Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Review (woo!): Grindhouse

I promised you I'd be back, and here I am, reviewing the single most entertaining film I've seen in years.

Let me start with a simple fact: Grindhouse isn't exactly going to be walking away with any Academy Awards (though the argument could easily be made for make-up, and when the Weinsteins release Planet Terror and Death Proof as seperate full length feature films later this year, Death Proof could conceivably be a contender for original screenplay), but it is so much fun.

A common misconception is that Grindhouse is a sleazy horror film. That's simply not true. It's also a side splitting comedy with strong female empowerment motifs.

Let's just go in order:

Machete Trailor: thank goodness Robert Rodriguez is actually making this twisted revenge film, since Machete's trailor is one of the greatest ever made. A Mexican day laborer, nicknamed machete, is hired to execute a high power assasination, only he has been set up by enemies and almost loses his life. He swears revenge on all those who betrayed him. Wonderful way to start the film.

Planet Terror: sick, twisted, over the top zombie-esque fun (though the creatures aren't zombies). Rose McGowan is phenomenal as Cherry, a stripper who wants nothing more than to be a stand-up comedian, even though she isn't very funny. Cherry and other citizens of Texas band together in an effort to save their lives against flesh hungry humans covered in disusting boils and wounds that ooze green slime. As disgusting and horrific as it is, this is one of the most effective comedy films I have ever seen and perfectly captures that late 1970's early 1980's splatterfest vibe while updating it to relevancy in 2007. Kudos, Mr. Rodriguez. All is forgiven for The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D.

More Trailors (I believe this is the proper order):

Werewolf Women of the S.S.: If you know anything about Nazi-sploitation films, then you realize that Rob Zombie nailed the over the top cheese and sex factor of these films with his hillarious take on the sub genre. My favorite of the fake trailors.

Don't: Simon Pegg is a genius. Don't is a perfect spoof of the hard hitting advertising for 1970's British Gothic Horror films that wind up coming off as comedies rather than horror films. This would legitimately be a very disturbing horror film.

Thanksgiving: Eli Roth's slasher film trailor, and I wasn't that impressed. It was just as misogynistic as all his other work combined and seemed like a pointless slasher. Perfect score for nailing the 1980's horror film, poor score for taste (surprise!).

Death Proof: Holy shit is this a good fucking film. Slow and deliberate, the story follows two groups of young women who face the misfortune of going one on one with an amazing Kurt Russel as Stuntman Mike. Rose McGowan once again impresses here, but the film is stolen by stunt woman Zoe Bell playing herself on screen. An effortless performance that requires a whole lot more effort than you would imagine for one of the greatest stunt sequences ever.

The film is worth seeing before the Weinstein's hack it apart and put it back together as seperate features. The experience is more than worth the 3+ hour running time.

Varb For Me