Ok so after my article about just what Grindhouse films are, one of my most loyal readers asked me abit more indepth what the term ment, and after explaining it was really a blanket term for many different types of movies just mashed together, I figured it would be best to give some examples of what the true meaning of grindhouse is, so if'n'ye'don'mind, I'm going to take you all on a trip through the heart of the genre that populated drive ins and dollar theaters in the inner city up until the death of both types of places in the mid 1980s.... So sit back, relax, and prepare to laugh at just how absurd these things can get...
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: When you talk about Grindhouse, you can't get more into it then the king of the dollar theater's midnight showing, I'm talking ofcourse about The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the movie that is still all of these years later still delightfully ridiculous and over the top it will NEVER really go out of style, be it for the story thats really just an allegory for the writer's inner struggle with his own sexuality and mental issues, the complete over the top pageantry of the entire film, the delightfully insane casting and just how well they all work together, or even the awesomely 1970s songs... This film still to this day gets midnight showings at the few surviving drive ins and dollar theaters left in the united states, thats a kind of saying power that has no equal.
The Car: Anyone that knows me knows I couldn't do a special edition post like this and not mention this film, possibly the greatest of the "haunted car" films ever made. This thing ruled the Drive In theaters of america for an entire summer, infact 1977, which was the summer of sam, which if you know your serial killers, is a big feat. Ths film follows the basic idea of every "haunted car" film ever made, car is possessed by a demonic spirit and decides to go around killing randomly, sure looking back at it, the film is hilariously bad, but thats the fun of it, the whole camp value, that allows us to look back at alot of Grindhouse films and laugh. Plus any film that makes my friend Frank say outloud "Oh yeah, that guy with the french horn is so gonna be the next to die.." and 4 seconds later it happens, is classic comedy gold.
Midnight Cowboy: Most people forget that with its X Rating (X Rating in 1969 being the same as a strong R rating today) Midnight Cowboy stands at the top of the mountain of Grindhouse films, but it does. It stands tall and proud, even if most don't realize that its a grindhouse film. See, given its controversial nature, much like Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy was pushed out to Drive Ins and Dollar Theaters, thinking that maybe it would be forgotten, much like other movies of the same nature, but no, that didn't happen. and today, Midnight Cowboy, one of the most praised films of the 20th Century, is infact a Grindhouse film, and I just love it.
The Fly: This is the classic of classics, this is the master of early horror and science fiction Vincent Price, starring in The Fly, the classic tale of science gone wrong, as yet another scientist tries to play god, and ends up becoming a mixture of fly and human, sure today we look back at this and laugh, even the ironic scene at the end where the fly is stuck in a spider's web yelling "help me! help me!", we laugh at it, and I guess rightly so, but, you see thats the true love of the grindhouse era, it can make us scared, tantalize us, leave us guessing till the very end, but also, it can make us laugh, no matter how intentional or unintentional, we can still look back and laugh, and in some cases, thats why we're entertained.
Shaft: I couldn't do this with out one BLaxplotation film, I just couldn't, they are just so perfect for what is truly grindhouse, with their timestamp of a culture that they are aimed directly at, they are just so perfect, with their giant afros, their bellbottom pants, their hip 1970s slang and way of speaking, and their completely far out fashion, you can't think of grindhouse with out blaxplotation. And when you speak of Blaxplotation, you almost always think of Shaft right away. Shaft, the gritty yet funky story of a strong black detective working for his fellow black people who have been wronged by "the man". With its smooth Issac Hayes made soundtrack, and the just brilliantly done acting, you truly feel as if you are in Shaft's world. Sure looking back at it, its kind of funny and laughable at alot of points, but, its still pretty cool no matter how you see it.
Ok well thats it for this special edition, I should be back sunday with more torrents, not sure if i got anything to post tomorrow, but we'll see... :D
so until then, I'll see all later...