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Quint sees Robert Rodriguez's SXSW Grindhouse panel! Footage! Trailers! And the trailer competition finalists & winner!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I unfortunately had to sacrifice a good deal of my movie-watching time at SXSW today in order to get ready for my ShoWest/Vegas travels. Thanks to everybody who wrote in to me with ShoWest advice, by the way. I still don't have a solid way around those goddamn ShoWest passports, but I've got some sneaky ideas/theories from some clever readers. Anyway, I did get to see two panels, GRINDHOUSE 101 hosted by Robert Rodriguez and the Panel of the Dead, which Harry moderated with Cinematical's Scott Weinberg, Scott Glosserman (director of the great BEHIND THE MASK) and a few other horror people, including Cabin Fever's producer, a few people from Borderland, including Rider Strong, and the Alamo Drafthouse's Terror Thursday horror nerd, Zack. Let's talk a little about GRINDHOUSE. Rodriguez brought Harry out to have a discussion about GRINDHOUSE cinema and showed a few classic Grindhouse trailers, for stuff like THEY CALL HER ONE EYE, THE GREEN SLIME and Fred Williamson's BOSS NIGGER, the latter two trailers complete with badass title theme songs. Rodriguez also played the final 3 GRINDHOUSE COMPETITION trailers. They were HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, THE DEAD WON'T DIE and MAIDEN OF DEATH. I've embedded all three below if you haven't seen them... although the stars on THE DEAD WON'T DIE suck... you'll know what I mean when you see 'em... they weren't on the version that played at the panel!

I hadn't seen THE DEAD WON'T DIE, which really fuckin' kicked my ass... Loved it, but all three finalists are fantastic... So hard to pick, but Robert did and he decided... HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN was the winner! The filmmaker got some tech goodies to help him on his future film work, including a full Avid Express Pro software package. The runners up also got some goodies, but I don't know what they got. I'm hoping Dimension cuts some sort of deal with these finalists and is able to include these trailers on the eventual GRINDHOUSE DVD release. Speaking of, Rodriguez joked about releasing the super special edition DVD as a "newly found and remastered 35mm print" which is completely clean, the digital aging removed. Don't know how much of that was a "joking but kinda serious," but it's a funny idea... at least to a geek like me that collects those kinds of DVDs. Robert showed a sequence from PLANET TERROR and also screened Eli Roth's faux-trailer, saying that we were probably going to be one of the only ones to see these both complete and uncut as he doesn't think they'll make it through the MPAA unscathed. But he was very happy about the MPAA demanding cuts because here he can just remove frames and some gore shots with a hard tape splice, just like you'd find in some of the best parts on a particularly beat-up and picked-through film print. (Back in the day, the more pervy projectionists would edit out good nudity or gore and keep them for their own private use. I've heard of reels built up of nothing but nudity and gore edited together... as a film collector this practice is infuriating, ruining some perfectly fine prints... but I'm getting sidetracked). Eli Roth's THANKSGIVING. The only holiday that hasn't been done as a horror movie. The tone of the trailer is very much SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE-era early '80s slasher, ripping off the style of films like HALLOWEEN, just as we would have seen back then. Lots of steadicam POV of the Killer shots, etc. But here we have a shadowed slasher decked up in a Pilgrim outfit who does some disgusting shit. The setting is the small town of Plymouth Rock as they're celebrating Thanksgiving. Grandmothers make up turkeys, sexed up high schoolers get brutally murdered, etc. I won't ruin any of the gags or surprises... it is, afterall, a 3 minute trailer, so there should be some shocks left, but I will say the gore level is fantastic. There's the most disgusting turkey ever created for any purpose at any point in human history. The money shot of the trailer... is very implied, but it got the biggest reaction out of anything in the trailer. It's original, but one that's so of the period that you can't believe it wasn't already done. People will be talking about this shot for a long time. The clip Rodriguez showed from his half of GRINDHOUSE was filled with probably a small wading pool amount of blood. You have Freddy Rodriguez hoping on a tiny little motorcycle... looks hilarious because it looks like it was made for a 4 year old and he pops a badass wheelie, tearing ass down the road, shooting zombies as he goes. And Rodriguez used Paul Verhoeven squibs, man. These bullet hits are so goddamn gory and bloody. Not since ROBOCOP have we seen squibs like this. The sequence took place at night as the survivors caravan down a road, people on motorcycles shooting as they ride and a couple big trucks filled with dozens of people. The majority of blood was in the hits... These big fucking trucks would smack into zombies and they'd just obliterate into red liquid. All practical effects, too, as limbs fly off and the bodies get crushed into the grill or under the heavy wheels. At least 6 or 7 of these are seen... and then a dog in one of the cars jumps out for some reason and gets run over, spraying blood all over these girls! It was a great, "What the fuck was that?!?" moment. I was very impressed and am now even more psyched to see GRINDHOUSE. That's about all I can muster right now. I have to be up in a few hours and finish my pre-ShoWest preparations. Wish I could stay here, to be honest, but ticket and hotel are booked. No backing out now. Be back soon. -Quint

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