Grindhouse: Planet Terror / Death Proof (Blu-rays)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring (Planet Terror) Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey; (Death Proof) Michael Bacall, Nicky Katt, Rose McGowan, James Parks, Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell
Directed by (Planet Terror) Robert Rodriguez; (Death Proof) Quentin Tarantino
Both films distributed by The Weinstein Company
I'll never forget the moment when I realized the craziness that was about to be bestowed upon film audiences everywhere when Rodriguez and Tarantino first announced their double-feature project affectionately known as Grindhouse. Zombies, gore, hot chicks, hot rods. I was fucking giddy, man! In fact these two flicks still really do it for me. And what a bargain, too! We were getting two movies for the price of one with some made-up trailers in between from some of our genre's rising stars! We're talking cinema heaven. And guess what? It was a theatrical flop. YAY! As a result for its DVD release the package was split into two, and most of the trailers went missing. With these Blu-ray releases I'm sad to say that the song remains the same.
So what to do? You have a brand spanking new Blu-ray player and you love these movies, but Blu-ray delivers superior image and sound and these flicks were meant to look and sound shitty. Is there a reason to double dip? Are there any new extras? Did the trailers at least make it back? It's enough to bring on a monster-sized headache. So let me answer these questions for you as best as I can.
Let's get the supplemental features out of the way first. All of the materials present from their original DVD release have returned. To read in-depth reviews of them, allow me to point you in their directions -- you can read the Planet Terror DVD review here and the Death Proof DVD review here. There's no point in rehashing all that so instead let's talk about any differences there may be.
The two-disc Planet Terror Blu-ray has a couple of extra things going for it. For one you can now watch 10-Minute Film School in HD. How big a deal that is for anyone is debatable; however, we do get something a bit unexpected: a newly discovered scratch-free print of the film. Yep, that's right. You can view a mostly pristine print of Planet Terror in all its glory. Yes, before you ask the sex scene still missing! The picture is vibrant and razor sharp. Seriously, you'll be amazed, especially since until now we've only ever seen the messed-up print.
Which brings us to our next point. These movies were meant to look bad. Why bother getting them in HD? Honestly … I'm with you there. The intentional blurriness, scratches, and pops laid over these movies added to their charm. In 1080 all these added artifacts look a lot less convincing. Of the two HD sound mixes, it's Death Proof that comes out on top here. My living room sounded like the site of a demolition derby during the movie's playback. It was friggin' glorious. It was like being in the car with Stuntman Mike or our resident hot chicks. My ears and nerves are still jangling! Really good stuff.
It should also be noted that both of these discs are BD Live enabled, but sadly at the time of this writing these features were not yet active. I'll check back at a later date so I can update this review.
I can't really advocate double dipping in this case. That is, unless you really want to check out how amazing Planet Terror originally looked before Rodriguez put it through the grindhouse ringer. However, if you haven't already bought them and your Blu-ray player is looking for a good time -- do not hesitate. It's really a shame that the Grindhouse experience wasn't more of a success. I'll take imitation old movies that are good over some of the newer shit that sucks any day.
Special Features Planet Terror:
Special Features Death Proof:
4 out of 5
Special Features Combined:
4 out of 5
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