Finally! Grindhouse, in its original theatrical form, available on blu-ray, in North America! It is about damn time. Now, I never saw it in the theaters sadly, so this is my first time with the whole experience. I have the extended cuts of both movies (Death Proof by Tarantino and Planet Terror by Rodriguez) but this is the original version, the way theater goers saw it, with all five trailers (even Hobo With A Shotgun, but more on that later).
So for those who don't know, Grindhouse is an homage to those 70's movies, all scratchy looking, cheesey, missing reels, a double feature. Planet Terror is up first, but not before Robert Rodriguez' awesome Machete trailer. I mean this trailer was so awesome that they ended up making an actual Machete movie. Danny Trejo is Machete, and Cheech Marin is the Padre, and they are out to get the bad guys. Pretty simple, and pretty awesome. Machete was betrayed by the men who hired him. And as they say in the trailer, "They just ****ed with the wrong Mexican!" Then on to Planet Terror. A deadly toxin has been released into the air, and its effects on the town are too horrible to grasp. This is essentially a zombie movie. A zombie movie with Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Rose McGowan, Fergie, Michael Biehn, and lots more. You can't go wrong. A girl with a gun leg? Yeah, count me in.
Then you get three more trailers: Rob Zombie's incredible Werewolf Women of the SS is up first, starring his regulars such as Sherry Moon Zombie and Bill Mosely. The Nazis are seeking pure German blood to create a race of werewolf women! It's awesome. And the best is the end cameo by Nicolas Cage as...FU MANCHU! Next up is Edgar Wright's horror trailer for Don't, featuring some actors that you may recognize from his other films. And last is Eli Roth's horror trailer, Thanksgiving. Both look like they would make incredibly cheesey and bloody horror movies, just the way I remember 'em. Stick in some cheesey ads, including a Mexican food place, and you are totally in the 70's.
Death Proof is last, Quentin Tarantino's story about Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) who can't help but want to cause extreme mayhem with every pretty young thing he sees. He does this with his "death proof" stunt car, so named because it was designed to withstand anything without hurting the driver. This is essentially a two-parter, with Mike first preying on Rose McGowan in a bar, and then later on, chasing some girls on the open road. Zoe Bell and Rosario Dawson are standouts. A character named Earl McGraw ties this film in with Planet Terror (as well as Kill Bill and From Dusk Till Dawn as well) to create a little bit of continuity. I have always loved Tarantino's dialogue, and some of his best is here in Death Proof. If you like car chases, this movie is for you. Wait until you hear that engine roar in surround sound, my friends.
Bonus features are more than generous. Not only do you get the full Grindhouse, but on a second disc you get documentaries and bonus features from the original DVD releases. Commentaries, audience reaction tracks, a feature on Zoe Bell, this is cool stuff. You also get ample features on the trailers, included non-scratchy extended versions on each one, commentaries, making-ofs, all that stuff. And yes...from Dartmouth Nova Scotia, the Hobo With A Shotgun trailer is on disc 2 as a bonus feature. Featuring a cameo from Mike Jackson (Trevor from Trailer Park Boys), Hobo With A Shotgun is the story of a homeless man who's had enough and becomes a vigilante. Crooked cops better run. This trailer didn't make it to all screenings of the movie, but it won a Grindhouse trailer contest and is now in fact becoming a movie on its own, like Machete. It will star Rutger Hauer as the hobo, and Robb Wells (Trailer Park Boys' Ricky)!
I have heard some complaints about the sound of this blu-ray. Apparently the sound is only up to DVD quality and doesn't take advantage of the blu-ray format. Personally I think it sounds fine, I have no complaints really. I have a decent system at home but I only have the original releases on DVD so I don't know what the difference sounds like. I have also heard complaints that the extended cuts of each film were not included. It would be nice to have everything in one package, but I think most fans already have the original releases.
Rejoice, the wait is over! Now, if only Tarantino would release a decent Kill Bill set....