cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

Buy the Poster


Starring Rosaria Dawson and Bruce Willis, Zoe Bell and Kurt Russell
Screenplay by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino
Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino

IN SHORT: Let us now celebrate garbage. [Rated R for strong graphic bloody violence and gore, pervasive language, some sexuality, nudity and drug use. 185 minutes]

Nah, not garbage in the "it stinks" sense. Garbage, in this case, also means movies done on the cheap; long on effects and short on stories and actors with ability. Just the kind that filled theaters that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez filled as young 'uns. Their homage to the double feature attempts to duplicate their youth. One horror film on a double bill with one car-based movie. A pair of trailers fill out the bill, which will help you kill time in a nicer theater than you should be sitting in to see this junk.

Since the West Coast raised Mr. Tarantino doesn't know why his beloved rat trap movie theater (was) called a "grindhouse," here you go with the East Coast version: Lavish theaters were built as vaudeville houses way back at the end of the nineteenth and start of the twentieth centuries. Silent movies, then radio and the second generation talking pictures came along and, with burgeoning studios building their own theaters (prior to 1949 or so they were allowed to both own and distribute their product) the old houses fell into disrepair and utilized their stages for burlesque. Thus, the "grind." But having real bodies and paying to stage theater costs money so, when there were enough cheap films in the pipeline to keep 'em busy, the strippers got the heave ho.

By the time Messrs. Rodriguez and Tarantino planted in the dollar (or two) theaters of their day, which usually played third run A-list bombs and cheap "films" with bigger makeup effects than story budgets, we'd already been there done that and grown up to expect more developed stories in the films we saw. That's no diss on them for adoring the cheap stuff. We'd seen it differently. The grindhouses of New York's forty-second street had their own audiences. The pre-stoned sat up front. Those getting stoned sat in the dark to light up. Those who couldn't afford hotel rooms made out in the back row or did the deed up in the balcony. A fourth group (mine) was in the theater killing time stretching limited budgets and yelling back at a screen usually filled with body parts and car crashes. Who knew there were those who actually liked that crap???

A quick aside, to avoid answering the inevitable eMail: The reason we didn't get stoned for our turns way back when? -- 'cuz we phased out once and missed the crap entirely. Cheap is cheap, and television provides the same substance for effect for free. 'nuff said.

Our days watching what were called "horror" movies predate the John Carpenter era, so the current idea that the more body parts the better leaves us cold. That's probably why, aside from a spectacular decapitation effect or two, Rodriguez' zombiefilm half of the Grindhouse double feature, Planet Terror, left us cold. We were more inclined to prefer the almost nonstop car frenetics in Tarantino's Death Proof, but were so bored by the time it started we just didn't care. The more enjoyable moments of the "feature" come at the beginning and between features -- trailers, long forgotten and now sheer advertising. The two that you'll see, one called Machete and one featuring Nazi femme werewolves pack more entertainment into their five or so minutes than either feature does.

Then again, we hit fifty the day before and managed to get kissed by beautiful female strangers as the lights went down, so we were on the whole happy with the Grindhouse experience. <vbg> No gen-X'er or younger should bother emailing Cranky to tell us that Grindhouse is the greatest movie ever and then proceed to explain why. As we wrote, "been there done that." Those of the Cult of Quentin -- you know who you are -- can argue until you're blue in the face. We have liked most of all Tarantino's previous work and are not as exposed to Rodriguez so this is a failure of form over function. For us.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Grindhouse, he would have paid . . .


Hey, that's what Cranky paid at the grindhouses in New York. It's only fair. [Of course, that was in 1980s dollars...]

amazon com link Click to buy films by Quentin Tarantino
Click to buy films by Robert Rodriguez
Click to buy films starring Kurt Russell
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.