Grindhouse: Double-Feature and Exploitation Film Fest

In this homage to exploitation movies of the 1970s, hot indie directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez collaborate again, promising a tribute that will consist of a double feature, as was the norm at the time, and boast the same fun and spirit of flicks of the era. At Comic-Con in San Diego last summer, Tarantino promised his fans that “Grindhouse” will not be in the vein of “Twilight Zone: The Movie.”

Tarantino and Rodriguez have worked together before. The first time, when each had a segment in the disappointing 1995 anthology “Four Rooms.” Then, Rodriguez directed the Tarantino script “From Dusk to Dawn,” a movie that showed unease in combining their sensibilities. The first part of that schizoid picture was reflected the vision of Tarantino (who also acted in the film); the second featured Rodriguez’s distinctive sensibility. Rodriguez also composed some music for Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” movies.

In his feature, “Death Proof,” Tarantino tells the story of a stunt man (played by Kurt Russell), who kills women with his Chevy Nova. The cast of the cheerleader movie that Russell stalks includes Rosario Dawson and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Bobby”) and promises to be a bad-ass chick flick.

For his part, Rodriguez visits “Planet Terror,” a town suddenly taken over by zombies. Rose McGowan plays Cherry, a stripper who’s lost a leg but is recruited to save the place.

Some of the actors, like McGowan and Marley Shelton, appear in both pictures. A number of trailers for fake titles were shot to run at intermission, including one by helmer Eli Roth (“Hostel”).

As always, the features will contain references and allusions to old movies, screen characters, and pop culture motifs. “Grindhouse” will be released on April 6.

Tarantino’s L.A. Grindhouse Film Fest

Tarantino and the New Beverly Cinema are teaming to host the 2007 Los Angeles Grindhouse Festival, which will showcase more than 50 exploitation films from Tarantino’s personal library.

The event coincides with the release of “Grindhouse,” made as a tribute to the genre. As noted, both Tarantino and Rodriguez were influenced by exploitation films that reached their zenith in the 1970s.

There are currently no plans to take the festival on the road to other cities, although there have been discussions.

In keeping with the tradition of exploitation films, the New Beverly will run double and triple features, with roughly seven different films rotating in and out each week.

Tarantino is programming the festival. He’s set up several theme nights, including the “Euro Sex Comedies Triple Feature,” “Back-to-Back Kung Fu Superstar Angela Mao Double Feature” and “All Blood Triple.” The work of cult directors such as John Hayes also will be featured, including Hayes’ “Grave of the Vampire,” written by David Chase.

Films by “Barbarella” helmer Roger Vadim will get billing, along with pictures by Al Adamson, Fernando Di Leo and Cirio H. Santiago. Many of the movies will be uncensored and uncut, including “Grave of the Vampire” and blaxpoitation films “Brotherhood of Death” and “The Mack.”

A number of rare 35mm prints also have been selected, including “Slithis,” “Shame of the Jungle” and “Chinese Hercules.”