Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bump and grind

Thanks to the magic of illegal internet streaming sites I watched the Grindhouse double bill yesterday as a Bank Holiday treat. I like Quentin Tarantino because he has an intelligent approach to directing stupid films. Grindhouse consists of two full-length films, Planet Terror and Deathproof. The former is a "splatter" zombie film, which involves the release of toxic gas at a military base, which infects the surrounding populace. Deathproof is a "car chase" movie which pays homage to films like Duel and Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! Both films have been shot to appear as if they were very low budget and now old, with scratched and missing reels. The use of music and fashion in the films also suggests that they could have been filmed in the 60s or 70s, although the use of mobile phones places the action in the present. As a result, the films have an odd, timeless feeling to them. Both films also have the appearance of been "pirated", so you can see members of the cinema audience getting up and leaving, and during some of the scenes you can hear audience members laughing and making comments. Planet of Terror is the most gory of the two - with a woman having a leg replaced by a machine gun, and a man who likes to chop off other men's testicles. There are a few links between the two films which makes them work well as a double bill.

Best of all though, are the fake commericals mainly for other films which appear before the start of each feature. I collect trashy film ads from the 60s and 70s (the Something Weird distribution company release them on compilation tapes), and these were spot on:

Earlier this year a contest by SXSW got directors to create their own grindhouse trailers. A large sample of the entries are here.

I feel a bit guilty about watching the films illegally, but they're not released for several months yet in the UK, and I'll see them again at the cinema and probably get them on DVD. The quality of the internet streaming is watchable but not great. But that might not be the case in a couple of years or so.


Andy said...

If youre thinking of watching this on an illegal Internet streaming site ....... Don't!

Haha, only joking, I love it!

The Mule said...

I loved Grindhouse, and I'm concerned that, as a result of its box office "failure", certain people want to mess with it, split it into two separate movies, and so on. The whole point of the exercise is to get the full grindhouse double-bill experience by spending a good long bum-numbing stretch of time in the theatre. So I hope the UK receives the original 3+ hour version. Enjoy!