3 posts categorized "Grindhouse"

October 20, 2018

LET THE CORPSES TAN

Les CadavresThe narrative is appropriately thin in this wildly inspired homage to European crime action movie tropes of the ’70 (think “Zabriskie Point”). As a result, “Let the Corpses Tan” plays better as a retro art instillation piece or as a film you could project on a giant party screen for revelers to get wasted as they engage in all types of sexual misconduct.

Nonetheless, Belgian writing/directing duo Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani (“The Strange Color of You”) wring a lot of movie out of their “genre” (low budget) exploration.

Corpses tan

Although it sports one of the most incendiary film titles in recent memory, “Let the Corpses Tan” is too one-note to hold your interest for its 92 minutes regardless of how much fetishistic attention is paid to every gritty detail involving a stand-off between gangsters in a remote dusty seaside location.

The filmmakers revel in playing tricks with your eyes as when, what seems to be, an overhead shot of the location’s compound is overrun with [seemingly giant] ants. Sure it’s all style with not much substance but that’s the point. If you’re in the mood for virtuosic visual panache involving machine guns, gold, cars, motorcycles, fire, smoke, and blood, then you’re in business.   

Corpses

Not Rated. 92 mins. (B-)Three Stars

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February 27, 2011

Drive Angry

Drive-Angry_poster Add "Drive Angry" to the long list of Tarantino-knock-off films. Screenwriter Todd Farmer and co-writer/director Patrick Lussier try hard to rip off Quentin Tarantino's wit, style, and muscle. The fail on every level. What they end up with is an insipid slop of boring chase scenes weakly supported by first grade narrative you couldn't hang a tissue on. Nicolas Cage's character Milton is a second cousin to the "Ghost Rider" flaming-skull role he played some years back. Milton escaped from the depths of Hell after stealing Lucifer's pistol so he could avenge the death of his daughter. She died at the hands of a Satanic cult. Members of said cult still have possession of Milton's granddaughter. He plans on rescuing the infant. Milton latches onto a hot chic named Piper (Amber Heard) who has a bigger libido than he does. She also has a matte-black muscle car that enables many chases with Lucifer's right-hand man (William Fichtner)--known as "the Accountant. The Accountant has been sent to drag Milton back to hell. Slow-motion events of bloody spectacle are only slightly amped up by the filmmaker's less-than-impressive use of 3D. There's no rhyme or reason to this schlock fest. 15-year-old boys will get a charge from the nudity and stupid action, but there isn't enough story to appease adult audiences. Even as a guilty-pleasure grindhouse, "Drive Angry" is marginal at best.

Rated R. 104 mins. (C) (Two Stars - out of five/no halves)

September 01, 2010

MACHETE

Colesmithey.comRobert Rodriguez's co-directed grindhouse fun-fest "Machete" is loaded with laughs, gore, and sly '70s-styled social commentary about America's current immigration crack-down.

Rodriguez has coined the phrase "Mexpliotation" to describe his ironic reversal on vigilante films, such as "Dirty Harry" and "Death Wish," that were considered by some at the time of their release to represent a fascistic right-wing mentality.

Extrapolated from the faux movie trailer Rodriguez created for the Quentin Tarantino-partnered "Grindhouse," "Machete" follows former Mexican Federale Machete (played with gusto by Danny Trejo), whose wife was brutally murdered before his eyes when he worked as an agent, by a vicious drug lord played by Steven Segal. While looking for day labor work a few years later in Texas, the illegal immigrant Machete is propositioned by Booth (Jeff Fahey), a wily local millionaire, to assassinate Austin Senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro) during an election rally in exchange for $150,000.

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In his off-hours, McLaughlin has a penchant for videotaping himself riding around with his redneck border patrol buddy Lieutenant Stillman (Don Johnson) to mercilessly shoot Mexican immigrants attempting to cross the border. Needless to say, Machete soon becomes public enemy numero uno, and wages a one-man war against the bigoted powers that oppress and kill his people. You can easily guess at his weapon of choice.

Rated R. 105 mins. (A) (Five Stars — out of five / no halves)

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