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Grindhouse in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Grindhouse

Kurt Russell • Rose McGowan • Freddy Rodriguez • Naveen Andrews • Sydney Tamila Poitier • Rosario Dawson • Zoe Bell
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino

Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino THE CONCEPT:
Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino write and direct a double-feature in the style of the old Grindhouse movies.
Planet Terror, a Horror movie by Rodriguez about a deadly virus which overtakes a town, turning the residents into zombie-like creatures.
Death Proof, a thriller by Tarantino stars Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike, who hunts women down in his stunt car, which he uses as a deadly weapon.

U.S. RELEASE: April 6 2007, Nationwide • Rated: R



“Quentin is the one who grew up going to these movies the most, but since he’s a film collector for the past 12 years, he’s been showing me these double, triple features of stuff that he grew up with or that he’s discovered and wanted to turn me on to. About three years ago it finally dawned on me, ‘Maybe I should do a double feature.’ I took the idea to Quentin, and said, ‘You should do one and I should do the other.’ And he said, ‘We’ve got to call it Grindhouse, and have fake trailers.’”

“I would say that back in those days, as opposed to the action movies coming out of Hollywood, there was a more demented sick quality to the people that wore black hats in a Grindhouse movies; they are capable of truly anything. When you get into more Hollywood movies, there is always a [line] they won’t cross. In Grindhouse movies – all bets are off.”

“I didn’t know what a Grindhouse movie was. Then I got the script and knew that it was a kind of homage to these films of the 1970s, but it was a genre that was unfamiliar to me. Growing up in England the nearest thing that we had to this was probably Hammer House of Horror. They were really cheap and cheerful repressed English films with Peter Cushing running around trying to kill a giant moth and women with their tits out.”

“I never played an action hero in my life, and so I’ve never dealt with guns or knives. I’ve never done a fight sequence before, so it was all new territory. Even as we were filming, I was still practicing and I would always have the knives or guns with me on set just to get the feel of them.”

ROSE McGOWAN (Cherry) on the special effect of having a machine gun leg:
“I was wearing a really heavy grey cast with LED lights. It was quite uncomfortable. There’s a little ball bearing on the heel, because if you were resting on the end of the machine gun leg, it would be very small and round and kind of tippy. And on the other side I had a four-inch high heel boot. If you’re going to save the world with a machine gun leg, make sure you wear a high heel, at least on one foot [she laughs].”


“I gave Quentin the title for his movie. He was telling me his movie idea, ‘The guy’s driving a car and it’s death proof.’ I said, ‘That’s a pretty good title.’ The next day he goes, ‘I’m going to call it Death Proof!’ He contributed some dialogue to my film. I hoped he would contribute more. I gave him the draft and he called me and said, ‘Man, I loved this script.’”

“In almost every category of the two films we didn’t want any sameness going on. If my footage had been distressed in the exact same way that Robert’s’ had been distressed, it would look like we just pushed a button. They had to exist in a different kind of way, tone, pacing, everything had to be different.”

KURT RUSSELL (Stuntman Mike):
“I told Quentin I thought the core of all these psycho killer characters, especially this one that kills women, is summed up in one word, coward. I said I really wanted to do that, because I’ve never actually seen one of these characters at the end of the movie completely fall apart.”

ZOE BELL (Zoe) a real stuntwoman, acting for the first time:
“Quentin hadn’t even written the script or anything, but he said that it was about a group of girls that get stalked by a serial killer who uses his car as a weapon. My assumption was that I would be in a bar, and the two leads would be in the forefront and I’d be in the background ordering pints. (Later he showed her the script with her name in it). I was in a state of shock. It was hilarious because it all sounded like me. He got my lingo and everything, and some of the stories that we’d actually been through together in China. It was pretty shocking.”

“Working with KNB [special effects make up experts] was awesome. Their stuff is so realistic and so cool. The dummies turned out amazing. I couldn’t look at it after the carnage because they’re so realistic looking that I think it would be freaky.”

“I really wanted to do the stunts. I’d think about it every day, asking if I could get strapped to the hood of the car. Zoe is a stuntwoman and she was always on the car, but it was nice to be able to be a part of that and just hang out with the stunt crew. There was a running joke all the time that there actually wasn’t a speedometer in the car that worked.”

RUSSELL on the girls beating him up in one scene:
“They were fabulous. Zoe was the real stunt girl there, and she’s the only one who hit me! They did a phenomenal job. I’ve done lots of those scenes and way less punches than that, and been hit way more. They were fantastic.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Dimension Films
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #682, May 2007 cover

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