Of all the ironically self-aware movies destined to come out this year, it’s unlikely any of them will top the film geek experience of Grindhouse. What can be said for a film that’s so far up its own celluloid ass, that it runs pictures of random women over the end credits as an inside joke only the nerdiest of the movie nerds will get. Like me.
Despite high expectations, this double-feature concept movie failed to light up the box office. Talk of a franchise has evaporated fast, and a sequel seems unlikely now. The pleasure of watching other notable filmmakers take a tongue-in-cheek stab at trash exploitation has been denied me, and now I’m all sad. Sure, there are virtually endless pieces of reprehensible cinematic filth yet to discover. I’ve seen hundreds of them already, but could probably dig up thousands more without even looking very hard. Still, there was a certain unique fun in watching contemporary directors trying so hard to recreate the look and feel of those abused prints of warped movies. The mock trailers were a highlight, and Edgar Wright and Eli Roth in particular managed to hit the nail on the head. Hard.
It was with great delight that I heard some weeks later that Robert Rodriguez had held a competition for amateur directors to come up with their own grindhouse-style trailers. The competition, much like the film it was meant to promote, fizzled out with the disappointing ticket sales. But a winner and a number of finalists did manage to worm their way into cyberspace immortality where traffickers in this sort of thing will continue to upload and link to them for untold years to come.
It was some crazy kids from Nova Scotia who took the top honors for Hobo with a Shotgun. But there are plenty of others to enjoy if you look around for them. Runners up, Maiden of Death and The Dead Won’t Die illustrate that the key to making a good fake trailer is to convince the audience they want to see a movie that doesn’t even exist.
Well I was convinced, anyway. But then, I’ll sit through damn near anything.