Saturday, January 12, 2008


I had originally planned to see Grindhouse in theaters, but I have children and I never see movies in the theaters. Having watched both Deathproof and Planet Terror on DVD, I also think that the movie would have been too long for the theater, for me at least. That said, I thought both movies were effective as entertainment and send-ups of the bad movies of yore.

Planet Terror, directed by Robert Rodriguez, is a play on the gory zombie films of the 70s. What I liked best is how the actors, many of whom are quite good, manage to act as if they were C-movie hacks who are trying really hard to be serious. This isn't like the jokey scenes in a Kevin Smith film, but the true cheese of the creature features. I thought this one was quite funny, as long as you took it for what it was. It is worth the time just to Naveen Andrews with his testicle removal device.

Death Proof, directed by Quentin Tarantino, goes on a bit too long, but the second half makes it worth it. The movie focuses on girls and cars, and what could more grindhouse than that? The biggest surprise is New Zealand stunt woman Zoe Bell who plays herself. Her car scene will have you covering your eyes out of fear. I wasn't aware that she is a stuntwoman and I was shocked when it was obvious she was doing the scenes. Tarantino works his dialogue magic in a number of scenes, but it gets a bit self-indulgent as many of these scenes are long. Still he manages to deliver some shocks.

These movies are for people who grew up watching a lot of bad movies, but now like good ones. One of the classic Onion headlines is Aging Gen-Xer Doesn't Find Bad Movies Funny Anymore, but fortunately these movies escape the trap by doing bad well.

No comments: