CAPSULE REVIEWS: Grindhouse/Planet Terror/Death Proof/Vanishing Point/Death Race 2000

Ginrummy's picture

So, my Netflix queue was getting a bit sparse and so I put up the 70's spoofing, intentionally schlockfest of Planet Terror and Death Proof "Grindhouse" double feature from a couple yeas ago by Richard Rodriguez and Tarrantino. First one was an interesting monster/zombie flick with some humor and intentional retro throwbacks; comparable maybe to the Resident Evil movies today.

The second one was a car chase splatterfest thriller. One of the funniest parts of it was the "preview" of a fake movie called "Machette" of which you could probably find on YouTube and is well worth seeing. This clip reached such popularity that they actually went ahead and shot this movie, pretty much unchanged from the premise of the clip. Gotta put it on my list some day. Danny Trejo is cool. Oh, here is one link:

What was interesting is that in Death Proof the actors spent an entire 10 minute scene talking about their love of the 1970 Dodge Challenger 440, and "Kowalski" (the main character of the movie Vanishing Point, which featured that car), and how great that movie was and stuff. Specifically, and by name. They might as well have turned to the camera and said "Hey, rent that frickin' movie, eh?"

Vanishing Point is a classic indie-cult motor movie that nails the 1970 vibe; and has the infamous "naked woman on a motorcycle" bit, cool music and Cleavon Little as a DJ. There is no scifi in it (except that it was to later influence the Mad Max movies). The pacing is old-school, with none of the modern shaky-cam style that is so prevalent today, so younger people might get bored in the scenes that are not constant action or eye candy.

Another motor movie influenced by Vanishing Point is the 1975 Roger Corman flick "Death Race 2000" with Dave Carradine and Sly Stallone, which is definite a candidate for a "Saturday Morning Crapfest" review (and was also a Mad Max influence). This movie gave to pop culture the Points system for killing old people, kids, etc. with your car. Very weird and yet quite hysterecally funny in places. The different car designs are pretty cool, and the used them in promotions around the country to push the movie.

Ok, so this was a bit of ramble about several vaguely related movies, none of which goes into details, but I thought there are some interesting points that can be discussed in the comments, so tell me your thoughts below.