Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wow! Saw Grindhouse over the weekend--what a blast. Having spent my own warped childhood lurking amid the sticky aisles and mangy velvet seats of many a grindhouse cinema in Hollywood and Long Beach (and probably crossed paths with a young Quentin Tarantino without even knowing it), it was a nostalgic thrill to see those old coming-attraction reels, alarming previews, and scratchy prints. What younger viewers will make of it, I don't know.

I've read that the tighter film is the first one: Planet Terror, by Robert Rodriguez, and it is a fun, outrageous zombie film...but it's also so cartoonish that I got tired of the nonstop gore and explosions. I actually preferred Tarantino's entry, the car-chase/female-empowerment thriller, Death Proof. What others have criticized as being an overlong talkfest was to me another of Tarantino's patented dialogue pieces, no different than Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, or Kill Bill 2. And as a movie geek myself, I admit delight in Tarantino's in-jokes, from the theme music taken from schlock gem Village of the Giants to the yellow muscle car from the original Gone in 60 Seconds.

I'll tell you, they should do more of these double-features: pick different pairs of directors and let them loose to riff on their favorite cheesy genre flicks: spaghetti westerns, Zardoz-era sci-fi, satanic cult flicks, beatnik movies--it'd be great!