Grindhouse gave me a bladder infection.
Not really, but it was a really long double feature. I managed to keep it together and remain in my seat for the entire three hours, however many of my fellow attendees were not so lucky and ended up missing a few of the phony trailers that sandwiched Tarantino’s Death Proof and Rodriguez’s Planet Terror. via flickr
And it really didn’t need to be so long.
Planet Terror, as my creative partner Jennifer stated, was gory fun “and at least had a beginning, middle, and end.” Unfortunately, Death Proof – although mildly entertaining in the first half thanks to Sydney Tamiia Poitier‘s bitchy yet awesome Jungle Julie character – dragged through the last forty five minutes. Kurt Russel’s character Stuntman Mike starts out a bad ass psychopath and ends up a sniveling crybaby. It was totally unbelievable, even for a grindhouse flick. Lead Zoe Belle (who was Uma Thurman’s stunt double in Kill Bill), was likable but ultimately boring – I really didn’t care if she was going to live or die. I am sure others will argue me to death about this, but I really felt like Death Proof was a lame ripoff (not homage) of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.
To make things worse, (according to Deadline Hollywood), Grindhouse hasn’t been giving enough love to actual grindhouse theaters. Quote:
“I wanted to give you some insight into Grindhouse being a flop,” Seth Sonstein (photo right) emails me. “We begged The Weinstein Company for a print of this film. In the end they would not give us a print. Also, Dan Halsted runs the Grindhouse Film Festival out of The Hollywood Theater in Portland, and Weinstein would also not release a print to him. (Dan knows more about Grindhouse films then anyone in the country.) So I attest that the distribution was botched on this film. When your local Grindhouse isn’t allowed to screen the Grindhouse, then you KNOW that there is trouble.” Sonstein said his theater and its audience were psyched when they first heard about Grindhouse and followed its progress from Day One. ”
..The Grindhouses across America are the exact opposite. While people may need Regal so they can go see films like Wild Hogs and Norbit, they will never catch a double feature of Foxy Brown and Black Samurai at the local Regal Cineplex. Grindhouse, a film that is a throwback to the great Grindhouse films of yesterday, will not be playing in a Grindhouse.”
No wonder it may be re-released as two separate films. I loved Planet Terror and the cool trailers but would not sit through another three hours in a theater just to catch it again.