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Grindhouse (film)

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Grindhouse
Death Proof - Planet Terrpr
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Produced by Elizabeth Avellan Erica Steinberg
Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Written by Robert Rodriguez (PT)

Quentin Tarantino (DP

Edited by Robert Rodriguez (PT)

Ethan Maniquis (PT)
Sally Menke (DP)

Music by Robert Rodriguez (PT)

Graeme Revell (PT)

Starring Planet Terror:

Rose McGowan
Freddy Rodriguez
Michael Biehn
Jeff Fahey
Josh Brolin
Marley Shelton
Stacy Ferguson
Bruce Willis
Death Proof:
Kurt Russell
Rosario Dawson
Vanessa Ferlito
Jordan Ladd
Rose McGowan
Sydney Poitier
Tracie Thoms
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Zoë Bell

Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date April 6, 2007 (United States)


Grindhouse is a 2007 action-horror/exploitation double feature co-written, produced, and directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.

Planet Terror

In a rural town in Texas, go-go dancer Cherry Darling decides to quit her low-paying job and find another use for her numerous "useless" talents. She runs into mysterious ex-boyfriend El Wray at The Bone Shack, a restaurant owned by J.T. Hague. Meanwhile, a group of military officials, led by the demented Lt. Muldoon, are making a business transaction with a scientist named Abby for mass quantities of a deadly biochemical agent known as DC2 (codename "Project Terror"). Muldoon learns that Abby has an extra supply on hand and attempts to take him hostage. Abby intentionally releases the gas into the air. The gas reaches the town and turns its residents into deformed bloodthirsty, man-eating psychopaths, mockingly referred to as "sickos" by the surviving humans. The infected townspeople are treated by the sinister Dr. William Block and his abused, neglected anesthesiologist wife Dakota at a local hospital. As the patients quickly become enraged aggressors, Cherry and El Wray lead a team of accidental warriors into the night, struggling to find safety.

  • Rose McGowan as Cherry Darling: A go-go dancer. After Cherry's leg is torn off by sickos, she is given a special prosthetic leg in the form of a high powered machine gun.
  • Freddy Rodriguez as El Wray: The ex-boyfriend of Cherry Darling. The two meet and take on the sickos together which causes them to fall in love again.
  • Josh Brolin as Dr. William Block: The husband of Dr. Dakota Block, the father of Tony Block and the son-in-law of Sherif Earl McGraw. He tries to kill Dakota because she cheated on him with Tammy.
  • Marley Shelton as Dr. Dakota Block: The estranged daughter of Sherif Earl McGraw. Dakota is also the wife of Dr. William Block, with whom she shares a son, Tony Block.
  • Jeff Fahey as J.T. Hague: The owner and head chef of the Bone Shack, and is known for having the best BBQ recipes in the world. He's Sheriff Hauge's brother.
  • Michael Biehn as Sheriff Hague: J.T.'s brother hates El Wray but later likes him because El Wray saves his life.
  • Rebel Rodriguez as Tony Block: The son of Dr. Dakota Block and Dr. William Block.
  • Bruce Willis as Lt. Muldoon: A scientist who caused the sickos. He has the gas to protect himself from the deadly poison which everyone in the movie wants.
  • Naveen Andrews as Dr. John "Abby" Abbington: A scientist and possible terrorist. He has the cure for the disease that turned everyone into sickos.
  • Stacy Ferguson as Tammy Visan: The girl Dr. Dakota Block is having an affair with.
  • Tom Savini as Deputy Tolo: Gets his finger bitten off by the sickos then gets eaten alive by them.
  • Nicky Katt as Joe: Gets bitten by the sickos and later on becomes one.
  • Michael Parks as Earl McGraw: The estranged father of Dr. Dakota Block.
  • Quentin Tarantino as Lewis (Rapist #1): A rapist who tries to rape Cherry and Dr. Dakota Block.

