Most directors spend a good portion of their careers trying to forget about their early days doing cheap, schlocky, b-grade horror movies to pay the rent.
But when Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, combine their efforts and spend millions to make a horror movie that purposely looks cheap, schlocky and B-grade, you can roll 6d20 that its going to be a cult/ underground megahit.
Here is the trailer for their new flick "Grindhouse" that premiered at the recent scream awards.
The term "grindhouse" describes both a low-budget, usually run-down movie theater and the exploitation films they usually showed. These one screen, former palaces were dinosaurs from a different era: the torn and tattered remnants from the ubiquitous "golden age of Hollywood." Most were throwbacks from the days of burlesque, where bump and grind dancing was the name of the game. This is where the term comes from. Most theaters usually made just enough profit to keep the few still-functioning lights of their marquee flickering and pay a kid to tear your ticket, sell you stale popcorn and start the projector. The seats were worn out, the floors were sticky from decades of spilled soda and butter-flavored popcorn oil and you considered it a good time if the film jumped the sprockets or broke and melted in the projector.
Back then, grindhouses made their money showing exploitation films of the late 60's and 70's, usually on a double, or sometimes triple-feature bill. Directors like Ed Wood, John Waters, Roger Corman, Russ Meyer and Lloyd Kaufman made their reputations (and just enough money to keep the lights on) with films of this genre.
Nowadays, billion dollar corporations have converted most of the old grindhouses into multi-screen "megaplexes" or torn them down outright to make way for more technologically advanced cinematic experiences. Any grindhouses left in the US have re-branded themselves with the more politically correct term "art house" and now show independent or end-of-the-run feature movies.
Thanks to people like Tarantino, there has been a resurgence in the grindhouse genre. Modern films like "Jackie Brown" or the slasher flick "the Hills have Eyes" have helped to bring back the bygone style with a slight tongue-in-cheek feel.
"Grindhouse" the movie is essentially two movies in one. Tarantino's portion titled "Death Proof" and Rodriguez's half called "Planet Terror" the flicks are tied together with fake movie trailers in between the stories.
And it looks like Tarantino and Rodriguez know their audience. The first news of this film was announced at Geek Mecca (Comi-con) in San Diego this summer. Rabid fans have been talking about it ever since. When the trailer was showed at the Scream Awards the other night, (and subsequently tossed up on Youtube seconds later) the geeks have been worked into a mouth-foaming frenzy of viral marketing, essentially doing all the PR work for Dimension films at none of the cost, which has to make Mr. Wienstien very happy.
"Grindhouse" stars Kurt Russell, Josh Brolin, Michael Biehen, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton Freddie Rodriguez and literally a boatload of other actors you've probably never heard of, except to perhaps say "Oh yeah, that tattooed Mexican guy from Bubble Boy!"
The film is scheduled to be released for Easter 2007. If there is a better way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ than by watching Rose McGowan with a machine gun for a leg blow people away in an ridiculously huge fireball - Boy, I just don't know.