Grindhouse (film)

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Grindhouse theatrical poster
Directed by Planet Terror:
Robert Rodriguez
Death Proof:
Quentin Tarantino
Fake Trailers:
Robert Rodriguez
Rob Zombie
Edgar Wright
Eli Roth
Jason Eisener
Produced by Elizabeth Avellan
Erica Steinberg
Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Written by Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Starring Rose McGowan
Freddy Rodriguez
Josh Brolin
Marley Shelton
Michael Biehn
Stacy Ferguson
Naveen Andrews
Jeff Fahey
Kurt Russell
Rosario Dawson
Vanessa Ferlito
Jordan Ladd
Sydney Tamiia Poitier
Tracie Thoms
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Zoë Bell
Bruce Willis
Nicolas Cage
Music by Robert Rodriguez
Graeme Revell
Cinematography Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Editing by Robert Rodriguez
Sally Menke
Distributed by Dimension Films
The Weinstein Company
Release date(s) April 6, 2007
Running time 191 min.[1]
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $53 million[2][3]
Gross revenue $25,422,088

Grindhouse is a 2007 film co-written, produced and directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. The film is a double feature consisting of two feature-length segments, Robert Rodriguez directed Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino directed Death Proof, and bookended by fictional trailers for upcoming attractions, advertisements, and in-theater announcements. The film's title derives from the U.S. film industry term "grindhouse", which refers to (now no longer existent) movie theaters specializing in B movies, often exploitation films, shown in a multiple-feature format. The film's cast includes Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Michael Biehn, Marley Shelton, Josh Brolin, Jeff Fahey, Naveen Andrews, Bruce Willis, Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Jordan Ladd, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, stuntwoman Zoë Bell, and Vanessa Ferlito.

Rodriguez's segment, Planet Terror, revolves around an outfit of rebels attempting to survive an onslaught of zombie-like creatures as they feud with a military unit, while Tarantino's segment, Death Proof, focuses on a misogynistic, psychopathic stunt man who targets young women, murdering them with his "death proof" stunt car. Each feature is preceded by faux trailers of exploitation films in other genres that were developed by other directors.

After the film was released on April 6, 2007, ticket sales performed significantly below box office analysts' expectations despite mostly positive critic reviews. In much of the rest of the world, each feature was released separately in extended versions.[4][5] Two soundtracks were also released for the features and include music and audio snippets from the film. In several interviews, the directors have expressed their interest in a possible sequel to the film.


[edit] History and development

The poster for a double feature consisting of the films Dragstrip Girl and Rock All Night sparked the idea for Grindhouse.

The idea for Grindhouse came to Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino when Tarantino set up screenings of double features in his house, complete with trailers before and in between the films. During one screening in 2003, Rodriguez noticed that he owned the same double feature movie poster as Tarantino for the 1957 films Dragstrip Girl and Rock All Night.[6] Rodriguez asked Tarantino, "I always wanted to do a double feature. Hey, why don't you direct one and I'll do the other?" Tarantino quickly replied, "And we've got to call it Grindhouse!"[3]

The film's name originates from the American term for theaters that played "all the exploitation genres: kung fu, horror, Giallo, sexploitation, the "good old boy" redneck car-chase movies, blaxploitation, spaghetti Westerns—all those risible genres that were released in the 70s."[7] According to Rodriguez, "The posters were much better than the movies, but we're actually making something that lives up to the posters."[8]

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," recalled 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.[8]

As Planet Terror took shape, Tarantino developed the story for Death Proof, based on his fascination for the way stuntmen would "death-proof" their cars. As long as they were driving, stuntmen could slam their cars headfirst into a brick wall at 60 miles per hour and survive. This inspired Tarantino to create a slasher film featuring a deranged stuntman who stalks and murders sexy young women with his "death-proof" car.[8] 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."[7]

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."[8] Of the car chases, Tarantino stated, "CGI for car stunts doesn't make any sense to me—how is that supposed to be impressive? [...] 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."[7]

[edit] Production

[edit] Directing

Quentin Tarantino directs Death Proof

According to actress Marley Shelton, "Rodriguez and Tarantino really co-directed, at least Planet Terror. Quentin was on set a lot. He had notes and adjustments to our performances and he changed lines every once in a while. Of course, he always deferred to Robert on Planet Terror and vice versa for Death Proof. So it's really both of their brainchild."[9] Tarantino has stated "I can't imagine doing Grindhouse with any other director in the way me and Robert did it because I just had complete faith and trust in him. So much so that we didn't actually see each other's movie completed until three weeks before the film opened. It was as if we worked in little vacuums and cut our movies down, and then put them together and watched it all play, and then made a couple of little changes after that, and pretty much that was it."[6]

[edit] Casting

Many of the cast members had previously worked with both directors. Before appearing in Grindhouse, Marley Shelton had auditioned for The Faculty, but Rodriguez chose not to cast her. She was eventually cast in the role of the Customer in the opening sequence of Sin City.[9] Bruce Willis had appeared in both Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Rodriguez's Sin City, in addition to having a cameo appearance in a segment Tarantino directed for the anthology film Four Rooms.[10] Tom Savini had previously acted in From Dusk Till Dawn, which was written by Tarantino and directed by Rodriguez. Michael Parks reprises the role of Earl McGraw in Planet Terror and Death Proof. Parks first portrayed the role in From Dusk Till Dawn. His son, James Parks, appears in Death Proof as Edgar McGraw, a character that first appeared in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money. The first time the two characters appeared together was in Tarantino's Kill Bill. Tarantino himself plays small roles in both segments of Grindhouse, and director Eli Roth, who contributed the fake trailer Thanksgiving and whose film Hostel was produced by Tarantino,[11] has a cameo in Death Proof.

