Monday, May 07, 2007

Grindhouse: I Want the Quentin Tarantino Action Figure

So, the word up in the UK is that there is a delay on the release on two full length feature Grindhouse movies written by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez put together as a B movie double feature combo including fake movie trailers sandwiched in between. The films opened recently in the US and the takings at the box office were not great as expected.


The word on the street is that people couldn't hack the 3-hour plus running time of both films. On paper the concept is hilarious, but somehow it defied the law of gravity and failed to translate with the i-Pod generation who have as much patience as a digital donut.

IMDb said it best - "a double-bill of thrillers that recall both filmmakers' favorite exploitation films. "Grindhouse" (a downtown movie theater in disrepair since its glory days as a movie palace known for "grinding out" non-stop double-bill programs of B-movies) is presented as one full-length feature comprised of two individual films helmed separately by each director. Tarantino's film, "Death Proof," is a rip-roaring slasher flick where the killer pursues his victims with a car rather than a knife, while Rodriguez's film "Planet Terror" shows us a view of the world in the midst of a zombie outbreak. The films are joined together by clever faux trailers that recall the '50s exploitation drive-in classics."

Why didn't the the American movie going public didn't latch on to the double feature movie drive-in vibe of these two cinematic monsters?

I can't wait to see Rose McGowan as 'Cherry Darling' in Planet Terror. NECA Toys has even made a Quentin Tarantino action figure entitled "Rapist No #1". It's hilarious.

Meanwhile, the UK film distributor is having kittens over releasing the two films back to back. There's now talk that Mirrormax is re-editing both films to make them shorter, which, to me, defeats the whole purpose of presenting these films in their originial cut.

The American movie market is steeped in Disney-friendly test screenings. The investors don't want to gamble on their financial investments. This is why the majority of today's movies are predictable, cliche and boring. Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, audience goes home with nothing new. No wonder the film industry is in trouble!

More power to Rodriguez and Tarantino for sticking it to the traditional Hollywood star system. I guess what Mirrormax is trying to do is what they did on Kill Bill 1 and Kill Bill 2. Both Kill Bills were originally one 3-hour movie, but the studio realized that the US film audiences wouldn't be able to sit through 3 hours of gore and violence, so they split the film in two and released it in two stages. It seemed to have been critically and commercially successful.

The same cannot apply to Grindhouse because 'Death Proof' and 'Planet Terror' were made to be seen side by side. It saddens me that today's cinema goers have now conception of what it is like to go to the movies with your friends and watch two B movies back to back, eat a lot of popcorn and feel bug-eyed when you leave the cinema. It's a great movie going tradition which mean anything to today's moving going public.

Tarantino and Rodriguez are adventerous in their quest for originality and cool, but today's Pepsi generation is too steeped in Spiderman 3 and Fantastic Four Do Dallas. But don't let the big studios influence you in your judgement. 'Death Proof' and 'Planet Terror' are both works of art. If you dug 'Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill Kill', these films are for you.