Both Tarantino and Rodriguez show of their love for exploitation films of the 70's. They craft, together, a movie which is both a bit too much to take in at once, but still manages to be fun and exciting.
First off is "Death Proof", Tarantino's tribute to the old B-movie stalker flicks is not necessarily bad, but its not great either. Rather than having women get chased through a forest, they actually get offed, off, by the mysterious "Stuntman Mike", played by Kurt Russel. The first group of unsuspecting victimes are three gals enjoying a fun filled weekend. These three unsuspecting victims are Arlene(Vanessa Ferlito), Shanna(Jordan Ladd) and "Jungle" Julia(Sydney Tamiia Poitier). While on their way to the bar, Arlene notices a black 1970 Chevy Nova following them around, this of course is Russel. After a night of parting, the girls are driving off when they get into a collision with Suntman Mike, who crashed into them on purpose, and they all die. Earlier before we got a glimpse of Rose McGowan, looking as wonderful as ever, in a very very blonde wig. She also happens to be Mike's first victim of the night.
A year later, Mike has moved from Texas to Tennesee and spots his next group of gals, only this time hes not so lucky. The film climaxes with an excellent car chase reminsecent of the old 70's and a little mix of "Bullit". The chase ends with Mike getting beat by the lucky ladies. Now its not that the movie isn't entertaining, it is like every other Tarantino flick, its just as captivating as the others. He definetly nails down the whole B-movie ideal down very well, better than his partner in crime Rodriguez. But film is more talky talky than action action. Granted its all Tarantino dialouge, but it still isn't as engrossing as his previous films. The acting was top notch by all of these lovely ladies, and Tarantino once again shows off his love for the ladies. And their feet.
The second feature in this double flick is "Planet Terror", directed by Rodriguez, "Terror" is more captivating, and a bit more entertaining than his fellow directors. The story revolves around stripper "Cherry Darling"(Rose McGowan) who gets caught in the middle of a government facility which is being over run by zombies. All after Bruce Willis shots up a tank of radioactive material. This film is complete opposite of "Death Proof". More action and less talking, but what "Planet Terror" lacks in is its characters. "Death Proof"'s are far more believable and like able than "Terror"'s.
The real shining factor of this film are the little fake trailers than are shown throught. Well made trailers which capture the real essence of the 70's B-Movies. The essential highlight of them all would be "Machete" which stars Danny Trejo as a hired gun who is left for dead and comes back for the people who betrayed him. The film is pure B-movie style, and with Cheech Marin as a pastor with a shotgun, this just might be next summer's blockbuster.
"Grindhouse" is a well made film, the only problem is that the little movies within in it are better separate rather than being in a whole. The fake trailers capture the true essence of the 70's. With their over the top storylines, they could just be the blockbusters of coming years. Tarantino and Rodriguez both show of their love for films of exploitation the only downside would be that the film feels like a bit too much to absorb all at once. But it still is an entertaining action/thriller that doesn't take itsself too seriously. When was the last time you saw a drama starring a chick with a machine gun for a leg. Grade: Death Proof: B-, Planet Terror: B