Country : USA
Running Time: 191 minutes
It's two-for-one night at the GRINDHOUSE with a take-no-prisoners double feature from Rodriguez and Tarantino....
Directed by Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror segment) and Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof segment), with Eli Roth, Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie (fake trailer segments). Written by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.
Starring Kurt Russell, Rose McGowan, Stacy Ferguson, Bruce Willis, Tom Savini, Josh Brolin and Naveen Andrews.
As I sit here about to write a review for one of 'my
latest favorite' horror films, I canít get over the
fact that I just walked out of the theater and lived a
new cult classic. I have a shitload to say, so let's
just start with Planet Terror from director Robert
Itís no mystery that as far as zombie flicks go, many
b-movie enthusiasts will tell you 'The Romero trilogy'
is undoubtedly the best. I dare go a step further and
state that Romero's trilogy is of course my favorite
zombie series of all time. Of course, I love films
like Return of the Living Dead as much as the next guy
and Fulciís films I adore, but Planet Terror manages
to make the list of cheesy, fun, horror b-movies...
right along side classics such as Night/Dawn/Day,
Return of, Zombie, etc...
The movie manages to capture your interest even before
it actually starts. Planet Terror truly holds its
own as a solid action thriller, and a great horror
film and keeps your eyes glued to the screen for it's
hour and thirty three. Just look at such surprise
horror hits like the original The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre and The Blair Witch Project; then take a
close look at their advertising campaign. Grindhouse
is no exception, and even if the events are completely
fictitious, youíd still somehow find yourself more
interested to find out how the story will unfold.
And speaking of effects, you canít really get more
outrageous than some of those found in Terror. Of
particular interest (and mt favorite) is seeing Stacy
Ferguson (a.k.a. Fergie) getting eaten by 'sickos'
then seeing her head scooped out like a melon... pure
genius. Or how about Tom Savini getting torn apart
rather than doing the tearing? It is a zombie film
which manages to be funny and scary. Thereís
absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially when a
film proves to be this much film.
You rarely see a horror movie with genre faves such as
Bruce Willis, Tom Savini, Michael Biehn, and Jeff
Fahey. Add to the mix a hot chick with a gun for a
leg (Rose McGowan), and a smokin' Doc Block (Marley
Shelton) and youíve practically got B-movie heaven.
Freddy Rodriguez also plays it cool as El Wray.
And in case we would forget that the movie should not
be taken seriously, Rodriguez promptly adds a little
cool bonus to the ending which features the movieís
funniest moment. To briefly summarize my endless
ramblings, I fully recommend this film to any Pit
fiend because it is as close as you can get to cult
Oh, but there is more....we have some kick-assed 'faux
trailers' in between the segments. First is Rob
Zombie's Werewolf Women of the S.S. which was quite
disappointing and looked too much like a music video.
Go figure....it was cool to see Bill Moseley in the
same frames with Udo Kier, though. Next is Edgar
Wright's Don't....holy shit, this is the movie that
has to be made for Grindhouse 2. Fucking brilliant....
it looked like The Unseen on crack. But just when I
think Wright can't begin to impress me enough with
Shaun and Hot Fuzz, he gives me thirty seconds of
genius that had the audience in tears. Finally, the
one that nailed everything about grindhouse is
Eli Roth's Thanksgiving, a film that I would kill to
see. Brilliant, funny, and by God the killer looks
awesome. Another one I want to see for Grindhouse 2.
So, moving on to my favorite segment, the genius of
Quentin Tarantino never ceases to amaze me. Death
Proof is another fine example that the man can do
anything. Equal parts Vanishing Point and The New York
Ripper, the film stakes out its territory early on,
with a sequence where Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell)
stalks his victims, and carries out his sick game in
his supercharged death proof vehicle. This is a slasher film
where the killer uses a car instead of a knife. And
when he uses that bastard, you would probably wish it
was a knife.
After this we go back to see the start of a new chase,
basically hitting the rewind button and starting all
over again. A new set of would be victims, but we get
to see more character exposition this time because we
already know what stuntman Mike is up to behind the
scenes. Zoe Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosario
Dawson, and Tracie Thoms are all great and have a
better dynamic than the first set of girls. And let
me also just say that Kurt Rusell simply tears it up
and stuntman Mike. This is his best role since Snake
Plissken in Escape From New York.
The car chase sequences, and Quentin Tarantino's
photography in general, are terrific, brimming with
energy as the the cars charge across the roads, and
through the countryside. This is also Tarantino's
first stint as DP and he really pulled it off. Again
I say, is there anything this man can't do?
Finally, we reach the end which totally shifts gears
(no pun intended) and chews your brain up like
pavement on one side and down the other. I was
totally not expecting the outcome of this film. All I
can really compare it to is the ending of a Rocky
film....pinned to the back of your chair and cheering
on, this is filmmaking at its best. The whole
theater was shouting, cheering and clapping--and I
can't tell you the last time I saw a film where the
entire theater was cheering.
Tarantino wins the battle of the films in my opinion, but
both segments totally own! This is NOT a fucking
remake, not a retread of another film from another
country....this is pure grindhouse, brought back from
the dead! Go see it three times this weekend and make
sure we continue to see these kinds of films.
100% approved Pit viewing.
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Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com