Today we scored an early review for Dimension Films’ Grindhouse (check out 10 clips here), courtesy of B-D reader Sean Mesler. Read on for a positive look at the film and watch for an official review next week. Grindhouse, which hits theaters April 6, will be presented as one full-length feature comprised of two individual films helmed separately by each director. Tarantino’s film, “Death Proof,” is a rip-roaring slasher flick where the killer pursues his victims with a car rather than a knife, while Rodriguez’s film explores an alien world eerily familiar to ours in “Planet Terror.
Review By: Sean Mesler
4.5 out of 5 Skulls
Those reading this need no introduction to this film or it’s filmmakers. The wait is over. Grindhouse is here. And as it is, Grindhouse is an experience that NEEDS to be seen as a double feature because both films are purposely bad that paying to see these as separate, “legitimate” releases from either director, when compared to their previous work, it would feel like a rip off. Both directors have their tongues in their cheeks with these films and know that back to back is how their meant to be seen.
Planet Terror is utterly ridiculous, and so over the top that it makes the Mariachi Trilogy seem as serious Casablanca. Gory, hilarious, and plain old fun. Everyone has a blast in their roles, and Rose McGowan really stands out because she does the entire thing with a straight face. And plays her fole as if she’s playing a bad actress trying to give her best performance in a piece of shit film. It works great towards achieving its “don’t take any of this seriously” goals.
Tarantino’s Death Proof is up next and while completely different in tone to PT, it’s still a fun time. This film is much more dialogue heavy and if you’re not a fan of Tarantino’s dialogue, you’re not going like his segment at all. It’s long-winded, indulgent and concerning the plot, it’s about 90% pointless. I’m a fan so I enjoyed it. When the action finally does come in Death Proof it’s white knuckle, edge of your seat, gory, unpredictable stuff. And Kurt Russell can now add another great genre performance to his resume along with Snake Plissken and R.J. MacReady. His performance alone is worth the price of admission. It goes from empathetic, to menacing, and ultimately to hilariously pathetic.
I’ve read elsewhere that Tarantino’s Death Proof was slow and dull compared to Planet Terror. And it is slow and dull when compared directly to Rodriguez’s segment but it seems as if that’s the point of it and actually shines a light on a problem with Planet Terror. Exploitation films are supposed to be cheaply made and have no real stars and have to sell themselves on violence and sex. Death Proof actually looks and feels like a low budget film while Planet Terror is so action packed and full of CGI, explosions and quality FX that it looks like it cost a lot of money, despite Rodriguez’s purposely foul looking print. Which is funny because Death Proof rarely relies on those gimmicks during it’s second half.
Finally there are the much talked-about trailers which are all great. Well, save for one. Rob Zombie’s “Werewolf Women of the S.S.” is the bad one of the bunch. It just doesn’t feel like much effort was put into it where the other ones feel like they’re parts of an actual movie. There is a hilarious cameo that complete makes his trailer worth while, but the efforts from Rodriguez, Eli Roth, and Edgar Wright just completely blow it away
All in all, this is exactly what I wanted to be, a great three hours at the movies enjoying two films from guys that don’t take movies too seriously and know how to entertain.