Monday, April 23, 2007
GRINDHOUSE recipe --
First course, PLANET TERROR -- take equal parts DAWN OF THE DEAD (original recipe) and THE ROAD WARRIOR, mix well. Fold in several hot skanks in as little clothing as is humanly feasible and a few classic story elements from nearly any random series of Steve McQueen movies, along with 400 foot/pounds of gorilla adrenochrome and 300 gallons of PCP. Thoroughly lobotomize. Bake for just under two hours.
Second course, DEATHPROOF -- take whatever bits of THE ROAD WARRIOR you have left over from preparing the first course, mix at very high speed with extracts of DUEL, DEATH WISH, BULLITT, and THE BLUES BROTHERS. Add in a cast full of truly obnoxious, dislikeable men and women, one of whom is a complete psychotic. Encase in high velocity heavy metal and send hurtling at the audience at insane velocity.
Serves any number of admission paying moviegoers who are capable of having a great time watching Quentin Tarantino jack off onto celluloid.
* * *
More seriously, if you can hand your brain to the ticket taker as you're going into the theater, you can have a fabulous time watching this movie, or these movies, or whatever the fuck you want to call them. I realize I'm sounding more derisive than I should, given that I did indeed enjoy the films and may buy them when they come out on DVD (or may not, the jury is still out on that). I can enjoy a schlocky sf/horror or killer on the road exploitation movie, I'm just not that much into bad movies for the sake of bad movies -- my area of obsession is, as my few blog readers already know, superhero comics. GRINDHOUSE is very much a cinematic version of what Alan Moore has attempted, with varying degrees of success, to do with his different tributes to past eras of superhero comics like 1963 and much of the 'flashback' material in strips like SUPREME, and I can certainly respect a similar impulse in Tarantino and Rodriguez. But it's not my thang. My response to these is probably identical to how Tarantino would react if he happened across a copy of NO ONE ESCAPES... THE FURY! or TALES FROM BEYOND featuring N-MAN and the HYPERNAUT... momentary bemused amusement, a detached appreciation for the long lost era these artifacts are attempting to recreate, a fleeting, shallow flash of nostalgic warmth... and ultimately, tedium and irritation at what is, after all, just another piece of really crappy, stupid, pointless entertainment with no redeeming value whatesoever. The fact that the creation of such was exactly the point is, in the end, a minor and meaningless footnote.
(As a final parentheses, for what it's worth, I think Moore and Veitch's 1963 were far, far more than 'really crappy, stupid, and pointless entertainment', but, again, that's because I like Silver Age superhero comics. Tarantino would almost certainly feel exactly the way I feel, he'd just think the comics were pointless while the cinematic nostalgia-projects had some transcendent meaning far greater than the sum of the parts we see on the screen.)
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