The Grindhouse review 15 years after the release brings a new perspective

Side-by-side posters for Planet Terror and Death Proof, the dual feature of Grindhouse.

A cut of the poster for Grindhouse.
Picture: Dimension

It is impossible to watch Grindhouse in the same way today as we did 15 years ago because of two names: Rose McGowan and Harvey Weinstein. In 2017, McGowan, who starred in both halves of the Robert Rodriguez / Quentin Tarantino double film, accused Weinstein, one of the film’s executive producers, of raping her in 1997, 10 years before its release. Grindhouse. With this knowledge and all the ensuing consequences, seeing the actress play Cherry Darling Terror of the planet and Pam inside Proof of death, you can only project part of this fear and pain in the show, but in two completely different ways. He does not destroy his innocent intentions Grindhousebut gives them a different light.

Grindhouse was released on April 6, 2007 as a three-hour theatrical experience consisting of two full-length features, plus fake trailers, commercials and more. It was a daring experiment by two of the most daring filmmakers of the time and, financially, it failed, grossing just $ 26 million on a budget that is probably double that. At that time, you had the feeling that the general public was not sure what they were watching and word of mouth hurt the film.

What the audience watched was the directors Daring and Pulp Fiction trying to turn modern multiplexes into theaters of the past. Sticky floor theaters and screen slits that project dark, coarse films with missing wheels and scratches on all prints. Most viewers just wanted to see a regular movie and Grindhouse it was not that. However, I loved it and not only did I see the movie in theaters, but I bought the Blu-ray a few years later. Surprisingly, however, that Blu-ray remained wrapped in plastic until this week. In 15 years I have not seen it again. There was just something scary Grindhouse. The duration, which seems much more manageable now after a few years of three hours of blockbuster comics, was a factor. But it was also as if my subconscious memory of the movie was too traumatic for me to return. So I did not do it. After a repeat, however, I did not just find some very good reasons for this horror, but a movie that read very differently due to the times.

Cherry Blossom with foot pistol.

Rose McGowan as Cherry Darling Terror of the planet.
Picture: Dimension

Its first feature Grindhouse is Terror of the planet by Robert Rodriguez. It takes place on a night when a dangerous toxin is released into the air, turning most of a small Texas town into zombies that melt skin and eat flesh. The movie is fast, full of action and one of the most disgusting movies you have ever seen. Seriously. I forgot how disgusting Terror of the planet it is, from the testicles that melt until it erupts tongue pus, it is full of all kinds of vulgarities. I like to think I have a strong stomach, but sometimes I had to turn my head.

Of course, that’s the point Terror of the planet. It’s supposed to be shocking, annoying and also make you laugh. To this end, there are many deliberate jokes and offensive jokes throughout and are expressed by the dozens of prominent characters in the film (played by Josh Brolin, Freddy Rodriguez, Naveen Andrews, Michael Biehn, Bruce Willis and the rest). Any of these could possibly justify their own article, but at the heart of it all is Cherry Darling (McGowan). Cherry opens the film, performing a stifling go-go dance during the cast, and later loses her leg, leading to questionable disability humor. Eventually, she fulfills her fate when she sets foot on a machine gun and not only saves her friends but starts a revolution. It’s a fun journey, but it’s a lot, and in the end, 15 years undermine it from the very first scene.

Starting with McGowan, lightly dressed and dancing provocatively, you understand Rodriguez’s intention, but it strikes a chord in 2022. The name “Harvey Weinstein” stuck above the dance immediately creates a mind editing of news, interviews, pain and suffering. As a result, the controversy changes from seductive to counterproductive. Cherry’s overall heroic journey finally fixes it a bit, but the added weight of the story makes the title Terror of the planet you feel more or less true. When it was over, I was emotionally drained. But Grindhouse it was just beginning.

the actors standing outside Mike's car.

McGowan and Russell inside Proof of death.
Picture: Dimension

After some fake trailers (created by Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright, Eli Roth and others), Grindhouse passes to its second feature, Proof of death by Quentin Tarantino. Proof of death This is a sadistic driver named Stuntman Mike, played by Kurt Russell, who chases and kills young women in his car. However, in Tarantino’s pure way, this reality is obscured for much of the film by its thick, enjoyable dialogues, not to mention the camera that focuses on the chest, buttocks and legs of his top ladies. Which, in turn, could probably use his own article.

That all changes about 40 minutes after the movie, when a young woman named Pam (who once again plays McGowan) thinks she will take a walk home from Mike. Once in the car, Mike reveals his intentions to kill her and does just that by jerking the car wildly as he sits in a front passenger seat without a seat belt or trim. It is a brutal scene, which became extremely brutal today when you imagine the violence that McGowan had to endure from Weinstein. It’s hard to forget that you’re watching a character being brutalized in a movie paid for by someone who made it really brutal. A feeling that is even more annoying than opening it Terror of the planet.

But this is where things change. McGowan’s Terror of the planet The character was greatly objectified, but eventually climbs above it to become a leader. Pam is not objectified, she was brutally killed. Which, at first, feels outrageous. But like Proof of death goes on and Tarantino introduces us to the next group of women that Stuntman Mike will be targeting, everything is going well. Mike starts to terrorize the second group of women (played by Rosario Dawson, Zoe Bell and Tracie Thoms), but soon realizes that he has put up with the wrong ladies. They turn the tables chasing him with their car. The sequel, the film and the entire feature film double ends in a long scene with the women hitting Mike’s ultimate shit. Like, really, a savage beating that ends with Dawson’s character breaking his head with her shoe in the last image of the movie.

the four actors walking in an airport.

Winstead, Dawson, Bell and Thoms.
Picture: Dimension

That moment, Grindhouse has triumphed over McGowan’s villain. Mike is not only humiliated and defeated, but also killed. Then, and only then, do I begin to feel that I like it Grindhouse had not been negatively affected by the 15 years of history between one of the stars and its producers. It was an emotion I felt from the very first frame, but from the same last frame, when Pam’s killer accepts justice, the tables are turned.

Having visited again Grindhouse in all 15 years, I was shocked at how much I had to say about it. Superficially, yes, they are 190 minute balls on the wall, sometimes literally, madness. But the scripts do a great job of balancing shock value and self-awareness, as well as the creature that works in Terror of the planet it is absolutely amazing, as is the stuntman Proof of death. There are also a lot of problematic pieces sprinkled everywhere before you even get to the McGowan characters. However, I’m looking at the movie now, in 2022, and it really was the McGowan bow that stood out the most. It made me realize how real life story can change the implication and perception of a movie. It may even take a silly, frivolous experiment like Grindhouse turn it into something more. A kind of redemption.

Grindhouse is not broadcast anywhere, but is available on Blu-ray.

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