Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pair of Killer Bs

We went to see Grindhouse over the weekend, and it is an absolute scream! There's a little of the scary scream, true, but mostly it's just a blast, they aren't really trying to scare you. As you may or may not know, it's an homage to the old B action, monster, zombie, biker, blaxploitation, kung fu, hot rod, prison, slasher, all-of-the-above etc. ... movies that at one time might go straight to the Drive-In or to certain movie houses that specialized in them. Nowadays they could go straight to DVD or even Cable without even hitting the big screen.

This is one that you want to see in the movie theatre! It's going to lose some of its charm on the small screen, as it's got all that old cheesy stuff and hideous food ads that fill our intermission memories plus REALLY bizarro trailers, and then the "Double Feature" directed respectively by Austinite Robert Rodriguez and occasional Austinite Quentin Tarantino. It was mostly filmed in and around Austin (a little bit in Mexico), and the Tarantino part really features our town with some local haunts.

This review by MaryAnn Johanson is a pretty good summation of it, but you might enjoy this one more. It's an Ain't It Cool News amateur review, and I really think it's written as a parody of the reviews on that site (they are their own kind of art form), but I can't really tell... that makes it a great spoof... if it is one. Hilarious!

I guess I've always loved B-movies, I loved going to the Drive-In, especially if it was a monster or some other gross-out, the tacky snack bars with the greasy corn dogs and getting a look at people who'd rather not be in such bright lights after partying in their cars, and the really bad speakers you'd hang on the windows. I loved the playgrounds, even if there wasn't much to them. I loved staying home for "Friday Night at the Frights" on TV, or getting up for a space alien invasion on Saturday morning. My mother, of all people, was fond of what they'd later call "slasher movies" (although they were pretty tame compared to more recent ones). (This is how you live on, you pass along your weirdness.) More recently, I was hooked on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). I miss all of those things.

If you are in Austin, see it at the Alamo Drafthouse and nowhere else. If you don't have an Alamo Drafthouse, any old big screen will do.

EDIT: Almost forgot to mention my souvenir. While filling up the car, there was a VIP laminate badge from the Austin premiere for the movie hanging on the top part of the pumps where the ads are. I tend to collect stuff, so I put it in my purse, without realizing that that the cord smelled of gasoline, and pretty soon so did everything in my purse. Now I have a gasoline-scented souvenir for Grindhouse and my purse contents need washing.

[Official site: flash, needs fast connection]
Extensive coverage in this week's Chronicle:
Interview Rodriguez: Planet Terror
Tarantino: Death Proof

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Hill said...

Believe it or not, this is the ONLY movie so far this year that I actually would go to a theater to see. Love me some Kurt!

Blueberry said...

Kurt is awesome in it. Good bad guy.

L said...

It was such a good movie -- and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the review you linked to! laughed my butt off!