Friday, October 8, 2010
The Director: Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino
The Cast: Kurt Russell, Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton
Release Date: April 6, 2007
Undoubtedly the most bold horror experiment taken by Hollywood in the past decade, Tarantino and Rodriguez' Grindhouse is the perfect throwback to the types of double features that permeated cinemas in the 1970s. Featuring two films back to back - Rodriguez' Planet Terror and Tarantino's Death Proof - the chance to see two Hollywood cowboys produce this much schlock is a once-in-a-lifetime cinematic experience.
Surrounded by trailers for fake movies (Rodriguez' recent Machete was born here), Planet Terror and Death Proof are on opposite ends of the horror spectrum. The first film is a all-out action fest, as a zombie-like creatures terrorize a band of survivors after a biochemical terror is released. The follow up film is a more methodical film, in which a retired stuntman (Kurt Russell, the best actor EVER) and his stunt car terrorizes a couple of groups of young women. The latter film is a little bit of a drag in the context of the double feature - I'd have flipped the films, to capitalize on Planet Terror's carnage later in audiences' attention spans - but is probably my favorite of the two to watch on its own.
Grindhouse succeeds because the two filmmakers know what they're doing and love what they're mimicking. The result is a truly memorable horror experience that should become a classic in years to come.