Death Proof

Three friends – Arlene, Shanna, and radio disc jockey "Jungle" Julia Lucai – spend a night in Austin, Texas celebrating Julia's birthday, unknowingly followed by a mysterious man in a souped-up 1971 Chevy Nova. The man, Stuntman Mike, stalks the young women with his "death proof car", eventually killing all three. Fourteen months later, Stuntman Mike, now in Tennessee and driving a 1969 Dodge Charger, tails another group of young women – Lee, Abernathy, Kim, and stuntwoman Zoë – a group of women working below the line in Hollywood, whose Stock 1970 Dodge Challenger proves a worthy adversary.

  • Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike: Little is known about Stuntman Mike, except that he hangs around the Texas Chili Parlor and may or may not have been a professional stuntman on various TV shows during the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Rosario Dawson as Abernathy: She is the feminist friend with Kim, Zoe, and Lee. She is the make-up artist for Lindsay Lohan and is undergoing a loverlike dilemma.
  • Vanessa Ferlito as Arlene "Butterfly": She is a chappy newbie friend with Julia and Shanna, from New York. Stuntman Mike has been following her throughout the day.
  • Zoë Bell as Zoë: An old friend of Kim. She straps herself to a car while Kim is driving very fast and Abernathy is in the passenger seat, till Stuntman Mike come to attack.
  • Sydney Tamiia Poitier as "Jungle" Julia Lucai: A popular radio DJ in Austin, Texas. She went to school with Pam where she bullied her and slept around a lot.
  • Tracie Thoms as Kim: She is friend with Abernathy, Zoe, and Lee. She is a professional stuntwoman and usually be armed for personal protection.
  • Rose McGowan as Pam: In the bar she needs a ride home and Stuntman Mike volunteers to take her. She eventually becomes the first victim in Death Proof.
  • Jordan Ladd as Shanna: She is a bad girl friend with Jungle Julia and Arlene, and has arranged a location to spend the night.
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lee: She is a friend with Abernathy, Zoe and Kim. She is a beginner actress who will play a cheerleader in a movie.
  • Quentin Tarantino as Warren: The owner and bartender of the Texas Chili Parlor.
  • Michael Parks as Earl McGraw: Sheriff who works on Stuntman Mike's case.
  • Jonathan Loughran as Jasper: A car mechanic who keeps Lee with him to make sure that he hasn't been duped by girls.

History & Development

The idea for Grindhouse came to Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino when Tarantino set up screenings of double features in his house, complete with trailers before and in between the films. During one screening in 2003, Rodriguez noticed that he owned the same double feature movie poster as Tarantino for the 1957 films Dragstrip Girl and Rock All Night. Rodriguez asked Tarantino, "I always wanted to do a double feature. Hey, why don't you direct one and I'll do the other?" Tarantino quickly replied, "And we've got to call it Grindhouse!"

The film's name originates from the American term for theaters that played "all the exploitation genres: kung fu, horror, Giallo, sexploitation, the 'good old boy' redneck car-chase movies, blaxploitation, spaghetti Westerns—all those risible genres that were released in the 70s." According to Rodriguez, "The posters were much better than the movies, but we're actually making something that lives up to the posters."

Rodriguez first came up with the idea for Planet Terror during the production of The Faculty: "I remember telling Elijah Wood and Josh Hartnett, all these young actors, that zombie movies were dead and hadn't been around in a while, but that I thought they were going to come back in a big way because they’d been gone for so long. I said, 'We've got to be there first.' I had [a script] I’d started writing. It was about 30 pages, and I said to them, 'There are characters for all of you to play.' We got all excited about it, and then I didn't know where to go with it. The introduction was about as far as I'd gotten, and then I got onto other movies. Sure enough, the zombie [movie] invasion happened and they all came back again, and I was like, 'Ah, I knew that I should've made my zombie film.'" The story was reapproached when Tarantino and Rodriguez developed the idea for Grindhouse.

