AUSTIN, Texas (March 12, 2007) — Blaxploitation flicks, badly dubbed kung fu movies and spaghetti Westerns. Cheesy effects, corny dialogue and lousy technical quality. Sex, violence and gleefully over-the-top gore.
All of this and so much more — or less, depending on your perspective — inspired “Grindhouse,” which longtime friends Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino co-directed.
Rodriguez showed an early clip from the movie Sunday at the South by Southwest film festival before its scheduled April 6 opening.
He and movie guru Harry Knowles, creator of the Austin-based Ain’t It Cool News Web site, also gave the hundreds of fans in the packed audience a crash course on what exactly constitutes a grindhouse flick. (The name comes from the fact that theaters would grind out double and triple features of such B-movies.)
They also showed trailers from dubious classics including “The Green Slime” (1968), “They Call Her One Eye” (1974) and “The Crippled Masters” (1979).
The allure of such films?
“They didn’t have a cast, they didn’t have a budget, they had to rely on ideas,” said Rodriguez, who’s previously shown his fondness for the genre in his own movies “El Mariachi” and “Sin City.”
“Even though we have big stars in the movie, they’re doing things they would have done if we had no stars.”
“Grindhouse,” which consists of two full-length films, fake trailers and intentionally scratched-up footage to make it look cheap and worn, features Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson and Kurt Russell. Rodriguez directed one half (”Planet Terror”) about a zombie invasion, with Tarantino behind the camera for the other (”Death Proof”) about a man who stalks and kills women with his car.