Day 24 - Horror film in which you prefer the edited version over the director's cut –Proof
Let’s talk about the single greatest movie experience of my life. GRINDHOUSE. To elaborate on this at the present moment would be futile because I’ll get emotional. Then I’ll start to cry, you’ll start to cry. We will eventually run out of tissues and find ourselves sympathy eating popcorn and frozen snickers bars until we die of a diabetic related illness. I could watch this movie until the cows come home. It would be better that the cows didn’t come home at all, and I was left to watch it over and over again for eternity. Even out of order, disjointed and mismatched together. Even in a foreign language with no subtitles. I may require, as a condition of my burial, that a copy of GRINDHOUSE is placed with me in my coffin… maybe even a personal DVD player playing it on endless repeat. Truly endless/eternal.
Moving on. Death Proof is clearly my favorite installment. I seem to be in the minority with respect to this decision. I’m not sure if it’s the Snake Plisskin lover in me, my Tarantino fetish or perhaps my uncanny affection for movie soundtracks. This movie has big cars, hot girls, revenge, love, Chartreuse (the only liquor so good they named a color after it) and those god damn nachos with that god damn virgin pina colada. I drive around listening to the Death Proof soundtrack in my phantom black Hyundai Sonata down long, winding country roads just looking to get pulled over or chase a bunch of young women. I order virgin pina coladas from Applebees trying to look extra cool. I refuse to order their nachos; they are like cancer. I have debated (and this debate has not come to completion) getting a Kurt Russell Tattoo on my inner arm to complete my GRINDHOUSE /Planet Terror/Death Proof montage tattoo. I’ll keep you posted.
When you’re a fan of something like this and with this much intensity you look for two things. 1. A re-release of the complete picture in the theatre every year around Halloween complete with some kind of promotional goodie and Acuna burgers served on site. This event would be merchandised to all get out, would have star appearances and would be part of a double, double feature… two additional movies playing as a double feature acting as a double feature for GRINDHOUSE, a double feature (did you catch that butterfly?). 2. You hope for an amazing DVD release complete with all the extras, makings of, set photos, actor/actress bios, deleted scenes, blooper reel… you want the whole shebang.
The Weinstein Company (to whom I owe a blood debt) saw fit to release the epic double feature known as GRINDHOUSE as two separate, complete releases… uncut. This screams boner. You’ll get to see everything Tarantino wanted to show you but was afraid to put in the theatrical release. The thing is only about an hour and twenty minutes long theatre side when combined with the faux trailers, adverts and Planet Terror… there’s gotta be more. Lots more. Wet dream? Phoebe Cates coming out of the pool? Marilyn Monroe with street vent underneath?
There was a lot more my dear reader. Stuntman Mike stalks the shit out of his prey. You get a glimpse into the way he operates in full. This isn’t the sly glimpse at madness you see in the original release. It’s the full hard-on version of Stuntman Mike. You know why he knows everything about Butterfly and the gang. This guy is creepy stalker type numero uno. And… here’s the rub, Butterfly… you don’t need to know that much about him to love this character. The more you do know about him the less mysterious he seems and the less mysterious he seems the more you realize that Kurt Russell is hamming it up rather than being slick. That little element called suspension of disbelief that films love and adore… shot to shit. It’s a disappointment at best. At its worst this version of the film, the solo DVD release of the picture sans clever advertisements, trailers and without sister picture Planet Terror, will make you hate GRINDHOUSE as a whole before you’ve even seen it. Watching the separate release of this picture can bore you. If you haven’t seen the complete double feature you will get lost in endless reels of quiet stalking. Unnecessary footage to be certain. If you have seen the double feature than you are left feeling cheated by the full length/uncut release. If you have had the double feature experience this cut destroys the suspense, ruins the flow and timing and neutralizes the creep-out that is Kurt Russell.
The scene edit of Butterfly’s lap dance… lost reel from the original print. Beautiful way of making it the sexiest lap dance of all time by NOT showing it… ruined. In one slice of the film cutter Tarantino created the sexiest image you’ve seen since Night Porter. This edit puts back everything you “missed” when the reel was “removed” and gives you a cheap thrill at the expense of something sexy you don’t need to see. It’s nice to hear “Down in Mexico” though.
Do not watch this version of the picture. Go buy yourself a Blu-Ray player or watch the IFC channel and watch the full thing as it was intended. You don’t need no stinking extra footage. You don’t want to ruin this beautiful picture. You don’t need no stinking back story. The speed and timing of Death Proof is perfect in its original release. Nuff said.
-Dr. Stuntman Terror
Dr. James P. Terror
P.O Box Yada Yada
I still don’t own one. Sad violin starts… now.