Tarantino attempted to cast both Kal Penn[12] and Sylvester Stallone[13] in Death Proof, but both were unable to work due to prior commitments. In an interview, Tarantino revealed that he decided to cast Kurt Russell as the killer stunt driver because "for people of my generation, he's a true hero...but now, there's a whole audience out there that doesn't know what Kurt Russell can do. When I open the newspaper and see an ad that says 'Kurt Russell in Dreamer,' or 'Kurt Russell in Miracle,' I'm not disparaging these movies, but I'm thinking: When is Kurt Russell going to be a badass again?"[3]

[edit] Cinematography

Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino each acted as cinematographer on their segments. Although Rodriguez had previously worked as the cinematographer on six of his own feature films, Death Proof marked Tarantino's first credit as a cinematographer.[14][11] The director of photography for Rob Zombie's fake trailer Werewolf Women of the SS was Phil Parmet, whom Zombie had first worked with on The Devil's Rejects. The director of photography for Eli Roth's fake trailer Thanksgiving was Milan Chadima, whom Roth had previously worked with on Hostel.[15]

[edit] Special effects

The intentionally "aged" look of the film, as seen in the fake trailer Machete.

The film uses various unconventional techniques to make the films more like those that were shown in grindhouse theaters in the 1970s. Throughout both feature-length segments and the fake trailers, the film is intentionally damaged to make it look like many of the exploitation films of the 1970s, which were generally shipped around from theater to theater and usually ended up in bad shape. To reproduce the look of damaged film reels in Planet Terror, five of the six 25,000-frame reels were edited with real film damage, plug-ins, and stock footage.[16] The film prints sent to theaters were also intentionally damaged so that they would become jammed, or "brain-wrap" easily, a common side effect of running films at theaters for very long periods of time.

Planet Terror makes heavy use of digital effects throughout the film. Perhaps the most notable effect is Cherry's (played by Rose McGowan) fake leg. To accomplish the fake leg that Cherry sports after her accident, during post-production the effects teams digitally removed McGowan's right leg from the shots and replaced it with computer-generated props — first a table leg and then an M4 Carbine. During shooting for these scenes, McGowan wore a special cast which restricted her leg movement to give her the correct motion, and helped the effects artists to digitally remove her leg.[16]

[edit] Editing

During editing, Tarantino and Rodriguez came up with the idea of inserting "missing reels" into the film. "[Quentin] was about to show an Italian crime movie with Oliver Reed," Rodriguez recalls, "and he was saying, 'Oh, it's got a missing reel in it. But it's really interesting because after the missing reel, you don't know if he slept with a girl or he didn't because she says he did and he says that he didn't. It leaves you guessing, and the movie still works with 20 minutes gone out of it.' I thought, 'Oh, my God, that's what we’ve got to do. We've got to have a missing reel!' I'm going to use it in a way where it actually says 'missing reel' for 10 seconds, and then when we come back, you're arriving in the third act. [...] The late second acts in movies are usually the most predictable and the most boring, that's where the good guy really turns out to be the bad guy, and the bad guy is really good, and the couple becomes friends. Suddenly, though, in the third act, all bets are off and it's a whole new story anyway."[8]

On the editing of Death Proof, Tarantino stated "There is half-an-hour's difference between my Death Proof and what is playing in Grindhouse. [...] I was like a brutish American exploitation distributor who cut the movie down almost to the point of incoherence. I cut it down to the bone and took all the fat off it to see if it could still exist, and it worked."[6] An extended, 127-minute version of Death Proof was screened in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 60th Cannes Film Festival.[6][17][18][19] Tarantino is quoted as saying "It works great as a double feature, but I'm just as excited if not more excited about actually having the world see Death Proof unfiltered. [...] It will be the first time everyone sees Death Proof by itself, including me."[6]

[edit] Music

The music for Planet Terror was composed by Robert Rodriguez. Inspiration for his score came from John Carpenter, whose music was often played on set.[20] A cover version of The Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck" performed by Nouvelle Vague was also featured. The soundtrack for Death Proof consists entirely of non-original music, including excerpts from the scores of other films. Soundtrack albums for both segments were released on April 3, 2007. "Death Proof" features dialogue excerpts from the film.

