Monday, September 17, 2007

Homicidal Motorists and the Lovely Ms. Winstead

Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino's half of Grindhouse comes out on DVD tomorrow, Sept. 18th. Grindhouse was quite possibly the most fun one could ever have in a theatre. Of course it was a significant box office bomb. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to say the Weinstein Company is releasing Death Proof and Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror separately on DVD to recoup their loss. The realist in me knows that they would have split up the movies even if it was a huge success.

The upside to this is that this isn't the same Death Proof that was a part of Grindhouse. This is Tarantino's extended cut that premiered at Cannes. The "missing reels" have been restored, including the oft highly spoken of but unseen lap dance. This new version of the film has gotten pretty good reviews and I'd like to see it. Planet Terror might have been the audience pleaser of the century, but Death Proof really got under my skin. Without giving away too much, it's like Psycho but with a car. Yet it's a much more intense film than my lame analogy gives it credit for. You will loathe Kurt Russell more than you did in The Barefoot Executive. (I actually saw the remake of that once. I blocked most of it out.)

The deal breaker however is the omission of the fake trailers. The trailers were just as good as the full length movies. I'd love to be able to watch Grindhouse in its entirety just as I did in the theatres. I'm certain that the Weinstein Company will eventually release the theatrical version of Grindhouse, trailers and all. I just don't know how long the wait will be. They're just getting around to releasing Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair this year.

It's worth noting that Death Proof and Planet Terror were sold as individual features outside the U.S. The justification being that the old timey grindhouse theaters were purely American institutions so trying to recreate that nostalgia overseas would be pointless. I'm fairly certain that's just marketing spin. But check out these movie posters from Japan.

The Planet Terror one is similar to the one in the U.S. with the major difference being that Cherry Darling is in a more active dancing pose. But if you ever doubt the superiority of Japanese marketing check out the Death Proof poster. Three words my friends: Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Man with the power of Winstead on its side, how could this movie not have been a huge success?

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