"What is Grind House?" you ask? Well, my young padawan, Grind House is a collaborative project between two of the grooviest directors in Hollywood: Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, etc.) and Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, etc.). As is apparent from the works of these two they are big fans of old exploitation/monster/slasher flicks. Grind House is an homage to those days of bad drive-in movies, with two one-hour movies by each director and a slew of fake 70's era trailers thrown in for good measure. Since not a lot has spilled regarding Tarantino's effort Death Proof, a slasher flick starring Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike, a serial killer who uses his car as a weapon, I'm focusing today on Rodriguez's effort Planet Terror. Now, you're probably wondering what has slipped regarding Planet Terror (Or maybe you don't really care...), and I'm here to inform you that that film's trailer has finally leaked onto the net (follow the link below) and it is perhaps the most glorious thing you will witness in your lifetime.
(EDIT: The trailer was removed from Youtube due to copyright infringement. Sorry y'all!)
Now, what can I say about a trailer this cool? I love Rose McGowan's machine gun leg (also pictured above)! I love Josh Brolin hamming it up! I love seeing Michael Biehn back on the big screen where he belongs! I also am extremely thrilled to see Tom Savini in another Rodriguez film! For those of you unfamiliar with his name, Savini was the make-up genius behind George Romero's Dawn Of The Dead & Day Of The Dead, as well as Friday The 13th. He also directed the nifty 1990 remake of Night Of The Loving Dead. On top of those credentials he's acted in some of the finest B-movies out there. Some of you may recall Savini's portrayal of Sex Machine in From Dusk Till Dawn (pictured below-left).
I'll tell you what really caught my attention (Though how could it not...) were the parts of the trailer featuring Danny Trejo (The coolest tough guy in the movies, pictured below-right), as Machete ("He knows the score. He gets the women. And he kills the bad guys.")! From what I've read it seems (sadly) that the Machete scenes are just part of one of the fake trailers between the two films. That said, any movie featuring Danny Trejo flying through the air on a gattling-gun firing motorcycle has my undying support. Plus, the two directors have hinted that if Grind House is a hit they may make future installments with full hour films made from the fake trailers. C'mon, the world needs a Danny Trejo Machete movie!
I'll tell you why Grind House especially appeals to me. The last few years have been really lousy for anyone who enjoys violent, unabashedly R-rated action/horror films. I was a student of the great Schwarzenegger era (Predator, Running Man, Raw Deal), and as such, I have a genuine fondness for over-the-top gory thrills. The R-rated action-fest/gore-athon has all but been banished from PG-13 friendly Hollywood (Although Rob Zombie, with his great Devil's Rejects deserves special mention). In an effort to get the maximum amount of ticket buyers into theatres the output of horror and action films have been toned down to fit the PG-13 standard. They parade out sorry, pathetic excuses for horror films (When A Stranger Calls & The Grudge for example) and toned down action flicks (XXX series, Transporter films) hoping that the audience can't tell the difference. The R-rated horror films fall into two categories: Limp remakes of superior originals (Hills Have Eyes, Dawn Of The Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre), or simplistic gore-fests that aren't scary or interesting (I'm talking to you Eli Roth! Hostel was the cinematic equivalent of sewage!). The only mildly intriguing pure horror film of late was the original Saw, though it's impact was lessened by it's inferior sequel.
Tarantino and Rodriguez are two guys who remember how cool it could be to see a really bad-ass film. That sometimes it's just cool to take a break from high-caliber classics and just enjoy a genuinely nifty B-movie. Being one of those people myself this project speaks to me. I loved the duo's previous collaboration on From Dusk Till Dawn (Strongly disliked the lousy straight-to-DVD sequels though), and hope that lightning strikes twice here. Besides, if anyone can take cinematic cheese and spin A-movie gold out of it, it's these two. Tarantino's and Rodriguez's entire filmographys are a testament to that! So do yourself a favor, in between checking out the great films of Scorsese, Coppola or Polanski, toss in a Dawn On The Dead, Evil Dead, or Mighty Peking Man. And be sure to check out Grind House when it hits theatres. Let's make sure future generations have a Machete film to call their own. ______________________________________________________________________________________
In my further attempts to smother you with Iron Man mentions, I'll quickly draw your attention to the fellow on the right. That's Terrence Howard and he's now been officially cast in the Marvel comics film. He'll play Tony Stark (Iron Man)'s best friend Jim Rhodes. Now, what seems like a pretty static role on the page may actually turn out to be pretty cool in the future. The story goes that Rhodes eventually dons an armored suit himself, becoming a hero in his own right named War Machine. So, if Iron Man's a hit we may see Howard show up in the sequels in a much more active role.
Okay, that's it for me today. I'll be back tomorrow (hopefully with a better posting title) with more news items that fascinate few. I promise no more Iron Man talk for a while though... At least until another key cast member is signed.
Peace to the geese!