Monday, April 23, 2007

Tarantino's Grindhouse: Did you like it?

Za finally succeeded in convincing me to see Grindhouse last night (along with IsThatLatin and her S.O.). It was a hard sell since I am neither a Quentin Taratino fan, nor a B movie fan, nor a horror flick fan. However, I have to admit that I liked the film (well, it's more than a film, more like two with all sorts of other hilarious 70s type interludes). Za kept telling me that it was a feminist film to try and get me to go. "A feminist film," I asked. "What makes it a feminist film"? Za would answer: "Well there is a chick who loses her leg, gets an AK-47 strapped on her stump, and kicks ass." Now Za knows perfectly well that this sort of description of a film is in no way likely to sway me that it is a feminist film. In fact, every time we had this conversation he would laugh as I would roll my eyes and say "how messed up are you if you think a feminist film denotes chicks kicking ass with large weapons."

So, I stand corrected. I do think that Grindhouse is a feminist film; and, in part, I think it does have to do with the nature of the violent, kick ass female characters in both films. What I finally concluded after the second segment "Death Proof," is that it was refreshing to see women characters, especially in a B movie horror genre, not just get mauled or violently dismembered. Sure, some of that exists in the films. But, overall, the female characters become the heroes, they are the ones who avenge the wrong, and protect the others. Now, they do so while kicking serious ass. But, when they do, man do their victims really, really deserve it. It's like the female Jack Bauer. Why doesn't she exist? So, I am grateful that directors like Tarantino is breaking with the usual formulae for horror flicks and portraying women who can resist and fight evil, while protecting others.

What did the rest of you think of Grindhouse? Some of you may not have appreciated the ode to 70s B Movie films. Some of you might not have liked the length (it was a strain on me these days!). But, of those who saw it, is it a step in the right direction for Hollywood to start portraying women this way?

UPDATE: Amanda already wrote a longer and more thoughtful post on this film. There are spoilers in her analysis, but if you don't care read it.