So I was kind of very super psyched for this flick totally for the most part sorta. Movies have really been sucking lately and I simply haven't been able to drag myself to see friggin anything. Blades of Glory? Reign on Me? No. Pass. I just can't do it. So Grindhouse seemed like an overdue breath of foul freshness right in my friggin face. Although I've never been a fan of awful old cheesebag movies (I wasn't a teenager in the 70's 'double feature' heyday and I gotta assume a healthy chunk of those movies are probably unwatchable) but I was excitedly nostalgic to revisit them again... umm... even though I never visited in the first place.
Anyway, the theater yesterday was like surprisingly empty. I was like, 'Is this thing a friggin flop? Wow.' There was maybe a dozen people in the whole theater which was disappointing. I wanted more yellers. Granted, it was a 1PM show but... umm... where were the rest of the geeks? I dunno. Whatever. I had a large popcorn and big water and was revved up. After wading through some previews, Shrek III (looks terrible), Spiderman III (is it me... or is there no money shot?), and some awful looking thing starring Jared 'Look at me! I'm a rocker, Mommy!' Leto. Finally... the Grindhouse started up...
Skippy scratchy film, bad trumpety organ music, Machete preview, weird voiceover tone, 70's sound quality, rough editing choppy. It was such a healthy deep breath experience to see something on the screen that just went totally outside the box! No 'opening' credits. Just random stuff. Not cut from the movie mold. Time warp theater. For the first 15 minutes between big toothy grins, I threw fistfuls of popcorn at my face and caught what I could in my mouth.
OK. Planet Terror. A great title. A big mess. A big gooey, bloody, dopey, (sometimes awesome) mess. Some government thing with some green goo and then there's mean guys with masks and there's some sizzling boils and there's some evil doctor and hot chicks and zombie types. Fine. There's some truly excellent killing, run overing, ass shaking, splattering, biting and gut tearing, quartering, Savini-ing, explosioning, bone snapping, crotch rotting, sliming and funnying up. I especially loved the disgustifying popping of the boils. Squirting right on the face! What's not to like about that? Everything!
Unfortunately this thing didn't totally click for me. I just didn't get into it as much as I hoped. I really tried. It was just simply too long and too worthless. Sure there's a wallop double dollop of bloody fun violence-- but Planet Terror was three characters too many and easily twenty minutes too long. And it probably would have been helpful if the plot made an effort to make sense. Who was contaminated? What was the stuff? Why the boils come and go? Who's who? I don't need a tight script or nuttin. I know it's intentionally stupid. But instead of lovingly embracing the badness of the genre-- why not squeeze the thing to death? Crunch the ribs till it pukes blood and the eyeballs pop-- then spit a phlegm loogie right it's dead tootless mouth. Serve up true justice... instead of just collaring the thing and dragging it around like it's some kind of goofball parade.
Death Proof I liked more. But damn it! Why was there so much talking!!! Unlikeable chicks talking about nothing likeable! Blah blah blah! Blah blah! Cut that out and let's hit the road! (Where were you, Sally? You gotta start speaking up more! Chop chop!) So much stupid talking with these stupid chicks made my head roll all the way back and exposing my neck! Like just put me out of my misery with this yammering! I want to hit the wall with a speeding car! Not hit it with bad dialogue! Airhead girl, kickass girl, ballsy girl, innocent girl. Got it. Now shut up their phoned-in dialogue! If I wanted to watch and old bad movie with too much talking I'd go rent one and be bored in the privacy of my own home! Fast forward!
BUT! (and this is a very BIG BUTt!) that being said I loved loved LOVED this thing whenever we got in the car and started heading down the road. Both times. The first car wreck was eye gaspingly murderously destructive. The spinning tire? The leg? Fantastic! And the bigger action scene was the most fun car chase situation I've seen in a long long time. The girls finally became characters! I cheered and gasped and got psyched up and nervous. Kurt Russell does his best character of since Snake. I was either cheering or hysterical laughing for the last ten minutes of this one... pretty much nonstop.
So anyway yadda, both flicks had decent sized flaws-- but when shoot comes to slam... surprisingly, I'm just more of a Death Proof kind of guy.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I haven't hooted and hollered and yelped so much since 'Night of the Creeps'.
- Thanksgiving and Don't.
- It was so very greatly splashingly differently loose--- and at times super duper funny.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- If it wasn't for the length, boring parts and huh(s)?... It had potential
to be one of the greatest movies ever made.
- On and off, I wondered if I would have been happier watching an hour and a half of just fake trailers. Instead of three hours of all that.
All in all, this was a very good time that took too long to get there. Love the blood and the guts and the guns and the gears. So much great friggin stuff in both of these that I'm psyched to see it again with a remote control in my hand. But in reality, the best part of the whole thing? The "old" trailers. Especially "Thanksgiving" and "Don't". (What the hell was going on in the last two seconds of Thanksgiving?) It just proves that it's easier to make a really great trailer than a really great movie-- which (when you boil it all down to the biley guck) was what this whole thing was really about.