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Movie Review: Grindhouse - BaD Reviews

About Movie Review: Grindhouse

Previous Entry Movie Review: Grindhouse Apr. 13th, 2007 @ 06:54 pm Next Entry
Anyone familiar with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino knows that the two march the beat of a different drum.  Neither is content with making films within the Hollywood norm and both are fans of movies from all eras and all genres.  The two are good friends and have teamed up in the past, back in 1996 Rodriguez directed Tarantino's script for a vampire film called From Dusk 'til Dawn.  With their latest collaboration, the filmmaking duo teams up to pay homage to B-movie drive-in horror and campy '70s films by making 2 different films with 2 separate titles and stories and houses them under one name.

Rodriguez' half of the movie is started off by a funny fake trailer that he directed.  It's for a movie called Machete about an assassin named Machete.  The fake movie will actually be made starring Danny Trejo and be released straight to DVD.  As for Rodriguez' feature film, it's called Planet Terror.  Bruce Willis and some military guys are looking to buy a biochemical from a former terrorist, played by Lost star Naveen Andrews.  The gas is released into the air and it turns this little Texas town into a town of zombie like mutants.  So a group of survivors fight back and are lead by Freddy Rodriguez(Six Feet Under) and Rose McGowan, who becomes amputated and after having her stick for a leg broken off she gets a big ol' gun put on. 

In between the two films is an intermission that has some more fake trailers.  One is from Rob Zombie, Werewolf Women of the SS, and it's just really dumb about Hitler creating a race of superwomen that are werewolves, except a funny part with Nicolas Cage.  Eli Roth(Cabin Fever, Hostel) did the trailer for Thanksgiving, a spoof on all the holiday related slasher films like Halloween and Black Christmas.  The final one was by Edgar Wright(Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and was simply called Don't.  It was really funny about all the things you shouldn't do in a horror movie. 

In Tarantino's half, we get his movie Death Proof.  It opens on a group of girls who are out on the town while one friend is in town for the weekend.  They are in a bar and run into Stuntman Mike(Kurt Russell).  We learn that Mike is, well duh, a stuntman.  Turns out Mike is crazy and his car is death proof.  But it only works if you're in his seat.  So he makes friends with the girls at the bar and talks with them.  He gives a ride home to another girl he meets at the bar but kills her and then turns to the group of girls he just met.  Turns out he's been watching them and waiting so he could kill them in a head on collision, which he of course will survive.  So we cut to another group of girls in another part of the country and Mike's tracked them and is going to do the same thing.  But he fucks with the wrong chicks and after nearly killing one who was performing a stunt of her own on the hood of the car(this group of girls is all in the movie biz, including stunts) they turn the tables by shooting him in the arm and then chasing him.

The two films were so different but both were really cool.  After watching the action packed Planet Terror which is a typical 70s/80s B-movie sci-fi/horror action flick, we get a more slowed down movie in Death Proof.  I thought both were a lot of fun and very, very funny.  I actually prefer Tarantino's half because he was doing something much different than just a spoof on zombie sci-fi like Rodriguez did.  Tarantino makes a movie you might actually find in the 70s.  Set up the story with the girls out on the town and this nice yet mysterious guy talks with them and turns out to be a psycho who stalks them and kills them.  Then he turns the movie into a women's empowerment film that reminds you of Foxy Brown kickin' ass as the chicks turn the table. 

It's refreshing that at least 2 filmmakers are not following the Hollywood norm.  And they enlisted the services of their friends Zombie, Roth, and Wright who also don't go by the book.  This film is completely different from anything that has been made lately.  While it's ironic that this movie should be praised while the movies they honor were crapfests that were so bad they're funny, these are still really cool movies.  I thought it was really cool that these movies mocked low budget films by even removing scenes and claiming they were missing reels, an occurence that happened regularly on poorly made and poorly funded films.

It was cool to see a lot of regular actors getting into the fun, Rose McGowan was in both films, Rosario Dawson, Freddy Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Naveen Andrews, Bruce Willis, Nic Cage, Fergie from the Blackeyed Peas, Nicky Katt, Kurt Russell and Tarantino who appears in both movies. 

The movie as a whole with the fake trailers and all was an extremely funny and original movie and idea.  These two directors are already favorites of mine and this is another great one from the duo.  A fun action movie that is entertaining throughout. 

4.5 stars out of 5
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