[edit] Rating

Grindhouse is rated R in the United States for "strong graphic bloody violence and gore, pervasive language, some sexuality, nudity and drug use". On March 15, 2007, The New York Post reported that the film would possibly require heavy and extensive cuts in order to avoid an NC-17 rating.[21] Shortly after, the film officially received an R rating from the MPAA. Ain't It Cool News reported that according to Tarantino, only minimal cuts were made which ended up totaling 20 seconds.[22]

[edit] Planet Terror

[edit] Plot synopsis

In a rural town in Texas, go-go dancer 'Cherry Darling' (Rose McGowan) decides to quit her low-paying job and find another use for her numerous 'useless' talents. She runs into her mysterious ex-boyfriend El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) at the Bone Shack, a restaurant owned by JT Hague (Jeff Fahey). Meanwhile, a group of military officials, led by the demented Lt. Muldoon (Bruce Willis), are making a business transaction with a scientist named Abby (Naveen Andrews) for mass quantities of a deadly biochemical agent known as DC2 (codename "Project Terror"); when Muldoon learns that Abby has an extra supply on hand, he attempts to take Abby hostage, and Abby intentionally releases the gas into the air. The gas reaches the town and turns its residents into deformed bloodthirsty psychopaths, mockingly referred to as "sickos" by the surviving humans. The infected townspeople are treated by the sinister Dr. William Block (Josh Brolin) and his abused, neglected anesthesiologist wife Dakota (Marley Shelton) at a local hospital. As the patients quickly become enraged aggressors, Cherry and Wray lead a team of accidental warriors into the night, struggling to find safety.

[edit] Cast

Actor Role
Rose McGowan Cherry Darling
Freddy Rodriguez El Wray
Josh Brolin Dr. William Block
Marley Shelton Dr. Dakota Block
Rebel Rodriguez Tony Block
Jeff Fahey J.T. Hague
Michael Biehn Sheriff Hague
Stacy Ferguson Tammy Visan
Naveen Andrews Abby
Julio Oscar Mechoso Romey
Bruce Willis Lt. Muldoon
Nicky Katt Joe
Hung Nguyen Dr. Crane
Tom Savini Deputy Tolo
Carlos Gallardo Deputy Carlos
Skip Reissig Skip
Electra Avellan Crazy Babysitter Twin #1
Elise Avellan Crazy Babysitter Twin #2
Quentin Tarantino Lewis (Rapist #1)
Greg Kelly Rapist #2
Michael Parks Earl McGraw
Jerili Romero Ramona McGraw
Felix Sabates Dr. Felix

[edit] Death Proof

[edit] Plot synopsis

Three friends—Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito), Shanna (Jordan Ladd) and radio disc jockey Jungle Julia Lucai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier)—spend a night in Austin, Texas celebrating Arlene's birthday, unknowingly followed by a mysterious man in a souped-up 1970 Chevy Nova. The man, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), stalks the young women with his 'death proof car,' leading to a deadly encounter. Fourteen months later, Stuntman Mike—now equipped with an equally deadly 1969 Dodge Charger—stalks another group of young women—Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Kim (Tracie Thoms), and Zoë Bell (herself), a group of women working below the line in Hollywood, whose 1970 Dodge Challenger proves a worthy adversary.

[edit] Cast

Actor Role
Kurt Russell Stuntman Mike
Rosario Dawson Abernathy
Vanessa Ferlito Arlene/"Butterfly"
Jordan Ladd Shanna
Rose McGowan Pam
Sydney Tamiia Poitier Jungle Julia Lucai
Tracie Thoms Kim
Mary Elizabeth Winstead Lee Montgomery
Zoë Bell Zoë
Omar Doom Nate
Michael Bacall Omar
Quentin Tarantino Warren
Eli Roth Dov
Monica Staggs Lanna-Frank
Michael Parks Earl McGraw
Marcy Harriell Marcy
James Parks Edgar McGraw
Tim Murphy Tim the Bartender
Marta Mendoza Punky Bruiser
Marley Shelton Dr. Dakota Block
Jonathan Loughran Jasper
Nicky Katt Counter Guy

[edit] Fake trailers

Eli Roth directs the fake trailer Thanksgiving.

Before each segment, there are trailers advertising fake films, as well as vintage theater snipes and an ad for a fictional restaurant called Acuña Boys. According to Rodriguez, it was Tarantino's idea to film fake trailers for Grindhouse. "I didn't even know about it until I read it in the trades. It said something like 'Rodriguez and Tarantino doing a double feature and Tarantino says there's gonna be fake trailers.' And I thought, 'There are?'"[7] Rodriguez and Tarantino had originally planned to make all of the film's fake trailers themselves. According to Rodriguez, "We had so many ideas for trailers. I made Machete. I shot lobby cards and the poster and cut the trailer and sent it to Quentin, and he just flipped out because it looked so vintage and so real. He started showing it around to Eli Roth and to Edgar Wright, and they said, 'Can we do a trailer? We have an idea for a trailer!' We were like, 'Hey, let them shoot it. If we don't get around to shooting ours, we'll put theirs in the movie. If theirs comes out really great, we'll put it in the movie to have some variety.' Then Rob Zombie came up to me in October at the Scream Awards and said, 'I have a trailer: Werewolf Women of the SS.' I said, 'Say no more. Go shoot it. You got me.'"[8] Each trailer was shot in two days. While Wright and Roth shot only what ended up on screen, Zombie shot enough footage to work into a half-hour film and was particularly pained to edit it down.[23] Some Canadian screening releases included the South by Southwest-winning trailer Hobo with a Shotgun.[24]

