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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 13 August 2017
If you saw Planet Terror and Death Proof as the stand alone releases and thought they were a bit poor ... it's because they were. Additional filler added to give the the running time of a feature in their own right - this was never the way they were meant to be seen

THIS is how they were meant to be seen and how it was released initially in cinemas (in the states at least - us in the U.K. got screwed with the individual movies)

It's an experience as much as it is a film - what you have is two grindhouse features with a plethora of trailers designed to give a 60's/70's grindhouse sleazy exploitation cinema vibe

It kind of works for that but it really works as a great pair of features and some fantastic (and hilarious) trailers

Essential viewing
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on 9 April 2017
first class
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on 1 October 2016
A great pair of movies, although as I am a pervert, I would have appreciated the lapdance scene that is available on the individual Death Proof blu-ray to be included in the deleted scenes or whatever.
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on 11 December 2013
Films are really good but was a little annoyed it did not include the extra version of death proof which shows the cut scenes
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on 16 July 2007
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up again to create a proper ode to exploitation films of yesteryear. Grindhouse as a whole is presented as if you've gone back in time and entered a cinema in the 1970s for a cheap double feature. In that respect, it's complete with faux movie trailers and other fillers to simulate this experience. There are four faux movie trailers (one at the beginning and three in the middle) and two feature length films, creating in all three hours and eleven minutes of movie, and beware because long movie = long movie review. Its length no doubt plays a major part in its disappointing box office take but don't let that fool you, this is a very exciting and unique film, and without question worth seeing in the theater.

The first feature length film is entitled Planet Terror and is directed by Robert Rodriguez. One thing Rodriguez does here that he unquestionably learned from Tarantino is use his ability to trigger the audience's sense of nostalgia, which is of course particularly important given the overall theme of Grindhouse. Rodriguez's intent is to create a celebration of the splatter, zombie and cannibal films of the 60s and 70s (from Blood Feast to Dawn of the Dead). He does so remarkably well.

Planet Terror is a zombie movie, so there really isn't much to say in terms of plot. In case you don't know already, zombies run around and eat people (specifically and more often than not, it's our brains they fancy). This sets the stage of course for some great action and gory shenanigans. There are a lot of actors in supporting roles of note here; in particular Michael Biehn as the town Sheriff, he played Reece in The Terminator, and of course Bruce Willis, who plays the military guy who acts as a quasi-antagonist to our heroes; a cliché role that frequents the zombie movie and is also intended as a tribute I'd guess. It's our heroes in this movie that really kept me entertained. Freddy Rodriguez plays El Wray (a name that gives a nod to the town in Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn). El Wray is a mysterious rebel character who can take out a hundred zombies with two butterfly knives, so wait until you see what he does when he gets a hold of a pocket bike and some guns. The character who I liked most is Cherry Darling, a go-go dancer played by Rose McGowan who gets one of her legs chewed off by zombies. I imagine her leg being replaced by a big shiny machine gun is partially meant as a tribute to Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2 (it's main protagonist, Ash, lost his hand and replaced it with a chainsaw...of course he too then proceeded to kill some zombies). Rose McGowan's scenes of killing military zombie guys with her gun-leg are the highlights of Planet Terror and were it not for the faux previews she would be the best part of the movie...make no mistake about it, they ought to hand her the Oscar tomorrow. She leaps in the air and launches a grenade attack from her leg and then does a backspin to take out those poor zombies who remain, and that is just one of her offensive tactics. It really is quite breathtaking.

By itself, Planet Terror gets a five star rating. I literally smiled through the whole thing and laughed hysterically more than a dozen times. Good for Robert Rodriguez, I think he definitely outdoes Tarantino with his Grindhouse entry...but then again, Shark Boy and Lava Girl? His filmography can only improve from there.

Tarantino's entry on the other hand is actually a big step down from the likes of Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. It is titled Death Proof and stars Kurt Russell, and then a whole bunch of girls whose names I hope never appear in lights again. Tarantino attempts to create an ode to the race-car genre and I have to say, other than Death Race 2000, I just don't really care. The film essentially has two parts, one where Russell succeeds in his evil scheme and then the half where he doesn't, and his victims get their revenge or deal out justice or whatever? The car scenes are impeccably directed and the crash that happens midway through Death Proof is pretty impressive. My problem is that the performances themselves are bad and don't even really jibe with it being a tribute to Vanishing Point or Dolemite or whatever movies a bored Quentin Tarantino watches. The girls were incredibly annoying and when Tarantino gets the audience to the point where we are guessing who will kill who, I really just wanted to see Kurt Russell kill everyone so they stopped talking. Tarantino's dialogue is good but it's completely out of place and served only to annoy me. When Death Proof started I really thought Tarantino was going to make Kurt Russell's character like Russell was as Snake Pliskin in Escape from New York or Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China, but he was just too devious and seemed out of place. I was hoping he could bring back Russell like he brought back Travolta by utilizing his icon status. Tarantino also injected tributes to his own films, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Those are great movies but hardly cult status enough to be the inn-jokes they're intended to be here...those are modern popular classics. It also came off as quite egotistical. However, it's not as bad as I'm making it sound, it just shouldn't have followed Planet Terror and thereby extend Grindhouse to three hours, but perhaps I was just tired. Regardless, the faster paced film should've been the finale. By itself, I would give Death Proof a three star rating but in the context of the whole movie it does seem to work.

