The title of this review says it all. Only at the Grindhouse can you see two highly acclaimed directors, blood, gore, zombies, cars, machine-guns, stunt drivers, an fake B-list cast (kind of), and Tarentino in both films making cameoes.
The first film to feature is Robert Rodreguez’s Planet Terror. Just like a real grindhouse film, the film features melodrama, blood (lots of it), a stripper with a machine gun prosthetic leg, and most of all: zombies. The film plays well on the zombie effect and there is a lot much melting flesh and a truly horrific scene that has Quentin Tarentino playing a rapist who wants to do Rose McGowan. There is a funny scene, which does greatly with the “Grindhouse” effect, where Bruce Willis’ head blows up, who plays a scientist in the army, which is very cheesy, just like the Grindhouse films.
Then the fake trailers appear with such titles as Rob Zombie’s Werewolf Women of the S.S., Ed Wright’s (Shaun of the Dead) Don’t, and Eli Roth’s (Hostel, Cabin Fever) Thanksgiving (honestly, who would think of a holiday horror movie like this?). Each are very funny and give the film a realness to it. In real grind-house theaters, they would show trailers for other exploitation films, so to add that to a movie pretending to be a grind-house film is really a smart move.
The last fim is Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the fatser paced, women’s revenge themed, and more psychologically powerful film of the two. The film ia a homage to films like Vanishing Point and has an A-list cast including Rosario Dawson and Tracie Thoms, who both were in Rent. Kurt Russel stars as Stuntman Mike, a forgotten TV stuntman, who decides to go on a rampage. He first picks up Rose McGowan, who already had a role in Planet Terror (In grind-house films, the budget was often so low, they had to hire the same actor for different roles in the same doubvle-feature). She ends up being thrown around in the passenger’s seat of Russel’s skull and crossbone laden car. She hits her head too hard and dies. Then he goes after a threesome of pot smoking girls and purposely craches into them, leaving them dead. After a few months, he targets Zoe Bell, Dawson and Thoms, who play a game of shipmast (you haang onto the front of the car by hanging on to a belt…while the car is in drive). He tries to kill them, which pushes their buttons. Now it’s time for revenge. In a heart pounding car chase, the best car chase in years, the women fight back and go after Mike. Both films are great and Tarentino and Rodreguez have made a masterpiece. Both films have sctaches on the film and “missing reels”. A truly great peice of film from great directors, this film is one of their best. You get a sense of realness to it, and after the film is over, you may be left breathless.
Planet Terror: B+
Death Proof: A
Faux Trailers: A