[edit] Machete

Rodriguez wrote Machete in 1993 as a full feature for Danny Trejo. "I had cast him in Desperado and I remember thinking, 'Wow, this guy should have his own series of Mexican exploitation movies like Charles Bronson or like Jean-Claude Van Damme.' So I wrote him this idea of a federale from Mexico who gets hired to do hatchet jobs in the U.S. I had heard sometimes FBI or DEA have a really tough job that they don't want to get their own agents killed on, they'll hire an agent from Mexico to come do the job for $25,000. I thought, 'That's Machete. He would come and do a really dangerous job for a lot of money to him but for everyone else over here it's peanuts.' But I never got around to making it."[7] It was later announced that the trailer will be made as a feature film.[25][26]

Actor Role
Danny Trejo Machete
Cheech Marin Father Benicio Del Toro
Jeff Fahey The Well-Dressed Man
Tito Larriva Henchman

[edit] Werewolf Women of the SS

Rob Zombie's contribution, Werewolf Women of the SS, featured Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu, Udo Kier as Franz Hess, the commandant of Death Camp 13, Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, and Sybil Danning as SS officers/sisters Eva and Gretchen Krupp (The She-Devils of Belzac), along with wrestlers Andrew Martin and Oleg Prudius, and Olja Hrustic, Meriah Nelson, and Lorielle New as the Werewolf Women. According to Zombie, "Basically, I had two ideas. It was either going to be a Nazi movie or a women-in-prison film, and I went with the Nazis. There's all those movies like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS; Fräulein Devil; and Love Camp 7—I've always found that to be the most bizarre genre."[7] Zombie is also quoted as saying "I was getting very conceptual in my own mind with it. [...] A lot of times these movies would be made like, 'Well, you know, I've got a whole bunch of Nazi uniforms, but I got this Chinese set too. We'll put 'em together!' They start jamming things in there, so I took that approach."[23] On December 18, 2007, Zombie posted an entry on his MySpace page, asking if people would want to see a feature-length version of Werewolf Women of the SS.[27]

Actor Role
Nicolas Cage Dr. Fu Manchu
Udo Kier Commandant Franz Hess
Sheri Moon Zombie Eva Krupp
Tom Towles Lt. Boorman
Sybil Danning Gretchen Krupp
Bill Moseley Dr. Heinrich von Strasser
Andrew Martin Nazi Boxer #1
Oleg Prudius Nazi Boxer #2
Olja Hrustic Werewolf Woman #1
Meriah Nelson Werewolf Woman #2
Lorielle New Werewolf Woman #3
Kelly Ryan Werewolf Woman #4
Michael Deak Gun-Wielding Werewolf

[edit] Don't

Edgar Wright's contribution, Don't, was produced in the style of a 1970s European horror trailer.[28] The trailer featured appearances from Jason Isaacs, Matthew Macfadyen, singer Katie Melua, Georgina Chapman, Emily Booth, Stuart Wilson, Lucy Punch, Rafe Spall, Wright regulars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and a voice-over by Will Arnett.[29][23] Mark Gatiss, MyAnna Buring, Peter Serafinowicz, Michael Smiley and Nicola Cunningham (who played the zombie "Mary" in Shaun of the Dead), among others, made cameo appearances[30] though they eventually went uncredited. To get the necessary 1970s look, Wright used vintage lenses and old-style graphics. During editing, he scratched some of the film with steel wool and dragged it around a parking lot to make it appear neglected by wayward projectionists.[23] According to Wright, "In the '70s, when American International would release European horror films, they'd give them snazzier titles. And the one that inspired me was this Jorge Grau film: In the UK, it's called The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. In Spain and in Italy, I think it's called Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead. But in the States, it was called Don't Open the Window. I just loved the fact that there isn't a big window scene in the film—it's all based around the spin and the voiceover not really telling you what the hell is going on in the film."[7] On the Charlie Rose talk show, Quentin Tarantino also pointed out another aspect of American advertising of British films in the 1970s that is being referenced—none of the actors have any dialogue in the trailer, as if the trailer was intentionally edited to prevent American viewers from realizing that the film is British.[31]

Actor Role
Jason Isaacs Bearded Man
Matthew Macfadyen Hatchet Victim
Katie Melua Brunette with Hatchet Victim
Stuart Wilson Old Man
Lucy Punch Running Blonde Woman
Simon Pegg Bearded Cannibal
Nick Frost Baby Eater
Kevin Wilson Twin #1
Nick Wilson Twin #2
Will Arnett Announcer
Georgina Chapman Featured Woman #1
Emily Booth Featured Woman #2
MyAnna Buring Featured Woman #3
Rafe Spall Ghost, Hanging Guy

[edit] Thanksgiving

Eli Roth's contribution is a promo for the slasher opus Thanksgiving. Produced in the style of holiday-based slasher films such as Halloween, Black Christmas, April Fool's Day and My Bloody Valentine,[23] the trailer starred Jeff Rendell as a killer who stalks victims dressed as a pilgrim, Jordan Ladd, Jay Hernandez, and Roth himself as his intended victims, and Michael Biehn as the Sheriff. The design for the titles in Thanksgiving was based on a Mad magazine slasher parody titled Arbor Day.[7] Select excerpts of the score from Creepshow were used.

