The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Grindhouse

Bruce Willis portrays a military man in Planet Terror, one of the films that make up Grindhouse, a tribute to the cheap, sleazy violent films aimed at a hard-core adult audience. The film is directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.  Photo courtesy Dimension Films
Bruce Willis portrays a military man in Planet Terror, one of the films that make up Grindhouse, a tribute to the cheap, sleazy violent films aimed at a hard-core adult audience. The film is directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Photo courtesy Dimension Films

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

Bruce Willis portrays a military man in Planet Terror, one of the films that make up Grindhouse, a tribute to the cheap, sleazy violent films aimed at a hard-core adult audience. The film is directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.  Photo courtesy Dimension Films
Bruce Willis portrays a military man in Planet Terror, one of the films that make up Grindhouse, a tribute to the cheap, sleazy violent films aimed at a hard-core adult audience. The film is directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Photo courtesy Dimension Films

Grindhouse exhibits everything wrong with cinema today: gore, violence, outrageous plots and pleather.
But it does it with such a gruesome finesse that the film shouldn’t be missed.

For those in the dark of what constitutes a grindhouse film, I’ll give a short definition.

“ As a film, it first referred to a cheap, low-budget, non-mainstream, sleazy, hard-core film that played in an ‘adults-only’ venue, scruffy downtown area or drive-in in the ’60s or ’70s.” (www.filmsite.org/filmterms10.html).

Directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez go all out, paying homage to these fine pieces of B cinema.

Bad splices, reels missing, scratches and sound pops were added to get the “grindhouse” effect along with a handful of fake trailers in between the two movies.

Tarantino and Rodriguez remind me of boys who find an anthill.

They see an opportunity for a controlled massacre and pounce.
Ironically, while they were trying to imitate the look of low- budget movies, their final product ended up north of the $50 million region.

No worries though, it is money well spent.

The first on the double-feature bill, after a trailer for Machete, is Rodriguez’s Planet Terror.

Planet Terror puts good ole fashion gore on a pedestal.
I have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to movies, but this film had me cringing and watching through slit fingers.

I even had to look away at a certain scene containing Tarantino and Scream’s Rose McGowan.

This film in lamest term, is a zombie flick; it just so happens the film has a go-go dancer amputee with a machine gun as a surrogate leg.

The zombies are there because of a military experiment gone wrong.

The infected are being treated at the hospital where a homicidal doctor is trying to kill his wife. And Cherry Darling, the dancer, and her old flame, Wray, show how much damage they can do with just a little gun powder. Throw in a missing reel, Bruce Willis and a scientist with a twisted collection of a certain body part, and the director has created a completely disturbing but engrossing first half.

Planet Terror is good, violent fun, but it is missing a certain je ne sais quoi.

McGowan is perfectly cast as Cherry Darling. I always thought she would be a great B-movie star, And Wray’s Freddy Rodriguez (Scrubs, Six Feet Under) is a welcomed lead-action hero.

I can bet we will be seeing more of him.

But my favorite addition to the cast is Naveen Andrews, better known as Sayid Jarrah on Lost.

He is pretty much a sidekick to Wray and Cherry, but he is welcomed as Abby, the quirky, albeit twisted, scientist.

As the audience waits for the next film, there are a few more trailers: Rob Zombie’s Werewolves Women of the S.S, Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving and Edgar Wright’s Don’t.

The best part of this gaggle of trailers is the 18 seconds of Nicholas Cage as Fu Manchu.

The last of the grindhouse frenzy is Tarantino’s Death Proof.

This film is pure bloody genius.

Whatever Planet Terror is missing, Death Proof has it and then some.

The movie is heavy on the dialogue and pop culture references, which is typical of a Tarantino movie, but underneath the seemingly useless chit-chats lies a slasher/car-chase movie.

Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) hunts down girls, gives them rides home then kills them by driving, i.e, braking suddenly so she face plants the dashboard.

In the second half of this film, Mike finds a new group of victims, including Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Zoë (Zoë Bell) and Kim (Tracie Thomas).

But after a failed attempt to kill these ladies, the girls turn the tables and go after Stuntman Mike.

The film is simple yet brilliant, utilizing all of what makes Tarantino’s movies great. Oddly enough, the movie is actually in chronological order.

Fans of Russell will be reminded of his Snake Plissken days, and I always enjoy watching the charismatic Dawson on screen.

Overall, the whole grindhouse experience is something that shouldn’t be missed.

The films have their glitches, and horrible knock-offs are inevitable, but one of the biggest problems with
Grindhouse is the three plus hours runtime.

Well, that and the audience gets not one genre film, but two slapped together that only people who know the name of Tarantino’s fictitious brand of cigarettes would dig.

I give Planet Terror four out of five stars.

Death Proof gets four and a half stars out of five. For the whole package that is Grindhouse, I give 4.25 out of five stars.

This is not a film for young people, but it is well worth seeing. Even if the masses are hesitant to see these movies, I say give Grindhouse a chance.

The films have a lot going for them, and I can honestly say you will not be bored.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian