You’ve probably heard by now, but in case you haven’t, ‘Grindhouse‘ is actually a double feature. The first film, ‘Planet Terror’ is probably one of the funniest and bloodiest zombie B movies since ‘Evil Dead’. I wish I had invested in fake blood packet stock before the making of Grindhouse – it would have been like hitting the LOTTO number.
In Rodriguez-world all the women wear tight shorts, everyone has guns that never run out of ammo, and the dead just keep on coming. The joint is loaded with bad puns, both visual and verbal, including a clever not-what-you-think ‘got you by the balls’ quip.
Everything is either on fire or being blown up. Limbs go from akimbo to limbo. The cast is first rate, led by a fiery-hot Rose McGowan who has good leg. Josh Brolin, as a conniving abusive doctor could be a young Kris Kristofferson (I really thought it was Kristofferson with amazing fountain-of-youth makeup at first). I’m not the only person who caught this resemblance – Mark of Dork Nation has an excellent write-up of the film including the Kristofferson reference.
Both Tarantino and Rodriguez go to a lot of trouble to make the movie ‘Big Show’ vintage, worn scratched-up print, missing reels and all – the timing of the missing reels is exquisite (if not a bit frustrating..).
They even throw in fake coming attraction trailers – my favorite is ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’ (directed by Rob Zombie), with ‘Thanksgiving’ a sickening second.
Tarantino’s contribution (Death Proof) starts slow with way too much jabber. If you’ve ever seen Tarantino on the Tonight Show, you know he is a hyper-active talking maniac. I could ‘hear’ Tarantino a little too much in every stinking conversation for the first two reels (kind of like when Woody Allen writes a ‘woody allen role’ for another actor…you can pretty much hear Allen’s voice). Once the fun begins aka THE car chase (featuring a wonderfully scarred Kurt Russell), the film becomes grounded in solid ‘B grindhouse’ territory. And holy Fireball Roberts, it’s one heckuva car chase.
This film could do for Kurt Russell what Pulp Fiction did for Travolta..Russell brings the ‘john carpenter’ joy into this role.
All in all, definitely worth seeing if you love the zombie world, don’t mind about 15 gallons of fake blood and 10,000 rounds of bullets, not to mention mayhem. Rose McGowan, playing a role Heather Mills might wish for, is the charmer of the movie…one scene, an homage to Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger, features McGowan almost flying in slow motion, into a nest of zombies, machine-gun leg blasting those damned evil dead into pulp fractions. It’s the kind of scene that makes a movie-geek way too happy.
One word of warning: This ain’t a movie for your young kids or your mom for that matter. I always find it amazing that people bring their little kids to movies like this – it happened again today. The good karma news is that the mother is going to be wakened every night for a week dealing with the kid’s nightmares..serves her negligent-ass right.