Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Grindhouse (Planet Terror & Death Proof) 
Grindhouse is a no holes barred homage to the sleazy, low-budget, ultra-violent, Z-grade slasher films and exploitation pics (in essence, B-movies) that maverick filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino feasted on, in run-down single screen halls (grindhouses), during their days of growing up. Planet Terror, directed by Rodriguez, which forms the first segment of the kinetic double-bill, is a post-apocalyptic dystopian tale of tussle between ravenous zombies and humans. Though mercilessly gory, the movie has enough smart-ass action and wry humour to get blood racing. The second feature, Death Proof, directed by Tarantino, and arguably the far superior of the two, has a psycho stuntman (played to perfection by Kurt Russel) who loves taking down his beautiful victims while driving at 125 mph. Though the more sedate of the two, this is no less thrilling, and is filled to brim with high-octane virtuosity, pop-culture references and enormously engaging ‘Tarantino talk’, as they say. And boy, does Tarantino have a thing for dancing! First there was the chilling ear-cutting sequence in Reservoir Dogs, then the cool Saturday Night style Travolta-Uma Thurman tango in Pulp Fiction, and now the awesome lap dance scene in Death Proof. In order to get the feel right, the editing and film quality have been deliberately made to look crappy, the content is as politically incorrect and gleefully shocking as humanly possible, and to top ‘em all, the features are punctuated by some bizarre faux-trailers. Though an empty stomach is a prerequisite for watching Grindhouse, this is one hell of a fun ride down memory lane.
Directors: Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino