film in which the villain (Kurt Russell) hunts his victims with a car that is 'death proof' to only the driver. Kurt Russell was good as Stunt Man Mike, but the person who stole the show in Death Proof for me was Tracie Thoms. I was getting used to the three women at the beginning, too, but unfortunately they felt Stunt Man Mike's wrath a little too early. I would have liked to see more of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, too, but that's okay. Quentin's great use of dialogue is put to good use and his acting skills are also put to the test in this film. If anything, watch this movie for the greatest car chase scene ever.

Overall, this movie is absolutely fantastic. It is easily one of the most entertaining and memorable films I've ever seen and I can't see how anyone would forget it. Go see this if you have the chance, it's an amazing cinematic experience.

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A true experience

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 9 April 2007 06:36

Go see this if you want to have FUN at the movies- plain and simple. Neither film is a masterpiece, and neither takes itself too seriously: Planet Terror is over-the-top zombie action and Death Proof is typical Tarantino fare- fast and profane dialogue, a stuntman with bloodlust and an unexpected plot turn in the second half. The fake movie trailers interspersed are entertaining as well and the whole package has a really unique feel to it that makes it more than a regular trip to the movies. Definitely worth watching if you want to be purely entertained for 3+ hours.

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