Grindhouse: Tarantino-Rodriguez Collaboration–Text, Subtext, Context

Text, subtext, and context collide in Grindhouse, the loving tribute from iconic directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino to the 1970s exploitation films that have inspired their youths and have shaped their cinematic sensibility as quintessential indie directors coming of age in the 1990s.

A decidedly mixed bag, consisting of two features of equal length (90 minute), Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror” and Tarantino’s “Death Proof” relate to that genre of exploitation flicks in different ways, drawing from them different elements, such as themes, characters, visual motifs, music, mood, and effects.

As is often the case of anthologies, inevitable comparisons will be made between the two features, and thus, let me start by saying that while neither is particularly good, Rodriguez’s is at least a more coherent and entertaining zombie flick than Tarantino’s effort, a schizoid picture that tries (but doesn’t always succeed) to blend the slasher film with the more routine chase actioner.

“Planet Terror” is consciously silly but it’s superior in every way (execution too) to than “Death Proof.” I would have reversed the order and begin with the Tarantino segment rather than the way they are presented now. I know that the whole point is to show two entire pictures in a double-feature format, but judging but what’s onscreen, each segment would have benefited from substantial cutting, resulting in a thrilling 90-minute flick, in toto. Right now, the running time is 186 minutes, including previews that connect the two stories and the end credits.

Since only three or four actors appear in the two features (some playing the same character, while others play new characters), the decision of some European distributors to release “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof” separately would not damage the experience at all.

In their previous (and dreadful) anthology, “Four Rooms,” a compilation of four shorts set in the same locale (Chateau Marmont), the Tarantino and Rodriguez segments were the best; the other two by Allison Anders and Alexander Rockwell were downright embarrassing. They also displayed their different approaches, sensibilities and tastes, such as Rodriguez’s penchant for fast-paced montage versus Tarantino’s preference for detailed mise-en-scene and deliberate pacing. Same can be said about “Grindhouse,” a project that, if you look closely enough, tells almost everything you need to know about Rodriguez and Tarantino as filmmakers.

Inspired by the unique distribution of independent “classics” of the 1960s and 1970s, these two bold features are presented together on a drive-in style double-bill, replete with fake trailers, missing reels, and exploitative mayhem. Other grindhouse trademarks that are contained in the two features are sloppy edits,
cheesy dialogue, and honky-tonk music.

Both segments are extremely violent, but in a different way, again reflecting the directors’ subjective tastes and sensibilities. The tons of blood used in “Planet Horror” exceeds everything seen in a Rodriguez film, but one of the interesting elements in “Death Proof,” is that unlike the “Kill Bill” movies, there’s hardly any blood spilled in the story, yet Tarantino is effective in creating ominous menace in other ways. (See below)

More significantly, the features pay homage to different genres of exploitation cinema. Basically a zombie horror flick, Rodriguezs “Planet Terror” unfolds as one long trip to a town ravaged by a mysterious plague (alluding to AIDS). It’s all in the timing. Unfortunately, “Planet Terror” suffers from the recent cycle of zombie pictures; in the press notes, Rodriguez claims that he began thinking about and writing the script before those movies appeared in the market, thus relaunching a small cycle. As a result, “Planet Terror” lacks the freshness and fun it could have had had it been released two or three years ago.

In contrast, representing an uncomfortable combo of a slasher, rough chick-flick, and old-fashioned chase picture, Tarantinos “Death Proof” is a white-knuckle ride behind the wheel of a psycho serial killer (a good, macho Kurt Russell), who’s roving, revving, and racing his car as a death machine.

I suspect the irony of “Grindhouse’s sophisticated marketing and wide distribution in state-of-the art theaters is not lost on the bright and gifted Tarantino and Rodriguez. As contempo viewers, you will go into a “safe” and perhaps lush multiplex and watch this program as opposed to being in a “dangerous” grindhouse, where the experience would be interrupted by viewers talking, listening to their own music, and smoking cigarettes and good stuff too–trust me on this, I have been there.

Both “Planet Horror” and “Death Proof” are at once retro-nostalgic and cool-progressive, though, again, this strategy works better for Rodriguez than for Tarantino. It’s like the directors planted one foot in the past, in film history, and the other foot in the very present to create idiosyncratic cinematic world that are uniquely and wholly their own. (Whether you like or dislike their work, both Tarantino and Rodriguez are visionary directors in the best sense of this term).