According to Roth, "My friend Jeff, who plays the killer pilgrim—we grew up in Massachusetts, we were huge slasher movie fans and every November we were waiting for the Thanksgiving slasher movie. We had the whole movie worked out: A kid who's in love with a turkey, and then his father killed it, and then he killed his family and went away to a mental institution and came back and took revenge on the town. I called Jeff and said, 'Dude, guess what, we don't have to make the movie, we can just shoot the best parts.'"[7] "Shooting the trailer was so much fun," Roth has stated, "because every shot is a money shot. Every shot is decapitation or nudity. It's so ridiculous, it's absurd. It's just so wrong and sick that it's right."[23]

Roth's fake trailer contained elements that almost earned Grindhouse an NC-17 rating, including a cheerleader simultaneously stripping, bouncing on a trampoline and getting stabbed in the vagina, and three decapitations, one of which occurring as the victim's girlfriend performs fellatio on him. According to Roth, "Instead of seeing it spread out in a feature, watching it all jammed together nonstop makes it more shocking. But we had a great discussion with the ratings board. They got it. Once they saw it with all the bad splices and the distress and scratches they were fine with it."[23]

Actor Role
Michael Biehn The Sheriff
Jordan Ladd Judy
Eli Roth Tucker/Trailer Announcer
Jeff Rendell The Pilgrim
Liliya Malkina The Grandmother
Kevin Wasner The Turkey Pilgrim
Jay Hernandez Bobby
Mike McCarty The Rioter
Mark Bakunas The Deputy
Vendula Kristek The Cheerleader
Petr Vancura The Boyfriend
Karel Vanásek The Grandfather
Katherin-Ellen Zabehlicky The Granddaughter
Chris Briggs The Vomiting Cousin
Daniel Frisch The Human Turkey
The Klando Majorettes Screaming Girls

[edit] Hobo With a Shotgun

Some screenings of Grindhouse (mainly in Canada) also featured a fake trailer for a film titled Hobo with a Shotgun.[24] The trailer, created by Dartmouth, Nova Scotia filmmakers Jason Eisener, John Davies and Rob Cotterill, won Robert Rodriguez's South by Southwest Grindhouse trailers contest.

The general plot is that a vagabond with a 20-gauge shotgun is taking the law into his own hands. In the trailer, the main character is seen killing numerous persons, ranging from armed robbers to corrupt cops to a pedophilic Santa Claus. The trailer was available in certain selected movie theaters in the United States and Canada. There have been discussions about making the trailer into an actual feature.[24][32]

As stated on the fake trailer's Facebook account, the filming of a feature film should start in Spring 2009.

Actor Role
David Brunt The Hobo
Mike Jackson The Pimp[24]
Glen Matthews Masked Machete Mugger[24]

[edit] Response

[edit] Box office

Grindhouse has been called a box office flop,[33] surprising box office analysts and fans alike given the strong reviews and favorable media buzz.[34] Costing $53 million to produce,[2][3] Grindhouse opened poorly with "a disappointing $11.5 million" in the United States,[35][36] making only a per-theater average of $4,417; box office analysts originally predicted an opening weekend total of at least $20-$30 million.[37][38] The opening weekend box office total stood below not only the second weekends of Blades of Glory and Meet the Robinsons, but was also below the opening weekend of the widely panned Are We Done Yet?. In an attempt to explain the film's disappointing opening weekend, box office analyst Brandon Gray suggested that Grindhouse "suffered the usual horror comedy dilemma that afflicted Snakes on a Plane and Slither among others: too funny to be scary, too scary to be funny."[33] Box office analyst Lee Tistaert of popular tracking website Lee's Movie Info compared the result with what may have happened if Tarantino's Kill Bill saga had been released as one film, instead of two separate volumes. "Is it possible that Tarantino got his wish this time as a result of two back-to-back $60 million grosses?" he asked. Others attributed the film's disappointing opening to the timing of Easter weekend, noting that the weekend is more tailored for family-oriented films or light-comedy, not exploitative horror films.[39] Quentin Tarantino is quoted as saying about the film's box office results, "It was disappointing, yeah. But the movie worked with the audience. [...] People who saw it loved it and applauded. [...] I'm proud of my flop."[6] Harvey Weinstein said that he was so "incredibly disappointed" with the film's opening weekend that he was considering re-releasing it as two separate movies and possibly adding back the "missing" scenes.[40] The film has altogether earned $25,037,897 in ticket sales as of June 23, 2007.[41]

