I got there late. I only missed LAKE PLACID, and that's no great loss, I've seen it.
Bob had PLANET TERROR playing, and even though I missed the beginning I quickly got into it.. PT is a wonderfully directed, fast paced and tongue in cheek homage to 70s era Zombie flicks. I loved it-- it had all the classic cliches. The scratched film stock, aping film stock from the era, was sheer genius.
This was part of the GRINDHOUSE duet, a big movie composed of two small ones by Robert Rodriguez and Quenton Tarantino. As a single movie it flopped. Broken into two movies for DVD release, it has experienced some success.
Next one (and best one) was THE DESCENT. This is another movie by Neil Marshall, the gent who directed DOG SOLDIERS (which I love!), and it does not disappoint. You couldn't ask for a more different movie from Dog Soldiers-- in story, in performance, in characterization and especially in the creep factor.
I see a lot of horror movies. Obviously, if you read this blog regularly you arlready know horror is one of my favorite film genres. Very rarely do I get a genuine scare. Moments of feigned dread, perhaps, but not fear. The Descent touches on one of my own manias-- claustrophobia, and also delivers one incredibly manic, horrific tale with great protaganist and a surprisingly multi-faceted plot. Does the Descent mean the obvious (a group of athletic young women on a caving expedition that goes horribly wrong) or does it mean something more subtle than that-- one woman's descent into madness? The ending doesn't tell you one way or an other.
Last one on the DVD Player was the second half of GRINDHOUSE, DEATH PROOF. I rather like Tarantino usually, but this film did its very best to sink the Grindhouse project. For one thing, there's too much dialogue, and it's ALL Quentin Tarantino talking to himself. I don't know ANYone who talks quite the way QT does in real life. He writes some clever screenplays but they are starting to sound awfully reverential and larded with endlessly run on sentences delivered in a style that would have done justice to Pam Grier.
An old poster; the incomparable Kurt Russell took the main role as Stuntman Mike, replacing Rourke. In my book, there's no comparison... Russell was the better choice.
Speaking of reverential, every film by QT (except, perhaps, Jackie Brown) makes it into Death Proof in some form. The guy is on an Easter Egg binge-- the movie does share characters, lines, and movie references from QT's earlier movies. Personally, I hated the dialogue. It was overlong and maybe TOO derivative of earlier sources. To a woman, the actresses ALL seemed like they were Quentin Tarantino in drag, enacting Tarantino's fantasy image of what a tough 70s cinema chick ought to be. He badly needs a collaborator..