& "Death Proof"
Movie Stats & Links
||Rose McGowan, Josh
Brolin, Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson
The Weinstein Company
||For goodness sake
leave them at home.
||Only if she
understands the concept of the Grindhouse movie.
||There a great sex
scene only to be ruined by a "film malfunction."
||Lots of quality
kills, exploding bodies, and gunfire.
car-chase in "Death Proof" was fantastic.
||In a campy-movie
kind of way.
||The fight scene in
||"As useless as a
pecker on the Pope."
||Elizabeth Avellan, Robert Rodriguez, Erica
Steinberg, Quentin Tarantino
So Iím sitting there, in my seat, waiting for "Grindhouse"
to start, when one of the theater ushers comes into the
theater, introduces himself, and then proceeds to "advise"
us that in keeping with the theme of the movie, the film
will look scratchy at times, sometimes the sound wonít be
that great, and there may even be a scene or two missing
from the film. He also needed to mention that "Grindhouse"
is actually two movies, "Planet Terror," and "Death Proof,"
so we shouldnít leave at the end of "Planet Terror." He told
us this, he said, because during the previous dayís
screenings they had a lot of complaints about the sound and
picture quality, and some people also left at the end of
"Planet Terror" thinking "Grindhouse" was over. I guess, for
those people, the entire concept of "Grindhouse" was already
lost on them. For me, I just wanted Cherry to get her
machine gun put on sooner. Letís get to itÖ
A Movie Review
Starting with a fantastic fake trailer for "Machete," "Grindhouse"
set up the concept of the movie from the get-go, with the
crackling and popping of the sound, the streaks and
graininess of the picture, and the 70ís style intros to both
the fake trailers and the feature presentations. "Planet Terror"
kicked things off and plays
out like a zombie movie, where sad characters somehow all
get pulled together to make their escape from the
brain-eating morons. We see sort of how the zombies come to
be, of course itís some bizarre military experiment gone
wrong, entwined with a stories about a doctor and his wife,
the go-go dancer who wants to be a stand-up comedian Cherry
(Rose McGowan), and her boyfriend Wray (Freddy Rodriquez)
with the mysterious past, and the town Sheriff and his
brother who runs the barbecue shack. Sure enough, patients end up in
the hospital with their skin all a-bubble, cadavers end up
at the hospital with their brains missing, and there is
Cherry recuperating from losing her leg. Wray comes to save
her, the townsfolk not dead find themselves holed up in the
barbecue shack, and then plow their way through the
slow-moving zombies only to find themselves kidnapped at the
military base, there learning the real reason for the military
gas, involving none other than Osama bin Laden. Cherry
eventually gets her machine gun for her leg, itís time for
one last stand for our non-infected folks, and a new
beginning for Cherry.
And so "Planet Terror" ends, we get treated to a few more
fake trailers in the likes of "Werewolf Women of the SS,"
"Donít," and the fantastically funny "Thanksgiving," and now
itís time for "Death Proof."
The story for "Death Proof" is a little easier to tell,
if only because there arenít many side stories to worry
about. Pretty much for this movie you get Kurt Russell as
Stuntman Mike. Stuntman Mike is a psychopath who uses his
car to do the killing. Poor little Pam (Rose McGowan) just
needs a ride home, and Stuntman Mike is there to help.
We quickly learn where the title of the movie comes from,
but sadly for Pam it is only if you are sitting in the
driverís seat. And then comes our trio of Jungle Julia
(Sydney Tamiia Poitier), Shanna (Jordan Ladd), and Arlene
(Vanessa Ferlito), enjoying a girlís night out, and then
being driven by another of their friends, only to have
Stuntman Mike ruin all of their nights. The sheriff suspects
foul play on the part of Mike, only he canít prove it. And
with Mike free to prowl once again, another quartet comes to
play, namely Kim (Tracie Thoms), Lee (Mary Elizabeth
Winstead), Zoe (Zoe Bell), and Abernathy (Rosario Dawson).
Once again Mike tries to use his car to kill, but sadly for
our Stuntman, Zoe is still alive.
As a movie-going experience I have to say that seeing "Grindhouse"
was kind of fun. Not being old enough to have experienced my
own Grindhouse viewings growing up, I have, though, been at my share
of theaters with scratchy film and sound, and it was sort of
sun re-enacting that. As far as the individual movies,
though, "Planet Terror" was great when it finally got to the
real zombie action, but too much of the set-up just seemed
to drag. Rose McGowen was great with one leg, and Bruce
Willis was also great as the evil Lt. Muldoon. "Death Proof"
suffered from just too much damn dialogue and not enough
Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell was fantastic in his role) nor his car. For itís hour and half portion of
the film, and maybe my timing is off, but it seemed like we
got and hour and fifteen minutes of Quentin Tarantino trying
to write witty dialogue like in "Pulp Fiction," and about
fifteen minutes of kick-butt action with cars.
And so, on the star scales, I would give "Planet Terror"
3 stars out of 5, mostly because of Cherry, although I still
thought it took too long for her to get her machine-gun, but
once she did get it, wow! "Death Proof" was really looking
like a 2 star out of 5 film because of way too much
dialogue, but the carnage from the first car crash and the
fantastic ending brings with it another star, for 3 stars
out of 5.
My buddy Stu asked me if itís really worth it to see "Grindhouse"
in the theater, but thatís a tricky question to answer. As a
whole I would say this would be a solid DVD rental, so itís
probably worth waiting to see it at home, but the concept of
the movie really changes that opinion. If you are used to
crisp movie prints, with pristine sound at your local
multiplex, "Grindhouse" will
take you back to seeing a movie in the cheap, dingy theater,
but without the sticky floors and icky seats, unless of
course that is usually where you see your movies, in which
case you will feel right at home.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!