[edit] Critical reception

Grindhouse was embraced favorably by the consensus of US critics, earning a 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a website that collects reviews of films.[42] Entertainment Weekly awarded the film an "A" rating, praising it as a "crazily funny and exciting tribute to the grimy glory days of 1970s exploitation films" that "will leave you laughing, gasping, thrilled at a movie that knows, at long last, how to put the bad back in badass."[43] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone also awarded the film an almost perfect rating, commenting that "by stooping low without selling out, this babes-and-bullets tour de force gets you high on movies again."[44] Popular critic James Berardinelli also enjoyed the film but was not as positive as other critics. Awarding the film three stars (out of four), Berardinelli found the film to be "cinema as an expression of pulp with attitude... [Rodriguez and Tarantino] are speaking from the hearts... but that doesn't mean everyone sitting in the theater will get it."[45]

The critics who didn't like the film were not amused by the film's graphic and comical violence, with Larry Ratliff of San Antonio Express-News noting that "this ambitious, scratched and weathered venture never manages a real death grip on the senses."[46] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle awarded the film a high rating, but noted that: "the Rodriguez segment is terrific; the Tarantino one long-winded and juvenile."[47] Others, by contrast, have considered Death Proof to be a deeper and more noteworthy segment. Critic A. O. Scott of the New York Times notes that "[a]t a certain point in Death Proof the scratches and bad splices disappear, and you find yourself watching not an arch, clever pastiche of old movies and movie theaters but an actual movie."[48] Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert was divided. He gave Grindhouse as a whole two and a half stars out of four, awarding Planet Terror two stars and Death Proof three stars.[49]

The double feature appeared at number six on Jack Mathews and Owen Gleiberman's respective top ten lists for New York Daily News and Entertainment Weekly, and at number seven on Stephanie Zacharek's list for Salon. Marc Savlov listed Death Proof at number ten on his list for The Austin Chronicle.[50]

[edit] Release history

Planet Terror and Death Proof posters for the Netherlands. Planet Terror and Death Proof posters for the Netherlands.
Planet Terror and Death Proof posters for the Netherlands.

Internationally, Planet Terror and Death Proof were released separately in extended versions, approximately two months apart.[51] The poster artwork for each film's release in the Netherlands claimed that Death Proof would feature "coming attractions" from Rodriguez, while Planet Terror would feature "coming attractions" from Tarantino. While the separated version of Planet Terror includes the Machete trailer, none of the other fake trailers were included when the features were released individually.[52][53]

In reaction to the possibility of a split in a foreign release, Tarantino stated "Especially if they were dealing with non-English language countries, they don't really have this tradition ... not only do they not really know what a grind house is, they don't even have the double feature tradition. So you are kind of trying to teach us something else."[54] Many European fans saw the split as an attempt to increase profits by forcing audiences to pay twice for what was shown as a single film in the United States.[55]

In the United Kingdom, Death Proof was released on September 21, 2007.[56] The release of Planet Terror followed on November 9.[57] Death Proof was screened in Europe in the extended version that was presented in competition at the Cannes film festival. The additional material includes scenes that were replaced in the American theatrical release version with a "missing reel" title card, such as the lap dance scene. A total of about 27 minutes were added for this version.[58] Between March and June 2008, the US theatrical version of Grindhouse had limited screenings at select cinemas.[59]

In Australia, the edited version of Death Proof was first screened on November 1, 2007 as a separate film. However, from January 17, 2008, Grindhouse had limited screenings.[60] In April 2008, Grindhouse was screened by Dendy Cinemas in one venue at a time across the country, through the use of a traveling 35 mm reel.[61]

Japanese DVD Release including theatrical release of Grindhouse.

Death Proof and Planet Terror were released separately on DVD in the United States. The trailers were omitted from both releases, with the exception of Machete. Death Proof was released on September 18, 2007,[62] with Planet Terror following on October 16, 2007. Both were two-disc special editions featuring extended versions of the films.[63][64] Robert Rodriguez stated in his 10 Minute Film School that a box set of the two films would be available soon, and that his 10 Minute Cook School would appear on it.[65] This release would also reportedly include Hobo with a Shotgun.[66] A six-DVD edition of the film was released on March 21, 2008 in Japan, featuring the films in both their individual extended versions and in the abridged double feature presentation along with previously-unreleased special features.[67]

Planet Terror and Death Proof were released individually on Blu-ray Disc on December 16, 2008 in North America. The Blu-ray edition of Planet Terror also contained a "scratch-free" version of the film that removed much of the damage effects,[68] while the Blu-ray edition of Death Proof only contained the "damaged" version of the film.[69] The theatrical version of Grindhouse is set for a Region 2 DVD release in Germany on December 31, 2009.[70]

Cable channel Starz aired Grindhouse on March 31, 2008. Prior to the debut on Starz, the theatrical cut was also available On Demand for those with a Starz subscription.[71]

[edit] Sequel possibilities

Both Rodriguez and Tarantino have said that they are interested in making a sequel to Grindhouse.[72] Tarantino said that he wants to shoot an "old-school Kung Fu movie in Mandarin with subtitles in some countries, and release a shorter, dubbed cut in others" for his segment.[73] It has also been reported by Rotten Tomatoes that Edgar Wright may expand Don't into a feature film.[74] According to Eli Roth, he and Wright have discussed the possibility of pairing Don't with Thanksgiving for a Grindhouse sequel. Roth is quoted as saying "We're talking to Dimension about it. I think they're still trying to figure out Grindhouse 1 before we think about Grindhouse 2, but I've already been working on the outline for it and I would do it in a heartbeat."[75]

