Thursday, November 25, 2010

American Grindhouse (2010)

Director: Elijah Drenner

Starring: Robert Forster

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Giving Audiences What They Want Since the Dawn of Motion Pictures.

Plot: Oscar-nominated actor Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) narrates this explosive toast to the American exploitation film, an admittedly lowbrow art form with undeniably high entertainment value -- and a staple of so-called grind house cinema. Highlights include clips from long-forgotten gems, plus interviews with grind house aficionados Joe Dante, Jack Hill, John Landis, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Fred Williamson and more.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yup.

I love Netflix's instant streaming. First it's the Sam Kinison tribute and then this. The beauty of this one is it's not on DVD yet. I've been a fan of exploitation for a long time and the more I see, the more I appreciate it. It's true, there's A LOT of shit; but every once in a while you find that hidden gem that makes the journey worthwhile. Delving into the world of exploitation and grindhouse cinema is akin to treasure hunting - you never know what you going to find but the road you travel is interesting to say the least.

This documentary starts from the beginning of cinema to the current status of exploitation. Every aspect seems to be covered from the pre-code films of the early 30s to nudie cuties, roughies and gorefests of the 60s to Nazisploitation in the 70s and beyond. The best part is it's entertaining as hell and informative. If you're well-versed in this dark corner of film, you probably won't learn much but you will enjoy the plethora of titles and clips from films that YOU JUST HAVE TO GO OUT AND SEE! Thanks. Like I need a few dozen more movies to add to my list. The only downside to this, if you can even call it that, is that each topic is so interesting that it needs its own documentary. Spending 7 minutes on any one topic is far too little, but AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE does an excellent job of encapsulating the overall, truly American form of cinema. Oh, and the best part about it? Not one mention of Quentin Tarantino. I love the guy but it was nice not seeing his mug for a change.

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