Miles on Movies


reviewed by R. Miles Mendenhall

Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino have fun in these homage’s to
low-budget B-thriller gore of the late-sixties and early seventies. They
romp through the era with ersatz trailers (Check out the one for “Machete”!
Talk about channeling contemporary angst.) “And now for our feature
presentation” intros and intentionally scratched prints, projector burned
film stock, choppy camera and color work, missing reel announcements and
wallow in lowbrow obnoxious adolescent male gross-out humor.

There’s plenty of ultra-violence, T&A and hip irony. Keep in mind that this
is a double feature, with two feature length movies. It runs 191 minutes,
that’s three hours and eleven minutes for the analog thinkers like me.

I liked “Planet Terror” very much. It’s the zombie plague crazed military
experimental bio-weapon apocalyptic kill-fest directed by Rodriguez. Rose
McGowan and Freddie Rodriguez kick serious pustulant flesh-eating zombie
butt! And Marley Shelton as sexy Doctor Dakota Block can throw some serious

“Death Proof” the killer car chase and Austin lounging bar babes film by
Tarantino, is not as fun, although it has a few good jokes. (SPOILER ALERT)
The extended car chase was so rife with dumb behavior (similar to what my
buddies and I in High School were up to when we went “dirt trackin’” which
may explain my antipathy) and easily avoidable violence that I couldn’t get
into it.

What should you do if a homicidal creep is chasing you down the Freeway?
Stop! Preferably in a public place.

Tarantino’s work did leave me with this question, related to mine about
“Shooter” with Mark Wahlberg. If vigilante violence is administered to the
thug(s) by hot young women, does that make it more justifiable and palatable
than if a man applied it?

Oh Yeah, one really good part of the bar scenes in Tarantino’s meditation on
female “power” and hip T-Shirt fashion was the music on the Austin bar
jukebox. Just get the soundtrack if brutal, thuggish violence is not your

This is low camp violence. After the murders at Virginia Tech yesterday, it
seems even more out of place in a civilized society. Assuming we have one?

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