Rodriguez had announced plans to film an adaptation of Machete and release it by the time Planet Terror and Death Proof were released on DVD.[76] However, Machete has yet to be completed. Electra and Elise Avellan, Rodriguez's nieces who play the Crazy Babysitter Twins in both films, have said their uncle wants to do a sequel featuring Machete and The Babysitter Twins, but are unclear when or if production would start. "Robert mentioned something about the end of the world and Hollywood action films, where we'd be trained in Mexico to come back here and fight," Electra Avellan told[77]

[edit] Notes and references

  1. ^ Planet Terror has a runtime of 80 minutes, while Death Proof has a runtime of 90 minutes. They are screened separately in Europe in extended versions with a runtime of 105 and 127 minutes, respectively.
  2. ^ a b "'Blades' Stays on Top With $23 Million". Yahoo. 2007-04-08. 
  3. ^ a b c d Nashawaty, Chris (March 30, 2007), "Bloodbath and Beyond", Entertainment Weekly: 27-30,,,20015706,00.html 
  4. ^ "The Grindhouse Split". Retrieved on 2007-03-29. 
  5. ^ "Grindhouse News". ESplatter. Retrieved on 2007-03-29. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Quentin Tarantino: I'm proud of my flop". April 27, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-27. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Online Exclusive: Horror Film Directors Dish About 'Grindhouse' Trailers". Rolling Retrieved on 2007-04-04. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Cotton, Mike (April 4, 2007). "House Party". Wizard Universe. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved on 2007-04-04. 
  9. ^ a b Spelling, Ian. "Doctor in the GRINDHOUSE". Fangoria. Retrieved on 2007-04-28. 
  10. ^ "Full cast and crew for Four Rooms (1995)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-05-14. 
  11. ^ a b "Quentin Tarantino filmography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-29. 
  12. ^ Sciretta, Peter. "Did You Know: Kal Penn was cast in Tarantino's Grindhouse?". Ifilm. Retrieved on 2007-01-06. 
  13. ^ Sciretta, Peter. "Tarantino wanted Stallone for Grindhouse". Ifilm. Retrieved on 2007-01-06. 
  14. ^ "Robert Rodriguez filmography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-29. 
  15. ^ "Milan Chadima filmography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-29. 
  16. ^ a b "VFX World". Grindhouse: Pistol-Packing VFX. Retrieved on April 18. 
  17. ^ "Director Tarantino in competition in Cannes". Yahoo. 2007-04-19. 
  18. ^ "Death Proof". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-06-05. 
  19. ^ "Cannes Film Festival archives". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved on 2007-06-05. 
  20. ^ Quint. "Updated! GRINDHOUSE news from Comic-Con! Snake Plissken to be Tarantino's villain! Plus more!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved on 2007-01-06. 
  21. ^ Johnson, Richard; Froelich, Paula; Hoffmann, Bill (March 15, 2007). "Page Six: RATING WOES FOR 'GRINDHOUSE'". The New York Post. Retrieved on 2007-03-19. 
  22. ^ Knowles, Harry. "Austinites! Zombify for the GRINDHOUSE premiere and get Free Stuff from AICN!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved on 2007-03-23. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Olsen, Mark. "These plotlines get hacked to bits". LA Times.,1,4531507.story?ctrack=1&cset=true. Retrieved on 2007-04-01. 
  24. ^ a b c d e "N.S. filmmaker's fake-movie trailer to open for Grindhouse". CBC Arts. April 3, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-10. 
  25. ^ Sciretta, Peter (March 12, 2007). "Grindhouseses: Rodriguez to turn They Call Him Machete into Feature Length Movie". /film. Retrieved on 2007-11-17. 
  26. ^ Morris, Clint (May 14, 2007). "Machete movie greenlit!". Moviehole. Retrieved on 2007-11-17. 
  27. ^ "A Werewolf Women question". MySpace. Retrieved on 2007-12-21. 
  28. ^ Lamkin, Elaine. "Shaun of the Grindhouse". Ifilm. Retrieved on 2007-01-29. 
  29. ^ "US box office horror for Grindhouse". 2007-04-09.$1074930.htm. 
  30. ^ "To Live and Fuzz in L.A.". Fangirl Magazine. 
  31. ^ "Charlie Rose - April 5, 2007". Retrieved on 2007-04-12. 
  32. ^ RT-News. "Hobo With A Shotgun Official Site". Retrieved on 2008-31-01. 
  33. ^ a b Gray, Brandon (April 8, 2007). "'Grindhouse' Dilapidated Over Easter Weekend". Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  34. ^ Goodman, Dean (April 9, 2007). "Grindhouse suffers box office horror". Yahoo! News. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  35. ^ Goodman, Dean (April 9, 2007). "Grindhouse suffers box office horror". Yahoo! News. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  36. ^ Yi, Daniel (April 9, 2007). "'Blades' holds its edge at the box office". Los Angeles Times.,0,7140024.story?coll=la-home-business. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  37. ^ "Box Office Forecast". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  38. ^ "Grindhouse Box Office Forecast". Lee's Movie Info. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  39. ^ "'Blades' Stays on Top With $23 Million". Yahoo! Movies. April 8, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  40. ^ Finke, Nikki (April 9, 2007). "Harvey Very Disappointed; May Re-Release 'Grindhouse' As 2 Pics". Deadline Hollywood Daily. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  41. ^ "GRINDHOUSE". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2007-06-10. 
