“Grindhouse,” reviewed by Susan Granger
In an affectionate homage to the deliberately tawdry exploitation movies of the 1960s and 70s, directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have collaborated on this flashy double-feature which captures all the sensationalism and over-the-top violence which characterized that low-budget genre.
Grindhouse contains two distinctly different blood-and-guts stories, separated by fake Coming Attractions for low-budget thrillers that promise more nudity, lewdness and weirdness.
In Rodriguez Planet Terror, Wray, a traveler, played by Freddy Rodriguez, finds himself in a town thats suddenly overrun by alien zombies. Rose McGowan is Cherry, a go-go dancer who has lost a leg and is called upon to save the universe with a machine gun mounted in her prosthetic limb. (Match that Heather Mills!).
In Tarantinos Death Proof, Kurt Russell plays macho Stuntman Mike, a psychotic serial killer who goes after women in his skull-emblazoned vintage Chevy Nova. Rosario Dawson is Lindsay Lohans makeup/hair artist, working on a cheerleader movie that Mike is stalking. She and her cohorts (Zoe Bell, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wreak vengeance in their stolen Dodge Challenger. (Lohan herself does not appear in the movie at all.)
Completing this grotesque, three-plus hour anthology are a multitude of allusions and references to the screen characters and pop culture motifs of that bygone era when downtown movie theaters, called Grindhouses, ran double and triple B features, non-stop, rotating perhaps seven different films each week. And stalwart supporting actors like Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Michel Biehn, Jeff Fahey and Naveen Andrews frolic in the deservedly R-rated bloodshed and gore.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Grindhouse is a deliberately cliché-filled, hyper-sleazy 7. Whats most terrifying is that this cinematic concept could become a franchise. Whats next? Kung fu, blaxpoitation, sexploitation, you name it.