Release Date: April 6th, 2007 by The Weinstein Company.
The Cast: Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn, Naveen Andrews, Sydney Tamilia Poitier, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, Zoe Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Parks, Kurt Russell.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.
BASIC PREMISE: A double feature, starting with Planet Terror about a town terrorized by zombies infected with a virus and Death Proof about a group of young women who revenge against a sadistic man, Mike (Russell), who attempts to kill them in a car accident.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Grindhouse will bring back memories for those who experienced “grindhouse” movies back in the 70’s at dingy, dilapidated movies theaters. These B-movies are purely mindless, escapist entertainment replete with poor sound/image quality and even missing reels. This double feature begins with a few hilarious fake trailers. The first and most imaginative feature is Planet Terror, directed by Robert Rodriguez. Rose McGowan plays Cherry, a sexy young woman who gets her leg severed by a zombie and now uses a machine gun as a leg to kill zombies with the help of her ex-boyfriend, Wray (Rodriguez). Humans get mutated by a virus and turn into slimy zombies with boils all over their bodies while two local doctors (Brolin and Shelton) try to figure out what’s wrong with the infected hospital patients. Those who expect exciting, cheesy, tongue-in-cheek action, lots of sickening gore and funny one-liners with puns, i.e. a victim who’s considered a “no-brainer”, will be very satisfied. Before the next features, there’s more wildly hilarious “Previews of Coming Attractions” with satirical trailers such as Don’t, directed by Edgar Wright, Thanksgiving directed by Eli Roth and, the highlight, Werewolf Women of the SS, directed by Rob Zombie. Quentin Tarantino’s feature film, Death Proof has much more dialogue than Planet Terror and less action, but when the action comes on the screen in the form of car chases, it does feel quite thrilling and gives you a rush of adrenaline. Tarantino pays homage to Gone in 60 Seconds, Vanishing Point and Kill Bill. Unfortunately, when a group of young women (Dawson, Thoms, Bell and Winstead) merely talk, the dialogue lacks the punch that Tarantino usually gives it other of his films, like Pulp Fiction. It would have been nice to see at least a cameo by the charismatic, scene-stealing Samuel L. Jackson, although Kurt Russell does steal some scenes when he cries like a baby. Tarantino could have easy pushed the R-rating even further with more vulgarity, violence and more tongue-in-cheek humor like in the superior Planet Terror. Fortunately, Grindhouse doesn’t overstay its welcome with a total running time of 3 hours and 11 minutes.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief and check your brain at the door.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: A guilty pleasure. Thrilling, shocking and mindless fun. A pure adrenaline rush.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
The "G" Menu