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Official Grindhouse FAQ

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives

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  • Q: What is a GRINDHOUSE?
  • A: The term "grindhouse" was a way of describing the inner city theaters that would show double and triple bills of Exploitation movies in the mid 20th Century. The cinemas were known to 'grind' out one film after another, so the term grind-house was born. These theaters were not only places to see films, but places of ill repute. A lot of the grindhouses were lounges for winos, hideouts for robbers on the lam, prostitute pick up spots and drug dealing dens.
  • Q: Where did the idea for GRINDHOUSE originate?
  • A: The main idea for GRIND HOUSE was realized by Writer-Director Robert Rodriguez. Robert owned a poster for an Exploitation film double bill of Drag Strip Girl and Rock All Night. Both were American International Pictures productions. AIP were the kings of Exploitation genre films in the 50s 60s and 70s.) Rodriguez then saw this same poster at Quentin's house one day. Inspired, he began throwing an idea out about doing their own double feature project. Being a longtime Exploitation-Grindhouse fan, Tarantino excitingly agreed and the rest is history.
  • Q: What Is Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof about?
  • A: Death Proof is a slasher/car chase/girl gang film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Since he loves to twist genres around, for his slasher film aspect of the film, instead of the killer using a machete or a butcher knife, the killer, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is using a reinforced supercharged muscle car to run over and crash into his victims (a group of young sexy women). Death Proof was influenced by several auto related genre films including Vanishing Point (Dir. Richard C. Sarafian, 1971) an existential car chase film, Duel (Dir. Steven Spielberg, 1971) in which a man (Dennis Weaver) is stalked on the road by a huge Mack truck, Crash (Dir. David Cronenberg, 1996) about a group of people who are sexually turned on by car crashes, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (Dir. John Hough, 1974) In which three modern outlaws, Peter Fonda (Larry), Susan George (Mary) and Deke (Adam Roarke) race through the countryside trying to outrun the cops and Death Race 2000 (Dir. Paul Bartel, 1975) In a futuristic society, there is a cross country auto race in which the drivers hit civilians to earn points. Starring David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone and Mary Woronov. NOTE: This film is one of Tarantino's all time favorite cult films and he even dedicated Death Proof to the writer of Death Race 2000, Charles B. Griffith. The story structure and main character of Death Proof have also been compared to Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and the main character Norman Bates. Of course there is probably many more nods to older films scattered throughout the film.
  • Q: Who stars in Death Proof?
  • A: See Cast List.
  • Q: How long is Death Proof's running time?
  • A: 90 minutes (original cut)/115 minutes (director's cut)
  • Q: How long is Planet Terror?
  • A: 85 minutes (original cut)/100 minutes (director's cut).
  • Q: Who stars in Planet Terror?
  • A: See Cast list.
  • Q: What are the fake trailers about?
  • A: The fake Grindhouse trailers are shown in between and in front of each of the main features. They are made in the same style as the kinds of trailers that were used to promote Exploitation films in the 60s and 70s. Robert Rodriguez directed a trailer for an action film called Machete in which actor Danny Trejo (Desperado, Heat) plays a modern spaghetti western style anti-hero who uses machetes as his attack weapons. The other directors who shot fake trailers are Edgar Wright (Don't), Eli Roth (Thanksgiving) and Rob Zombie (Werewolf Women of the SS).