Part of what makes the Grindhouse experience so much fun is how fun Tarantino and Rodriguez had in putting the concept together. The double feature would have been good by itself, but the two wanted to completely recreate what they grew up with. So Grindhouse is not only two complete features, but four trailers for movies that don't exist. And for the most part, they are as great as the features themselves.
The first trailer was titled They Call Him Machete. It was directed by Rodriguez and ran before either of the features. It does a great job of setting the tone for Planet Terror as we watch the quick story of the outlaw Machete (Danny Trejo) who was once left for dead and is now back with a vengeance. The best scene of this trailer can be seen in the Grindhouse Trailer. It is Machete affixing a giant gun on the front of his motorcycle and then jumping over a giant explosion and shooting the bad guys as he lands his motorcycle on the ground. And there is word the Rodriguez plans on turning the Machete story into a full-length feature that's to go straight to video. Which is at once brilliant and disappointing at the same time. It's staying true to the idea that this would go straight to video, but it would also be cool to see it in the theaters.
After Planet Terror they played three more trailers. And I thought it impossible to come down from the exploitation high I was on from Planet Terror, but that was before I saw Rob Zombie's trailer Werewolf Women Of The SS. Here's my first question. Why the hell was he included in all this? I wanted to play a quick game of which one of these is not like the others. And that was clearly Zombie's trailer. Imagine a line of dialogue in a movie delivered so poorly that it almost kills a great movie. That's Zombie's trailer. A big stinky turd in the middle of a valley of flowers. It was not shot well, not narrated well, not acted well. I'm sure Zombie felt that its Nazi subject matter and the inclusion of Sybil Danning would put the trailer over the top. But he was mistaken. Now let me come forward and say that I have baggage with Zombie because he's hacking up the original Halloween by making a prequel of sorts, so I thought I would get opinions from others who had seen it to see what they thought. They were all in agreement that it was the weak link. I'm sure the fact that I phrased the question as "Hey what did you think of that fucking hack of hack's Rob Zombie's trailer?" had nothing to do with their answers.
Next was Eli Roth's trailer Thanksgiving, a classic spoof of the My Blood Valentine and Friday The 13th type holiday themed slasher movies. Let me first say that I'm not a big fan of Eli Roth. I didn't care much for Cabin Fever and as more of a Hitchcockian-type horror movie fan, I don't like that Eli has made horror more about gore then actual scares. But all that aside, this was a great trailer. A guy goes insane for some reason, dresses as a pilgrim and then goes around slashing teens everywhere. The premise is funny and gory as hell. I thought it humorous that the scenes that had me laughing in the trailer would have terrified people 30 years earlier. Oh, how far we've come.
Last was Edgar Wright's trailer for a movie called Don't. It was a spoof of the classic 70's horror movie trailers (think of a movie trailer for a Dario Argento film). It was a montage of different classic horror scenes (couple walking into a spooky house or someone opening a door to a closet) followed by a series of statements one might hear on a classic movie trailer advising them of what not to do. In the end, the audience is pretty much told to do nothing because whatever they do, something bad will happen. This trailer is harder to explain but was clearly my favorite because it was so funny and so smart.
There they are. Three great trailers done by some of the finest and one stinky turd done by a mediocre rock singer. A great idea almost perfectly executed.