Paying homage to the grand days of filmmaking, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino have presented to us an experience any B-movie fan can appreciate. Wanting to do a second collaboration after Sin City, Rodriguez and Tarantino decided to make their next film as partners. Their idea is something that has not been done since the hay days of drive in theaters and double features. Grindhouse’s innovative explosion of sensory overload sticks out like a sour thumb in the muck of bad (and some good) Hollywood movies and gives the viewer an experience that no other movie that is currently playing can. The two filmmakers delve into the world of bad (or to some people wonderful) filmmaking and make a great movie. Grindhouse is not just a movie; it’s two movies and a series of trailers in between. The reason for having two feature length movies is because back in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, filmmakers were pumping out movie after movie, Roger Corman would shoot one movie in two weeks or even less. This is an insane short period of time when compared to a Hollywood movies that can take a month or more. Most of these films were only an hour long so they would give the viewer a two-for-one deal, you’d get to watch two films for the price of one.
This is what the term grindhouse refers to. Pumping out movie after movie like a factory, resulting in some not so great films, mainly because of bad acting, special effects or editing. In Rodriguez and Tarantino’s Grindhouse you get this, and more.
Grindhouse combines the bad filmmaking and even the grainy and scratched film look of when double features were popular with modern day settings and special effects. The “experience” opens with a short preview for a movie called Machete. This first trailer is just a taste of the other fake trailers to come. The preview is complete with cheesy narration, bad acting and a ridiculous story line.
The first film is Planet Terror, directed by Robert Rodriguez. For me this was the better of the two films, the other being Death Proof, directed by Quentin Tarantino. The reason for this is that Planet Terror had the bad acting, cheesy lines, “Nothing is the easiest thing to remember, so remember it,” scratched film look and ridiculous action scenes some of which made no sense (random cars blowing up for no reason).
With Death Proof it was too good of a movie to be a B-movie. The cinematography and dialogue was too Tarantino. It was too good.
B-movies usually don’t have intriguing camera movement or realistic dialogue. They typically have mundane camera work and “so bad its funny” dialogue. Rodriguez did have some good camera shots, but he made up for it with everything else I mentioned about Planet Terror. Tarantino could have done a much better job by making his camera shots more simplistic and his scenes with dialogue shorter (they sometimes seemed to drag on). But other than that, Tarantino also had a good movie worth watching.
All in all, Grindhouse is a great movie. I’ll definitely be at FYE on the day it comes out on DVD. This movie shows the mass public a glimpse at the underworld of B-movies and all their glory. I, for one, am a fan of B-movies and thought this was a great respect to underground cinema. Even if you have never seen a B-movie before, you should definitely go watch Grindhouse for a few (or for me a lot) of laughs. Grindhouse might not be Citizen Kane (thank God), but it’s a fun movie to watch with your friends.