“Planet Terror” builds upon Rodriguez’s previous films, marked by quick-paced, frenetic energy, and explosive blood. The saga finds noir-inspired romance amidst a future-shock vision of a chemical apocalypse. Informed by “Zombie” and “Dawn of the Dead,” as well as by the work of director John Carpenter (“Escape from New York,” “Halloween,” “The Thing”), Rodriguez creates a dynamic, fast-pacing take on the zombie genre, first displaying and then exploding (literally) that genre’s thematic and visual clichs.

A “simple” night in a small and dormant Texas town gives way to paranoia and espionage and hidden identities in a narrative that progressively get more convoluted than complex–by design. Laced with healthy dosage of humor and occasionally sharp irony, “Planet Terror” is a retro-futuristic vision of horror thats been weathered and stripped to the extreme.

The plot kicks into action, when married doctors William and Dakota Block (Josh Brolin and Marley Shelton) find their graveyard shift inundated with townspeople ravaged by gangrenous sores and a suspiciously vacant look in their eyes. Among the wounded is Cherry (Rose McGowan), a go-go dancer whose leg was ripped from her body during a roadside attack. Wray (Freddy Rodriguez of TV’s “Six Feet Under”), her former companion, is at Cherry’s side watching and urging her to get back to action.

After a build-up and some necessary exposition, Rodriguez gives up on any semblance of plot and resorts to high-camp action and graphic special effects. Shrewdly, though, he keeps McGowan, who has never looked so sexy or beautiful, center stage, by giving her character a wooden leg that later on becomes a huge machine gun (You have to see it to believe it). The point is made: Cherry, a babe dressed in mini leather skirt and tight, deep-cleavage shirt, may be down but she hasnt danced her last number.

As the invalids quickly become enraged aggressors, Cherry and Wray lead a team of accidental warriors into the night, hurtling towards a destiny that will leave millions infected, countless dead, and a lucky few struggling to find the last safe corner of Planet Terror. The segment ends up on a high note at the airport in a hilarious scene that cannot be described here without spoiling the fun.

After some previews, that allow us to regain our breath, we switch to Tarantino’s “Death Proof,” which characteristically begins with intense, semi-witty dialogue. The novelty here that with the exception of Kurt Russell’s serial killer, the rest of the protagonists are bad-ass, foul-mouthed women, half of whom are actresses of color. I don’t think I have seen a recent Hollywood movie, in which the best-written and best-acted parts belong to the women; Rodriguez and Tarantino should be congratulated for that. And what a gorgeous collection they are: short blonde hair and fair-skinned women, long-haired and dark-skinned femme, sexy Latinas and African-American.

Take Jungle Julia (the stunning looking Sydney Tamiia Poitier), Austins hottest DJ, who grabs the opportunity to unwind with two of her closest friends, Shanna and Arlene (Jordan Ladd and Vanessa Ferlito). With bravado, this three-fox posse sets out into the night, turning heads from Gueros to the Texas Chili Parlor.

Not all the attention they get is innocent. Covertly tracking the women’s moves is Stuntman Mike (Russell), a scarred, weathered rebel, clad in black-leather jacket, who’s first seen eating like a pig at a cheap restaurant. Sitting at the bar, he’s listening to the girls’ talk. Insurmountable tension builds with each sideways glance from Stuntman Mike, the loner with the Elvis-like pompadour, before leering from behind the wheel of his muscle car. As the girls settle into their beers, Mikes weapon, a white-hot juggernaut, revs just feet away.

After a lethal accident, Tarantino switches to a second quartet of tough femmes
(played by Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Zo Bell), who work on a cheesy movie in various capacities. Closest to a lead is Zoe Bell (also her character’s name), the New Zealander who served as Uma Thurman’s stuntwoman in the “Kill Bill” movies. Unlike the first quartet of femme, this one, also multi-racial, is tougher, and not just in lingo and gestures. Using their skills to the max, they decide to take action against Mike.

Last reel of “Death Proof” becomes a lethal revenge saga, unfolding as a prolonged and interrupted chase scene. It’s primitively but impressively executed with no use of CGI, reflecting the state-of-movie-technology in the 1970s. I don’t think Tarantino had ever staged such a chase, in which Zoe straps herself to the car that Tracie Thoms is driving; it feels as if he’s determined to make the most of it.

“Death Proof” is Tarantinos most linear film, based on chronological presentation of events and subplots. However, though the action is sequential, the contents of this narrative are just as eccentric as that of his former films.

