Grindhouse (2007)

So, a cool thing happened to me. While contemplating my upcoming trip to see Grindhouse last weekend, I figured out why this feature seems like it painted a giant target on my forehead right before the previews for it came out. (Or, put less like the way I would put something, it was totally aimed right at me.) See, there’s this place that I have mentioned from time to time called the Alamo Drafthouse. In addition to what is gradually becoming a standard practice of combining slightly overpriced food and alcohol into the movie-watching experience, they have made themselves into a movie-geek’s wet dream by gathering up all kinds of old forgotten reels from the 60s and 70s, throwing TV watching parties week after week for free admission, sing-along parties with themes as diverse as old school TV themes, Michael Jackson, boy bands, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and showing movies outdoors in appropriate settings. (Piranha at Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, Texas, where the climactic scene was filmed? Serenity in an old West ghost town? Chainsaw at the original Chainsaw house? Tell me that’s not just super-awesome. You will be wrong when you choose to do so.) Anyway, that’s a place in Austin, the Drafthouse. And it gathers together on a multi-weekly basis exactly the kind of person who would be thrilled by mocked-up grindhouse style movies such as Planet Terror (zombie invasion!) and Deathproof (carsploitation, with girls!) and gives them leave to laugh a lot and make fun and be rowdy and have a generally good time.

But then I remembered that Robert Rodriguez is from Austin and still lives there, and that Quentin Tarantino hangs out there constantly, and both of them will from time to time (at least once a year) host a film festival or a particular movie at the Drafthouse, with presentations, Q&A, the whole works. (Which is another awesome for film-geeks thing that the Drafthouse does, getting together actors and directors and stuff for a wide swathe of the movies they show. Such as the time I got to sit about 20 feet from Jewel Staite and just bask.) And so, of course (my theory goes) they see these people year after year, maybe drop in for shows just because without fanfare, and it must have occurred to them as they watched theater after theater be sold out that there might be a Thing here. So when people speculate that this movie was aimed right at me, well, my point is I kind of think it actually was. (And the opening shot of Deathproof being a driveby of the original theater on 4th Street cemented that opinion pretty firmly.)

Having mentioned the zombies and the carsploitation, there’s not a lot to add. You already know from reading this if you’re That Person like I am or not. But I will point out that there were multiple instance of spot-on comedic timing related to the way that movie theaters and reels actually worked at that kind of theater in those days, that each and every one of the mocked up trailers for fake grindhouse style movies is something that I would pay to see and am sad that I’ll never get a chance to, and that Quentin Tarantino kind of crossed a carsploitation flick with a Quentin Tarantino flick. There’s nothing wrong with how much the man loves to listen to other people recite his dialogue, but there were a couple of times when it felt out of place. On the bright side, it is really good dialogue on average, so out of place doesn’t automatically map onto a bad time.

Anyway, I know what I just said about the trailers being fake, but please, oh please, will someone make Werewolf Women of the SS? Please?

3 thoughts on “Grindhouse (2007)

  1. Chris Post author

    I wish I could more, but living in Dallas makes it an event rather than a whim. I keep waiting for you guys to expand north, in fact.

    Tell me the truth, though: did they tell you guys the idea came from there? I bet they did!


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