First let me say this: Hells yeah.
Okay, now let me tell you that (as if you couldn’t tell) my Grindhouse Premiere experience was excellent. And I’m going to tell you all about it in six parts because that’s how it’s breaking up for me to make sure I give everything its due.
First, I need to thank my friend Wally at Tequila Mockingbird for getting us the tickets. He made the impossible possible and for that I am eternally grateful. And if you ever need some kick-ass music for broadcast or whatnot, you should look them up in Austin.
Yesterday, I flew to Austin with my friend Brian and on the plane he asked me “would you be doing this for any other premiere?” The truth is, I don’t know. It’s hard to say that I wouldn’t, but this Premiere was special for me. Why? Because this had everything going for it. A fun movie, good friends and it was in Austin. And if I had to take up the roots in Kansas City and write down a new home address, it would probably be in Austin. That city has so much personality, so many characters, so much creativity within its small borders it’s hard not to love it. Present me with these elements again for a Wes Anderson premiere and it’d be hard not to say yes. But even then, I wouldn’t be sure. Grindhouse is all about the experience. The splatter, the booming soundtrack, the screams from the audience. I can appreciate a Wes Anderson movie in the theater and at home. Grindhouse has to be experienced with an audience. This movie will not translate as well on the small screen, nor be as much fun. So whatever you do, see it in a theater.
So we got to Austin. And at the Hertz rental car desk, Brian upgrades us to a red fucking mustang, because that’s what you gotta drive to the Grindhouse Premiere. I only wish I had made temporary plates that read “Pussy Wagon.”
We did a quick stop at Chuy’s Tex Mex for some chips, a couple of margaritas, some Dos Equis and burrito as big as yo head. Then we headed to the Premiere. We parked around the corner and walked down the sidewalk to the front of the Paramount. We passed reporters, cameras and faces that were painted zombie white in honor on tonight’s festivities. A large crowd had gathered and it was quite an eclectic one. As I passed people in everything from evening gowns to Battle Royal t-shirts I wondered to myself “what is the appropriate attire to the Premiere of a movie called Grindhouse?” I think my jeans and Dickies' shirt suited me just fine.
So in we walked to The Paramount. And if you don’t know it already, I have a thing for movie theaters. So as I entered the Paramount, I was pissed. How many times had I been to Austin and never set foot in this theater? It was perfect. Ornate designs, classic movie seats, old concession stands, and not one balcony but three. We quickly bought a couple of beers and took our seats: second row from the front. The Austin Film Society had done an excellent job at cutting together old trailers before the movie. I saw trailers for movies like The Crippled Master, Ms. 45, Blood Splattered Bride, Werewolves on Wheels and my personal favorite title, The Undertaker and his pals.
I stepped back out to grab another couple of Shiners when Tarantino made his entrance. He walked up in to the theater and shook hands with everyone, thanking them for coming. He was just as I would expect: in an excited state. As I stood in line, a couple of women behind me had this funny exchange:
Woman 1: Who's that guy?
Woman 2: I don't know but everyone seems to want to take his picture.
I headed back to my seat in time for the lights to dim. Tarantino and Rodriguez took the stage and introduced the movies. They said it's an interactive movie so you can yell and scream all you want (and if you set foot into any theater to see this and people aren't into it, I don't care which one, you better be yelling and laughing and whooting and whatever because that's what this movie is about). Rodriguez and Tarantino asked the cast to stand up (they were all there, Kurt Russell, Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey, Sydney Tamaii Poitier, Vanessa Ferlito, Danny Trejo) Tarantino finished the intro by saying "if you were to get mad at someone and a fist fight were to break out in the middle of the movie, that's just fine with us." He then counted down from three, threw the mic on the stage and the movies began. If the movies had sucked, my trip would have still been worth it. But they didn't and I will write about them next.