Friday Film Feature: Grindhouse
This one's not out yet but if the movie was able to breakup the marriage of Rodriguez and his wife of 16 years, not to mention him ditching five kids, all for Rose McGowen you know it's got to be good or at least pretty f'd up.
Plus two movies for the price of one? Hells yeah. Now I won't feel so bad paying $16/ticket.
Grindhouse is a 2007 film. In the United States, the film is presented as a double feature of two full-length segments, one being a zombie film, Planet Terror, written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, and the other being a slasher film, Death Proof, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, with faux trailers advertising fictional films preceding each segment. In much of the rest of the world, the film will be split in two and each feature will be released separately.
The idea for Grindhouse came to Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino when Tarantino would set up screenings of double features, complete with trailers preceding and between the films. "[Tarantino] would have some trailers and a movie, and then some more trailers and a second movie," remembers Rodriguez. "I thought, 'We have to re-create this experience for people and show them a double feature like this.' The double feature just came to mind [from] us wanting to re-create that experience."
The film's name originates from the American term for theaters that would play "all the exploitation genres: kung fu, horror, Italian horror—also known as giallo—sexploitation, the "good old boy" redneck car-chase movies, blaxploitation, spaghetti Westerns—all those risible genres that were released in the 70s." According to Rodriguez, "The posters were much better than the movies, but we're actually making something that lives up to the posters."
Rodriguez first came up with the idea for Planet Terror during the production of The Faculty. "I remember telling Elijah Wood and Josh Hartnett, all these young actors, that zombie movies were dead and hadn't been around in a while, but that I thought they were going to come back in a big way because they’d been gone for so long," recalls Rodriguez. "I said, 'We've got to be there first.' I had [a script] I’d started writing. It was about 30 pages, and I said to them, 'There are characters for all of you to play.' We got all excited about it, and then I didn't know where to go with it. The introduction was about as far as I'd gotten, and then I got onto other movies. Sure enough, the zombie [movie] invasion happened and they all came back again, and I was like, 'Ah, I knew that I should've made my zombie film.'" The story was reapproached when Tarantino and Rodriguez developed the idea for Grindhouse.
During the time Planet Terror began to come together, Tarantino developed the story of Death Proof. Tarantino was fascinated by the way stuntmen would "death-proof" their cars so they can be driven headfirst into a brick wall at 60 mph and still protect the driver—as long as he's in the driver's seat. This inspired Tarantino to create a slasher film featuring a deranged stuntman who stalks and murders sexy young women with his "death-proof" car. Tarantino remembers, "I realized I couldn't do a straight slasher film, because with the exception of women-in-prison films, there is no other genre quite as rigid. And if you break that up, you aren't really doing it anymore. It's inorganic, so I realized—let me take the structure of a slasher film and just do what I do. My version is going to be fucked up and disjointed, but it seemingly uses the structure of a slasher film, hopefully against you."
According to Rodriguez, "[Tarantino] had an idea and a complete vision for it right away when he first talked about it. He started to tell me the story and said, 'It's got this death-proof car in it.' I said, 'You have to call it Death Proof.' I helped title the movie, but that's it."
I don't think there have been any good car chases since I started making films in '92—to me, the last terrific car chase was in Terminator 2. And Final Destination 2 had a magnificent car action piece. In between that, not a lot. Every time a stunt happens, there's twelve cameras and they use every angle for Avid editing, but I don't feel it in my stomach. It's just action."
Check out Grindhouse.