Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stuff I Noticed In Grindhouse

I'm a little bummed that they're going to release extended versions of "Planet Terror" and "Death Proof" from "Grindhouse" now that it's being considered a box office failure. What about the people who turned out? That's kind of cheating us, right?

Oh well, I'm glad I went to the double feature. Took me back to drive-in movies of my younger days. We had drive-ins in the South, not grind houses--except for the older downtown theaters that mixed B-movies in with the A stuff from time to time.

Anyway, I noticed a few fun things in Grindhouse - probably reported elsewhere also but maybe you'll read it here first.

  • Michael Parks of "Then Came Bronson" is police officer Earl McGraw in both movies. He also played Earl McGraw Texas ranger in "From Dusk 'Til Dawn." He's the guy George Clooney and Quentin Tarrantino battle it out with in that vampire flick's opening scene.
  • Kurt Russell's death-proof car is a Chevy Nova. It's a Chevy Nova Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta have to clean out and ditch in "Pulp Fiction."
  • What no cameo by Barry Newman? IMDB reports he was appearing in episodes of The OC as recently as 2005. The "Vanishing Point" star should have at least been hanging out at the bar in "Death Proof."
More if I think of 'em.


Charles Gramlich said...

I'm surprised this didn't do well at the boxoffice. I will probably rent this at some point. I tend to like a lot of action. I wonder if it was just too long for the masses.

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

I think the problem with this film is that it is over three hours long. I loved all three hours of it, but when a film runs that long it is going to do limited box, first because you run it less than a ninety minute film (time restrictions) and then because people have problems committing to that length.

This wasn't just a film for me. It was a celebration of all things tacky and horrible that I've come to love. I think "Planet Terror" was far superior to the Tarrantino piece (I have to say, by the end of that segment I was rooting for Kurt Russell to kill those three women).

And since I'm rambling here: "Can I get an AMEN for Josh Brolin's Nick Nolte impression?"

Sidney said...

Length probably played a big part, and I'm sure a lot of people didn't quite "get it." I've read some people were leaving after "Planet Terror" not realizing it was a double feature.

Kevin Smith's blogging today about how the lack of acceptance of something kind of bold is sad for everyone, and I think that's true.

A flop for guys who've fairly successfully delivered non cookie cutter stuff in the past almost certainly assures "safe" steps by studios in the future.

Reel Fanatic said...

I was surprised too that this did so poorly, but didn't expect Weinstein to throw such a fit after the first weekend .... I enjoyed watching them as a unit, but if I had to choose one, it would be "Death Proof" .. it just had such a natural flow to it, and the dialogue was fantastic

Erik Donald France said...

Looks fun from the previews and snippets and your post. Will do at some point.

Clifford said...

I'm suprised this didn't do so well too. Yeah, the length is definitely a factor, but more than Tarrantinos other projects, this one was made for guys and gals like us. It's a homage to all those films most people turn up their nose to.

That said, the other day, I was trying to explain why I liked the film to a friend and blurted out "This is the film all those grindhouse movie makers wanted to make, but they didn't have the money or the talent to pull it off". And as audience members, this is what we were homping to get when we attended dismal fare like "The Corpse Grinders"!

Sidney said...

Yeah, it's definitely a film for our crowd and it captures a lot of the past while making it all new. Watching "Planet Terror" is like watching something right out of the '70s.

It's kind of like it really delivers all the stuff that previews of the era made you think you'd get.

I can vividly remember "The Corpse Grinders" preview by the way.

"Do you know what this is? It's a corpse grinding machine..."

I think it played at our local drive-in on like a triple bill with terror insurance and all of that.

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