Theatrical Release Date: 04/06/2007

Since this is a double feature, I’ll break it up into two reviews and then have a small conclusion.

  • Jump to “Planet Terror”
  • Jump to “Death Proof”
  • Jump to “Grindhouse overall”

  • Planet Terror

    Planet Terror
    I always wondered how much firepower it would take to kill Josh Brolin.

    Director: Robert Rodriguez
    Cast: Freddy Rodríguez, Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton, Josh Brolin, Naveen Andrews

    This was a lot of fun.

    I’m not a Rose McGowan fan, but bad acting is an asset in this film. I do generally like Freddy Rodriguez, and he pulled off an action / comedic performance that I didn’t know he had in him.

    They are backed up by a bevy of secondary characters … Let’s see, there’s Josh Brolin, Naveen Andrews, Jeff Fahey, Marley Shelton, Michael Biehn, and the un-credited Bruce Willis among a few others.

    The film begins by setting up McGowan’s character but transitions into showing a military conspiracy which spirals into the entire populace transforming into zombies and the like.

    There are holes in the story and plot, but no one cares because it’s so constantly funny and stupid and bad and wonderful and delicious. Kinda like waking up next to empty containers of Jack Daniels, Prego, Mayonnaise and chocolate syrup. Right Hank?

    (a-hole) :)

    Anyway, it’s completely priceless through and through. The badness and goodness is matched by the dialogue, the physical effects, the plot twists, and the music. The only thing that stands out is a few special effects shots that were obviously CG and too well done. But I’ll throw those out because they were also pretty funny.

    So it was 90 minutes of pure fun that was just what it should have been.

    Death Proof

    Death Proof
    Who says there’s no penetration in this movie?

    Golden Mug

    Cinematography (Quentin Tarantino)
    Editing (Sally Menke)

    Director: Quentin Tarantino
    Cast: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Zoe Bell, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rose McGowan

    PowerSurgeon’s Rating: (Jump To His Review)

    Barrett Calhoon’s Rating:

    Barrett Calhoon’s Review

    The reviews I had read said that this was the stronger half of the double feature. I’ll quickly disagree on that one. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable film.

    It’s Tarantino… It’s established early that it’s dialogue driven to set up the plot circumstances. There’s a lot of dragging dialogue in a small handful of locations building up to the introduction of a foreboding muscle car that we learned belonged to Russell’s character Stuntman Mike.

    More boring dialogue before we learn that Stuntman Mike is the antagonist. Not only is he using his car as a weapon, but it also serves as protection due to the fact that it’s death proof if you’re in the driver seat.

    After a relatively short action sequence, the characters reset (due to death) and it grinds to a halt. The build up starts again, and you know Stuntman Mike is somewhere hiding about to pounce in his death proof car.

    When he finally does pounce, all boredom is washed away until the end of the movie. It’s full of one of the best car chase scenes ever that is stolen undoubtedly by Zoe Bell who is playing herself.

    Russell transforms from the menace to a fantastic source of comedic relief when the tables are turned.

    So while it was boring for the most part, it’s more than worth it.

    PowerSurgeon’s Review

    I have seen a lot of movies. A lot of ‘em. Many weren’t geared towards people of my demographic profile, but I may have received some enjoyment from them anyway. So when I see a film that is geared towards me it is usually pretty enjoyable.

    This film is very, very enjoyable.In fact, just thinking about it makes me smile.

    The title is a reference to the wheels of Stuntman Mike McKay (Kurt Russell), who drives a “Death Proof” steel reinforced stunt car. While sitting in the drivers seat he is pretty much invincible, as he can drive the car into a brick wall at 70 mph and then walk away. Of course other cars aren’t death proof (and aren’t driven by psychopaths) which is where the the terror in this terror film comes from.

    Other than that terror, the film is great to watch. It is well filmed, well paced, and well shot. The cast does a good job, since the hot girls, well they just have to be hot. And they are great at that–great enough to convert a die hard boob lovin sonofagun like me to an agent of female ass-love .

    Before this movie I looked at a female rear and I thought “That’s ok.” Now I find my brain silently saying “humminahumminahummina.” Kurt Russell alternates between cool and creepy from moment to moment, and it seems like he is good at that, too.

    Also, minus the sodomized African American crime boss, the film features a number of Tarantino staples: It has boozin’. It has great music. It has fast women and faster cars. It has a devilishly corny plot. It has the best Tarantino-themed dialogue since Reservoir Dogs. It has great stunts. It has a guy named Jasper. It has a lot of dumb fun.

    It delivers on at least 5 out of my top ten cool things in existence list. It does not however have the Creature from the Black Lagoon Piloting a Zeppelin. Wow–your mind just expanded while reading and trying to comprehend that last sentence. How’d that feel? Anyway, if it did have the aformentioned B-movie baddie at the helm of a dirigible, I would give the movie the first 6 Bottle Bon Scot rating on this site. But as it stands I’ll give it a 4 and call it a day.

    So jump behind the wheel of your Death Proof car, go to the store and buy this DVD. You’ll thank me. Unless you run into Stuntman Mike on the way

    Grindhouse overall

    What these individual reviews above don’t convey is the extra entertainment that the film provides in the way of fake previews before each film. They are priceless. There’s lots of cameos, bad voice overs, and really over the top content. And they are each directed by the likes of Eli Roth, Edgar Wright, and Rob Zombie.

    So in total, this was exactly what they set out to achieve and what I expected. That’s good in the respect that I was entertained thoroughly. The bad was that I expected a little more from the Tarantino side of the double feature.

    After “Planet Terror”’s fairly non-stop action and bad movie cliché, “Death Proof” was too dialogue driven and contained only sections of the film that were action oriented. The times in-between those action sections dragged way too long with not enough cliché or humor. I think it would have been ideal to swap the placement of these movies within the double feature.

    Regardless, the whole thing ended on a high note, so we all left the movie happy that we sat through just over three hours of it all. And despite being a completely packed house, I’m glad to have picked Landmark for the relatively more comfortable seats given the length of the film.

    I have a collection of camp, and this is going to be a necessary addition to it. I’ll give it an entertaining 4 of 5 rating overall.

  • Back Up to “Planet Terror”
  • Back Up to “Death Proof”