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Grindhouse is a 2007 double feature film by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. It affectionately parodies 1970s B-Movies complete with "Coming Attractions" and in-betweener cartoons.In Planet Terror, a military transaction goes awry and an experimental poison gas is released on a small town in rural Texas, turning the unsuspecting civilians into bloodthirsty zombies. The only people who can stop them are a Go-Go-Dancer with a gun for a leg, her expert gunman ex-boyfriend, a pair of crazy babysitter twins, a shellshocked doctor, a Jerkass cop, a crusty sheriff, a scientist obsessed with balls, and many other trailer-park freaks from deep in the Heart of Texas.In Death Proof, a stuntman uses his small fame to pick up girls, then kills them with his car. Little does he realize that a few of his second bunch of victims are stuntwomen... and among them is Zoe Bell (playing herself), who also doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill in real life. Boy, is Stuntman Mike in for a world of hurt...The double feature also included several fake movie trailers, a few of which were actually made into real movies:
Don't — Video Nasties-style Britsploitation Screamer Trailer directed by Edgar Wright, with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Matthew McFadyen, Mark Gatiss, Jason Isaacs and narration by Will Arnett. The main joke of the trailer is that it's the American trailer for a British horror film, and the distributors, in order to prevent the audience from finding out that it's British, have cut the trailer so that none of the characters are heard speaking and we get no idea of the plot. The title is a reference to American International Pictures' releases of British or European horror films under "snazzier" titles - specifically, a film whose Spanish and Italian titles translate to I Do Not Profane the Sleep of the Dead, but was released in the USA as Don't Open the Window! even though there's no particular emphasis on windows in the film.
Chekhov's Skill: Kim's training as a stunt driver comes into play as soon as Mike begins his pursuit, and ends with a savage Car Fu retaliation. Meanwhile, Zoe Bell, stuntwoman, is fully qualified to go flying off the hood of a Dodge Charger into a nearby ditch, only to pop up shouting "I'm Ok!"
Cherry's numerous "useless skills" - she finds a use for almost all of them by the end of the film
Creator Cameo - Quentin Tarantino appears in both movies (he technically didn't direct Planet Terror, but Robert Rodriguez has stated he was a large part of the creative process). Rodriguez also appears as one of the terrorists selling the biochemicals at the beginning.
Death by Sex: A running gag in the Thanksgiving trailer. You've got a cheerleader stripping on a trampoline then getting a knife through her vulva, a guy getting decapitated mid-fellatio, and another decapitated while making out with someone.
Stuntman Mike proves himself to little more than a bully, and as such a coward.
Dolled-Up Installment: The Art Shift when Fu Manchu appears in the Werewolf Women of the SS trailer may be intended to imply that the scenes featuring him were cut in from a different film to turn WWotSS into part of his franchise.
One Steve Limit - Averted; both movies feature major characters named Abby.
Painting the Medium - The films go to great lengths to give that authentic 1970s grindhouse feel, such as fake trailers, grainy footage, missing reels, jumping scenes, burned film, terrible synthesized music, an ad for a Tex-Mex restaurant which is supposedly next door to the theater you are watching the movie in, etc.
In one scene of Planet Terror, a large crane is clearly visible. Rodriguez considered removing it by computer, but then decided that leaving it visible would be much more grindhouse.
Recurring Character: Dakota Block appears in both films, as does her father, Sheriff Earl McGraw, who has appeared in various other films by Tarantino and Rodriguez.
Recut: The two features were released separately overseas and on DVD, due to the whole double-feature concept not translating to foreign markets, and both are longer, restoring the "missing reel" that Death Proof had in the U.S. theatrical cut - the missing reel for Planet Terror covers up a major plot point, and as such, was never filmed. The theatrical cut did eventually make it to DVD, though.
Reverse Psychology: Don't, a fictional movie trailer included in the film, spoofs the horror movie version of the trope; a narrator repeatedly issues warnings to not go into the haunted house, not look in the basement, etc., while the characters on screen do just that.
Shared Universe: In Death Proof, Stuntman Mike kills his first victims of the movie just outside the small town Planet Terror takes place in, the sheriff of that town is seen in the hospital scene talking about the "Accident"
Death Proof makes a lot of references that have already been made in other Tarantino films. Kim's car has the same pattern as the Bride's jumpsuit in Kill Bill 1, but before that, it was Bruce Lee's jumpsuit. Abernathy's ringtone is the "Twisted Nerve" whistle used in Kill Bill, but Bernard Hermann originally wrote it for something else. The only honest-to-God self-reference is when Mike mentions Big Kahuna burgers, a running gag in Tarantino's films.
Also, there are Red Apple cigarettes in Planet Terror. There's even a shout out in Planet Terror to Death Proof: a DJ on the radio dedicates a song to Jungle Julia, in honor of her death. And if you watch closely, Dakota in Planet Terror has a small notepad listing stuff to do. The last thing in that list? Kill Bill. Her husband is Dr. William Block...
And Rosario Dawson's character complains about her crush having sex with Daryl Hannah's stand-in. Daryl Hannah played Elle in "Kill Bill"
Stylistic Suck: The theatrical release features a lot of grainy footage, broken frames, missing reels, and a few Special Effect Failures to simulate how poorly made most grindhouse films back in the day were made, used, and stored. They were cleaned up for the DVD release of Death Proof, but Planet Terror kept them all in.
Too Dumb to Live: The girls in the first half of Death Proof. They drink a ridiculous amount of alcohol, and then spend an hour or more smoking weed, before driving down the road in the middle of the night, wearing no seat belts and paying more attention to the radio than the road. It's a miracle they didn't die before Mike even got to them.
Granted it was during a zombie epidemic, but giving your young son a fully loaded gun without even teaching him how to use it seems pretty stupid. And it ends up as well as you would expect.