  42. ^ "Tomatometer for Grindhouse". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  43. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (April 4, 2007). "Review of Grindhouse". Entertainment Weekly.,,20033672,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  44. ^ Travers, Peter (April 3, 2007). "Review of Grindhouse". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  45. ^ Berardinelli, James. "Review of Grindhouse". Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  46. ^ Ratliff, Larry. "Review of Grindhouse". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  47. ^ LaSalle, Mick. "Review of Grindhouse". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  48. ^ Scott, A O (April 6, 2007). "Review of Grindhouse". New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-04-13. 
  49. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Review of Grindhouse". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 2007-11-15. 
  50. ^ "Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved on 2008-01-05. 
  51. ^ "Alles Over Quentin Tarantino" (in Dutch). 2007-03-18. Retrieved on 2007-03-30. 
  52. ^ "Dutch Death Proof poster art". Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  53. ^ "Dutch Planet Terror poster art". Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  54. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes". Tarantino Chops Feature Length "Death Proof" For "Grindhouse". Retrieved on April 18. 
  55. ^ Zagt, Ab (2007-03-01). "De goedkope trucs van Tarantino" (in Dutch). Retrieved on 2007-03-30. 
  56. ^ "Grindhouse Dismantled". 2007-04-30. Retrieved on 2007-05-10. 
  57. ^ "Release info for Planet Terror (2007)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-10-12. 
  58. ^ McCarthy, Todd (May 22, 2007). "Review of Death Proof". Variety. Retrieved on 2007-06-22. 
  59. ^ "Grindhouse Tour Dates". Retrieved on 2008-03-30. 
  60. ^ "Now Showing — Grindhouse". Chauvel Cinema. January 17, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-01-23. 
  61. ^ "Movie Detail". Dendy Cinemas. Retrieved on 2008-04-11. 
  62. ^ "ASIN: B000R7HY0K". Retrieved on 2007-06-10. 
  63. ^ Gingold, Michael (July 3, 2007). "DVD Chopping List". Fangoria. Retrieved on 2007-07-05. 
  64. ^ Monfette, Christopher (July 26, 2007). "DVD SDCC: Grindhouse Gets Cut in Two". IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-26. 
  65. ^ Confirmed by Robert Rodriguez on the 10 Minute Film School feature on the Planet Terror DVD
  66. ^ "'Grindhouse' Gets Proper DVD Release, Comes with 'Hobo'". Retrieved on 2007-12-28. 
  67. ^ "Six Discs of 'Grindhouse'!". Retrieved on 2007-12-28. 
  68. ^ Tooze, Gary W. "Review of Planet Terror". DVD Beaver. Retrieved on 28 December 2008. 
  69. ^ Tooze, Gary W. "Review of Death Proof". DVD Beaver. Retrieved on 28 December 2008. 
  70. ^ "ASIN: B0019JIY0E" (in German). Retrieved on 2008-10-17. 
  71. ^ MacArthur, Amanda. "Quentin/Rodriguez Classic Grindhouse On Starz March 31". Retrieved on 2008-03-28. 
  72. ^ Sciretta, Peter (December 2006). "Rodriguez talks Grindhouse Sequel". /FILM. Retrieved on 2007-04-03. 
  73. ^ Sciretta, Peter (March 2007). "Tarantino Plans Kung Fu Grindhouse Sequel". /FILM. Retrieved on 2007-04-03. 
  74. ^ Yamato, Jen. "Edgar Wright's "Don't" Trailer Could Be "Grindhouse 2"". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2007-04-09. 
  75. ^ RT-News. "Roth Wants Full Length "Thanksgiving" for "Grindhouse 2"". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2007-05-05. 
  76. ^ Sciretta, Peter (March 26, 2007). "Rodriguez to film Machete Movie during Sin City 2". /film. Retrieved on 2007-03-27. 
  77. ^ "Babysitter Twins Take Over in 'Grindhouse 2'". Bloody Disgusting. July 24, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-28. 

[edit] Further reading

  • Tarantino, Quentin and Rodriguez, Robert. Grindhouse: The Sleaze-filled Saga of an Exploitation Double Feature. Weinstein Books, 2007. ISBN 1602860149. The book includes forewords by both directors, interviews, a history of grind houses, and behind-the-scenes information about the production of the film, such as the inspiration for the skull logo from Kung Faux creator Mic Neumann and the soundtrack from director John Carpenter. In addition, the book also includes the complete scripts for Planet Terror and the faux trailers Machete and Thanksgiving.

[edit] External links

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