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By Emily Booth, Thursday 26th March 2015
If there’s one thing Quentin Tarantino does well its cult movie referencing, making what was once underground and loved by nerds only totally cool and contemporary. He regenerates fading films stars and degenerate genres and before he decided to bring Grindhouse back to celluloid fashion, half of us hadn’t even heard of it! He forged a link between mainstream American cinema and the shadowy world of the independents by bringing 70’s schlock cinema to the masses. I was lucky enough to be involved in the Grindhouse ‘scene’ in two ways; once in Edgar Wright’s fake trailer, Don’t which played between Tarantino’s Planet Terror and Death Proof double bill and then again in Jake West’s brilliant documentary Bump ‘N Grind which was released on his Grindhouse Trailer Classics DVD which teaches you everything you need to know about Grindhouse.
So I’m really pleased Horror Channel is screening not just one but BOTH movies from Tarantino’s Grindhouse reboot, albeit as separate premieres. First up comes the network premiere of Tarantino’s vehicular vengeance exploitation flick Death Proof this Saturday at 10.35pm. Featuring a badass girl gang, a misogynistic stunt man, insane car chases, and of course a killer soundtrack. Then next month as part of our epic Apocalypse Season comes Planet Terror from Robert Rodriguez, a gooey puss ridden sexy Zombie take-over that sees Rose McGowan lose her leg to the undead, have it replaced by a machine gun and go hell for leather with bullet to the brain action. This film is relentless good fun and must be seen!
Whether you love the B-movie styling here complete with missing reels, scratched celluloid and dodgy dubbing – or not, you can’t deny the impact the films have had on the genre in recent years. Grindhouse never used to be a ‘genre’ as such. Films that were ‘exploitation’ or bad taste just happened to fall in to that category but of course they were not conscious of being styled as ‘Grindhouse’ they just became known as this due to their home in the ‘bump and grind’ theatres of New York’s dodgy 42nd Street where cinema upon cinema showed these deprived shocking films purely to get bums on seats. Rather dirty bums at that.
Now ‘exploitation’ may have gone mainstream and it’s true the contemporary homage to B-Movies has certainly lost that genuine raw ‘grime’ but without Tarantino’s Grindhouse renaissance we wouldn’t have Horror Channel regulars Nude Nuns With Big Guns, Monstro!, Dear God No! And the careers of the unstoppable forces of nature “The Twisted Twins” who started their directing career with Grindhouse mock up Dead Hooker In A Trunk. (Though I’m sure they’d have made it with or without Tarantino’s influence!)
So sit back and enjoy a little horror movie history, even if it is through the eyes of a postmodern movie loving geek. We owe him one.
Death Proof premieres on Horror this Saturday at 10.35pm.
Planet Terror premieres on Horror Saturday 18th April at 10.50pm
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