Monday, April 16, 2007


How much do I love this movie? I think if I'm asking you that question you know I really love it. Talk about pure fun! This film (or these films) had me laughing and having a great time throughout the entire experience.

The result of a couple of friends (Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino), getting together and watching a couple of old 70's exploitation flicks, along with a bunch of old trailers, Grindhouse(2007) is an homage to the hard boiled genre.

Grindhouse is not only an homage, it is a new movie-going experience that shows us why we love bad movies, and revives what is fun about going to the theaters rather than sitting at home watching a DVD. Grindhouse was created to take people back in time to a different era in movie-going. A time where there were no VHS players or cable TV. There was no Cinemax to watch soft-core porn and filmmakers were not out to appeal to the widest audience possible. The closest thing we have today is straight to DVD movies. But right now I am not looking forward to a film in 30 years that pays homage to the Olsen Twins or Basic Instinct 5. I am looking forward to the rumored full-length cut of Death Proof that Tarantino is supposedly cutting together for the Cannes Film Festival this year!

Although the filmmakers create the film scratches and missing reels in post-production, it takes me back to seeing movies as a kid that we threw popcorn at the screen and every once in a while someone would screw up and the projector would stop, resulting in the film burning up.

It's probably why Grindhouse has not made a ton of money at the box office (well, one of the reasons). I wonder if anyone under the age of 24 even remembers when films could look like crap and the projector could skip or a scratch run through 20 minutes of a film? The teenagers today probably don't get it.

But, people who have no tolerance for B movies would also hate Grindhouse. It's not a film for people who would go and figure that they didn't like the bad B movies in the 70's (and beyond), so why should they enjoy these films?

Me? The two films in Grindhouse, Planet Terror and Deathproof, remind me of my college days of staying up until 4am watching B movies on HBO. Films like Nemesis (1993) and Cyborg II (1993). Granted, these are early 90's B films, but they occupy the same film space as the films that Grindhouse is an homage to, which is not much. These films are also the reason why I don't subscribe to HBO anymore. I just can't resist watching the B movies. I will sit and watch, saying to myself that it's only until a certain scene or line that I love. Then when that part happens, I remember some other thing that's only 15 minutes away and the next thing I know, credits are rolling.

(As a side note, Grindhouse refers to a film that I truly love and would die to re-make called Vanishing Point (1971). I won't go into it here, but be sure to rent it within close proximity to watching Grindhouse. You will not be disappointed and it will give you an idea of the kind of movie they were thinking about when making this masterpiece.)

I have to make mention of the trailers they made within the film. As a small kid born in the mid-seventies, the trailers for these B films were about the only exposure I had to these kinds of films. Guest directors, Eli Roth (of Cabin Fever[2002]) and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead[2004]), add their own vision to the genre with hilarious results. The writing for 'Don't' and the voice over for 'Thanksgiving' had me holding my gut and hoping I wouldn't pee my pants. It's brilliant!

Grindhouse is a movie that was made by people who love movies, and for people who love movies. This is the key to why this movie is so great. These two guys with dream jobs, who love the movies we do and are responsible for bringing many of the films we love from Hong Kong, Europe and from our country's film past, are giving us what we want to see. Why? Because it's what they want to see. They say, "It would really kick ass to make one of these old X-Rated 70's exploitation flicks, but with our own twist and style." I for one couldn't be happier and it's great to see films being made that have some kind of history behind them and a respect for the movie-goer. They know we know what they are going for and if we don't, then they know that this movie is not for us and they don't try to explain it. You can't please everyone with your movies, and to do so is to compromise your film.