Regarding the Grind House split

After the considerable anger in the community a few years ago over the split of Kill Bill into two Volumes, the recent rumors and news about a possible split of Grind House requires both some comments from my side and some clarifications. Movie buffs in general have a negative attitude towards sequels, splitting, cutting and everything along those lines, especially if there’s a suspicion that it is done for profit, not for artistic reasons.

Why is there talk about splitting Grind House from a double-feature into two seperate theatrical releases? First of all, the talk that is out there does not concern the United States. There is talk about releasing Death Proof and Planet Terror seperately outside the United States, specifically in all those countries where the publisher believes that the concept of a drive-in double feature is not known by the general audience and the concept would thus not work. While that is not completely true (there were drive-ins and shabby grind houses not just in the United States, they were just not called grind houses, because … well, not everybody speaks English and thus the term grind house is not as popular outside the US, maybe), there is some truth to that. I personally (being German) do not know too many people who would know what a grind house is, what an exploitation film is or what is meant by a drive-in theater.

So they are considering releasing both films seperately and a few months apart. What would that mean? It would mean that the idea of fake trailers “in the middle” would be lost. The entire “double feature” scheme is going to be deleted from the marketing of those movies in the countries in question, and it would mean that – released seperately – the (now two seperate) films are not long enough to justify the ticket price. So there’s talk of adding footage to the films to make them longer individually, and there aren’t too many ideas out yet of what to do with the trailers. I personally think they could still just be added right in the middle of the movie, as sort of a bathroom/popcorn break or something.

Commercial implications? Well the Weinsteins can cash in twice if they do that, and it seems like that’s the way it’s going to be for most of Europe, francophone Canada and maybe even the UK. Personally, I am not a fan of the idea, but it does make sense to some extent. The two films have not really much to do with each other – or let’s keep it “the two parts of grind house”, and if they add footage and that woudl be director-approved, that would actually make for a bunch of exciting DVD releases, wouldn’t it?

At any rate, we are all very excited about Grind House, there is news coming out ever day almost, please check out message boards, check out wiki, check this page. Thanks for reading, thanks for your support.

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Sebastian is the founder and owner of the Tarantino Archives and has been a fan and observer of QT for over two decades now, cherishing his work and the window in the the wider world of cinema his movies have opened up. Inspired as such, he runs the Spaghetti Western Database (SWDb), the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb), Furious Cinema, its German sister Nischenkino and The Robert Rodriguez Archives. He lives in Berlin.

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