As Planet Terror took shape, Tarantino developed the story for Death Proof, based on his fascination for the way stuntmen would "death-proof" their cars. As long as they were driving, stuntmen could slam their cars headfirst into a brick wall at 60 mph (97 km/h) and survive. This inspired Tarantino to create a slasher film featuring a deranged stuntman who stalks and murders sexy young women with his "death-proof" car. Tarantino remembers, "I realized I couldn't do a straight slasher film, because with the exception of women-in-prison films, there is no other genre quite as rigid. And if you break that up, you aren't really doing it anymore. It's inorganic, so I realized—let me take the structure of a slasher film and just do what I do. My version is going to be fucked up and disjointed, but it seemingly uses the structure of a slasher film, hopefully against you."

According to Rodriguez, "[Tarantino] had an idea and a complete vision for it right away when he first talked about it. He started to tell me the story and said, 'It's got this death-proof car in it.' I said, 'You have to call it Death Proof.' I helped title the movie, but that's it." Of the car chases, Tarantino stated, "CGI for car stunts doesn't make any sense to me—how is that supposed to be impressive? [...] I don't think there have been any good car chases since I started making films in '92—to me, the last terrific car chase was in Terminator 2. And Final Destination 2 had a magnificent car action piece. In between that, not a lot. Every time a stunt happens, there's twelve cameras and they use every angle for Avid editing, but I don't feel it in my stomach. It's just action."

Fictitious Trailers

Before each segment, there are trailers advertising fake films, as well as vintage theater snipes and an ad for a fictional restaurant called Acuña Boys. According to Rodriguez, it was Tarantino's idea to film fake trailers for Grindhouse. "I didn't even know about it until I read it in the trades. It said something like 'Rodriguez and Tarantino doing a double feature and Tarantino says there's gonna be fake trailers.' And I thought, 'There are?'" Rodriguez and Tarantino had originally planned to make all of the film's fake trailers themselves. According to Rodriguez, "We had so many ideas for trailers. I made Machete. I shot lobby cards and the poster and cut the trailer and sent it to Quentin, and he just flipped out because it looked so vintage and so real. He started showing it around to Eli Roth and to Edgar Wright, and they said, 'Can we do a trailer? We have an idea for a trailer!' We were like, 'Hey, let them shoot it. If we don't get around to shooting ours, we'll put theirs in the movie. If theirs come out really great, we'll put it in the movie to have some variety.' Then Rob Zombie came up to me in October at the Scream Awards and said, 'I have a trailer: Werewolf Women of the SS.' I said, 'Say no more. Go shoot it. You got me.'" Each trailer was shot in two days. While Wright and Roth shot only what ended up on screen, Zombie shot enough footage to work into a half-hour film and was particularly pained to edit it down. Some Canadian screening releases included the South by Southwest-winning trailer Hobo with a Shotgun.

Main article: Machete.

Main article: Don't.

Main article: Hobo with a Shotgun.

Trivia

  • When the car crashes through the sign for a theater, the movies playing are Scary Movie 4 and Wolf Creek.
  • Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone and Ving Rhames were other actors said to be considered for the part of "Stuntman Mike" before Kurt Russell stepped into the role.
  • The movie was split up for some theaters overseas, because most non-English speaking countries might not understand the tradition behind the "grindhouse" double-feature and the underlying concept might be lost. The two movies were called: "Grindhouse: Planet Terror" and "Grindhouse: Death Proof".
  • Zoe Bell, who plays the character Zoe in the segment "Death Proof", does all her own stunts (she was the stunt double for Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill series).
  • Michael Parks, playing Dept. Edgar McGraw in both Planet Terror and Death Proof, has also played the exact same character in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and From Dusk Till Dawn.
  • Chronologically, Death Proof takes place before "Planet Terror". Stuntman Mike is seen in the exact same Texas hospital as the exposed patients in "Planet Terror".
  • The cheerleader costume worn by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Death Proof says 'Vipers' in homage to the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS) in "Kill Bill". It is also the same colors as the jump suit Uma Thurman wore and Bruce Lee wore before her in The Game of Death; yellow with black stripes.
  • The film is meant to be an homage to the double features that played in grindhouses. However, during the initial weeks of release, exhibitors were reporting that many audience members were leaving the cinema after the first feature ("Planet Terror" by Robert Rodriguez), apparently not realizing, or forgetting, that a second feature was going to be shown. One reason cited was that many of audience members were too young to remember when theaters showed double features. The distributor planned some changes in the campaign while some exhibitors solved the problem by posting employees by the auditorium doors to remind departing patrons that the program contains a second feature.
  • Red Apple Cigarettes and Chango Beer are fake product placements from previous Quentin Tarantino's and Robert Rodriguez's films.