I wanted to briefly talk about the faux movie previews because they were all really great. The first one is entitled Machete and it stars Danny Trejo in a rare feature role. Trejo is definitely a cult actor whose attention is deserved here. This preview is quite amusing and it's actually being turned into a direct-to-DVD movie. Another preview is directed by Rob Zombie and it gives some attention to the women in prison exploitation sub-genre. It has a cameo from Nicholas Cage. The other preview that stood out for me is directed by Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) and is called Thanksgiving, which appropriately pays homage to the slasher genre. I don't want to give too much away here but this part of Grindhouse got the biggest reaction from the audience...I mean come on, a guy dressed as a turkey gets decapitated. If that isn't funny, then consider me out of loop as to what exactly is.

Overall, Grindhouse really blurs the lines between tributes, being derivitive and outright stealing ideas. If it is guilty of stealing ideas, I think it's relatively inconsequential given the artistic merit of the ideas they've taken. The movie's theme sort of banks on the whole "it's so bad it's good" excuse to see a movie, but I'm not sure if Rodriguez and Tarantino are all right with that perspective or if they're actually mocking it. Grindhouse won't really win any awards because it doesn't have anything serious to say (not that I believe it shouldn't win any awards). What it sets out to do is remind us of silly films and that it's completely acceptable to enjoy a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. In some respects I wish Quentin Tarantino took himself less seriously, but this was still an outstanding collaboration.
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on 6 November 2015
Didn't realise buying double set meant that there were scenes missing from both films.
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on 15 May 2007
I personally preferred Rodriguez's Planet Terror to Deathproof - probably because it was so much more far fetched that I was more able to laugh at it than Deathproof, which combines Vanishing Point with Kronenberg's Crash.... Death Proof is a bit like a lot of Tarantino offerings - particularly Jackie Brown, in that it favours very long stylised monologues which can sometimes be unbelievable in their range of language, and also their duration. It's also a lot less easy to laugh about car crashes than it is to laugh about a former go-go dancer, who, having been ravaged by zombies in Texas first and has had half her leg eaten off, first to have it replaced by a piece of 4x2 stripped out from the hospital wall, then, with peg-leg stuck into her stump, made to dance for a nasty guard (played by Tarantino), before being rescued by her boyfriend and having her DIY prosthetic replaced with a M-16 assault rifle with underslung rocket launcher with which to despatch countless numbers of the living dead.... seriously - does it get better than that? Planet Terror is a glorious gore fest with its tongue firmly in its mouth. It's creative, humorous and well-shot - I'm looking forward to the DVD release to see the "missing reels" alone.

Despite my preference for Planet Terror, both films are excellent and it beggars belief that the UK release has been put back to September and the films will be split. Just because US audiences didn't appreciate the movies doesn't make them bad - Reservoir Dogs was badly received at its US launch, it was only in Europe that it was reappraised. Splitting the films means that the spoof trailers have to be divided out, plus there is overlap in location and characters between Planet Terror and Death Proof, so this will be lost. OK, its only subtle and it won't ruin the viewing of either, but it is there for a reason. My advice would be to seek out the region 1 version of this DVD as its likely to be available before the UK cinema release....
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on 13 December 2014
Planet Terror superb ...death proof needs to be skipped to 45 minutes, there is nothing, repeat NOTHING worth wasting your time watching before - just shows how inferior Tarantino is to Rodriguez, the difference in quality between the two movies on this disk is embarrassing !
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on 14 March 2013
It's a joke to call this the Collector's Edition. Off the top of my head the lap dance scene and the scene where Mary Elizabeth Winstead is sitting in the car alone and Stuntman Mike touches her feet are missing, very annoying and disappointing
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on 22 November 2014
Worst Tarantino film I have seen by far. Also the worst Kurt Russell film I have seen. Both films were in my opinion total drivel.
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