Strangely, a good portion of the dialogue, one of Tarantino’s strongest suits, is disappointingly flat and even repetitious, particularly in the sequences of the second female team. Several scenes involving arguments between Zoe and Tracy (one about who will dominate) fall flat and lack the usual playfulness associated with Tarantino.

No stranger to blending genres, Tarantino tries to fuse the chase and slasher genres to some mixed results. That said, under his helm, Jungle Julia and Zo Bell (and the rest of the females) turn the concept of the final girl, a staple of the slasher genre, on its ears, leading to a distinct narrative of revenge-by-proxy.

The quartets represent a new breed of women, none of whom screams in the manner of Hitchcocks Marion Crane and other women in horror flicks. They are the kind of women that would make proud an actress like Pam Grier, queen of 1970s exploitation flicks, who starred in Tarantino’s 1997 saga, “Jackie Brow,” still his most emotionally mature film to date.

This being a Tarantino work, “Death Proof” references at least half a dozen classic chase movies you would recognize, from H.B. Halickis indie “Gone in 60 Seconds,” which contained a non-stop 40-minute car chase, to “Vanishing Point,” the nihilistic chase flick, to “Dirty Mary Crazy Larry,” a Peter Fonda cult vehicle.
Tarantino has also studied carefully such classic fare as Bob Clarks “Black Christmas,” Herschell Gordon Lewiss “Blood Feast,” and “House at the Edge of the Park,” among others, for the advent of the predatory psycho.

As noted, as much as “Death Proof” tries to display an authentic 1970s sensibility, in fashion, transportation and other ways, the characters, their conditions, and verbose patter are personal and postmodern. Tarantino delights in the details of these womens everyday lives: expressions of romance that are abbreviated and delivered via text message, descriptions of hookups and dating rules, exasperation with self-reflexive careers. It makes perfect sense that all the characters are in the movie biz in occupations that are considered by most (but not by Tarantino) as peripheral: stunt work, makeup, and so on.

The film’s previews are made by Edgar Wright, who directed “Shawn of the Dead,” and Eli Roth, the director of “Cabin Fever” and “Hostel,” which Tarantino produced. Roth also plays a crucial part. Roth’s slasher film trailer uses the one American holiday never used in such flicks, Thanksgiving. (You can imagine that the turkey plays the lead in his short). Edgar Wright has made a 1970s-style British horror film trailer, based on his memory that actors seldom opened their mouths since the directors didn’t want to limit the appeal of their features to British audiences. Rounding out the trio of trailer guest directors is Rob Zombie, famed director of B-pictures.

Along with the previews, title cards that state “a missing reel” and “apologies for inconvenience” there are other elements that bring unity to the double-feature. Chief among them are Tarantino’s appearances as an actor in both segments, and the work of Maestro Greg Nicotero, who created the striking special effects makeup in both “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof.”

I was a student at Columbia at the end of the exploitation era, just before the VCR Revolution. If memory serves, the various movies labeled as exploitation included a diverse range of splatter, slasher, sexploitation, blaxploitation, cannibal and mondo movies, all grouped together and shown with graphic trailers. In other words, the term exploitation applied more to the intent, mood, and style of those movies rather than to their nominal genre, themes, and characterizations. Hence, any movie, including gay soft and hard porn could be marketed and sold as exploitation.

Often, the term exploitation was used to describe the conditions of exhibition and viewing since some theaters (at least in New York, where I lived at the time) proudly “specialized” in such seedy fare. Exploitation was movie exhibition in its alternative heyday, simultaneously run-down and vividly alive. They were old, dilapidated houses and often all-night theaters that would play two or three movies for the price of one.

At times projectionists would cut out the cool frames of all the neat monster gags. I went to see John Carpenters “The Thing” at the drive-in, and I was talking to the projectionist, and he said, Oh, check this out. And he had cut out a frame of the spider head just because he thought it was a cool monster. After the movies were sent across the country, every projectionist could exercise his will and take a couple of frames out, or if the film broke out, they didnt really care how they put it back together. The audience left at the house would watch prints that have been tempered withor destroyedand still enjoy the experience.

Meaning of Grindhouse

The origins of the term Grindhouse are vague: some cite the types of films shown (as in Bump-and-Grind) in run-down former movie palaces; others point to a presentation mode, movies were grinded out in ancient projectors one after another.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter