Re: RARA-AVIS: Grindhouse, anybody?

From: Dave Zeltserman (
Date: 08 Apr 2007

I have mixed feelings about this one. First, it's 3 1/2 hours from previews to end of movie, and that's just too freakin' long for this type of movie experience. The first part of the double-feature is Rodriguez's Planet Terror which is meant to be nothing more than a sendup of the cheesy zombie flicks from the 70s, along with paying homage to Night of the Living Dead, The Terminator, among others. It's good for a few laughs, but it drags, and is really no better than most of the monster flicks I used to watch as a kid on Creature Double-Feature. The best visual is with Rose McGowan with the machine gun as a prosthetic leg, but that happens late in the film, and pretty much the best scenes of that are shown in the previews. Tarantino's film, Death Proof, with the missing reel, technical glitches, and movie references, gives a lot of lip service about being a sendup of a 70's exploitation film, but this is a pure Tarantino film. The guy is incapable of making a bad movie even when he wants to, and this one's an adrenaline rush. The plot is simpler than any previous Tarantino film--basically a revenge film, and the ending does capture somewhat a bad 70s exploitation film--but this is still a great film. Not on par with Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, but still a great film, far better than movies like "History of Violence" and "Ice Harvest". As much as I enjoyed this, I probably would've liked it more if I wasn't so antsy from already sitting in the theatre for almost 2 hours.

About the "coming attractions": Machete does the best job of actually capturing what these grindhouse films were like, "Don't" and "Werewolf Woman of the SS" were lame, and "Thanksgiving" had some very bizarre and disturbing images even though it intentionally didn't make much sense.

If were to do it over again, I would've gone in 2 hours late, and only bothered to sat through Tarantino's film.

--Dave Z.

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