Goofs

  • When Cherry Darling is riding in El Wray's wrecker before the crash, she is wearing a sleeveless red top. In the hospital when she wakes up and realizes she has lost her leg, she is wearing a gray t-shirt. When El Wray comes into her hospital room to save her, she is wearing the red top again. She tells El Wray she can't stand, and has been laying in bed with the sheet over her head, so she didn't get up and change her own shirt, and with the chaos in the hospital, it is unlikely a nurse stopped by to change her shirt either. (This goof may be intentional by the film-makers in keeping with the 'grindhouse' feel.)
  • In "Planet Terror", when the survivors are about to leave the Bone Shack, there is a lot of blood on El Wray's shirt, but when they stop outside for a brief moment in front of the Bone Shack, all the blood on his shirt disappears, and then when he pops open the trunk to Dakota's car, some blood reappears.

  • Deliberate mistake, perhaps, that when Jungle Julie mentions, several times, the group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch, she says Mitch instead of Mick each time.
  • Segment Death Proof. When the women in the dodge charger are in pursuit of Stuntman Mike, the cracks on the windshield disappear then reappear between shots.
  • In Death Proof, when Kurt Russell is drinking after he got shot, the amount in the bottle goes down. In the next shot it goes back up to almost half full.
  • At the market at the start of the second half the sign above the store includes liquor and wine, but in Tennessee grocery stores do not sell wine or liquor.

Alternate Versions

  • Tarantino's segment, Death Proof, was lengthened for showing at the Cannes Movie Festival. Most of the film's scratches (used in Grindhouse) were also cut out.
  • Grindhouse was only released as one movie in English speaking countries. In other countries, the movie was cut in two parts (Tarantino and Rodriguez segments), but each one is an extended version of those seen in the one shot movie.
  • In Death Proof, after Zoe flies off the hood, she walks back to the car and says, "Phew that was a close one". In the Unrated Extended version it then cuts right to her line, "So, where's the maniac?" In the U.S. Theatrical Double Feature version there's some extra lines of dialog in between: As Zoe notices that Abernathy and Kim have been crying she remarks, "You guys look like shit. Who died?" Abernathy then asks Zoe if she's okay, to which she replies, "Well, I'm gonna have a hell of a bruise on my bum, but aside from that I'll be sweet."

Sources

Gallery

Planet Terror
Grindhouse Planet Terror - Death Proof
Fake Trailers Machete - Hobo with a Shotgun - Werewolf Women Of The S.S. - Don't - Thanksgiving
Main Characters Cherry Darling - El Wray - Dr. Dakota Block - Dr. William Block - Abby - Crazy Babysitter Twins - Lt. Muldoon - J.T. Hague - Sheriff Hague - Tammy Visan - Joe - Earl McGraw - Skip - Tony Block - Rusty
Locations The Bone Shack - Skip's Go-Go-Go Club - Hospital - Military Base - Police Station - Block Family Home - McGraw Home - Tulum
Music Planet Terror (soundtrack)
Galleries Planet Terror Gallery - Fan Art - Posters
Items Red Apple cigarettes - Great White Bites - "My Friends" - All Or Nothing Box - To Do List - DC2
Terms/Concepts Grindhouse - Amputation - Dismemberment - Useless Talents - Wray's Wreckage - Sickos - Movie References - Women in Cages
Vehicles AM General HMMWV - AM General M-939 - Blata - Cadillac DeVille Convertible - Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado - Chevrolet Bel Air - Chevrolet C/K-Series - Chevrolet Impala - Custom Made Dominator - Ford Crown Victoria - International Harvester R-Series - Lincoln Town Car Stretch Limousine - Mercedes-Benz SEL - Toyota Celica - Volvo 240

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