I know I’m not the usual Boiling Point author, but Robert Fure couldn’t write it this week because he went to prison after a bar brawl in Shreveport, Louisiana turned ugly. A group of grizzly bears riding Harleys insulted his mother’s honor, and he responded to their words with a broken bottle of Wild Turkey and a homemade lighter. Equal and opposite reaction. Physics. Anyway, they don’t have Wi-Fi in jail, and luckily I got pissed off enough this week to fill in his rage-a-holic shoes.
The other day, we published a harmless little news item about ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’, one of the fake trailers featured in Grindhouse, being turned into a comic book series with possible hopes to ride that toward becoming an actual feature-length film. Besides the frightening prospect of Rob Zombie being allowed to make another bad movie, the news should have been pretty harmless, but I started thinking about all the hype and general cooler-than-thou hipsterism that surrounds everything Tarantino/Rodriguez/Grindhouse, and things got ugly.
I figure I should throw a ton of disclaimers about how I love Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill and El Mariachi before I start lobbing grenades at the Sacred Cows of Cool, but instead, I’ll start by saying that I’m really fucking tired of hearing about all things Grindhouse, hearing buzz about movies that are sort-of-cool ideas but will probably never get made, and hearing fans gush over all things Tarantino and the gang in general.
First of all, as cool as it sounds on paper, the entire Grindhouse concept is as gimmicky as a pile of feces with glitter all over it. Yes, Planet Terror was a fantastic movie, but it could have done without the Marketing Department’s Wet Dream of billing it as a retro-throwback-homage double billed with Tarantino’s worst movie to date. (And he really swung for the outfield on ‘bad’ with it). Instead, a legion of people aching to be told what the next cool genre of the week was, ate up Tarantino’s incoherent, child-like excitement like a pile of feces with glitter all over it.
Reusing analogies aside, I’m exhausted by these filmmakers. They’re the horror/action/gimmick equivalent of the Judd Apatow crew. Some of the films they’ve been a part of are incredible, but the saturation level on their projects’ exposure is disgusting. And at the same time, they’re the anti-Judd Apatow. They spend more time talking about what they want to make than actually making anything. There was reasonable backlash against Apatow when five movies with his producing credits on them get shoveled out into theaters back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Meanwhile, Robert Rodriguez is still talking about the five movies he wants to make someday and how incredible they’ll be. When they get made. Sometime.
I, as much as anyone, want to see Rodriguez’s Machete be the hack-and-slashing, bare-knuckle brawl, violence-gasm that it has the potential to be, but it getting made is just as likely as it continuing to be a stalled production – another great idea from the Cool Factory that never actually sees the light of day. Keep in mind, Rodriguez talked about having that thing ready for release by the time Grindhouse came out on DVD.
And on that front, Tarantino is the worst offender. That inglorious bastard has cried wolf so many times, that I refuse to get excited about any ideas he gets, no matter how cool, because I’m tired of getting my hopes up.
But that’s what they are good at – getting hopes up. Creating buzz. Building mostly unwarranted hype. I’m sorry, but you lose at least a fraction of Rebellious Indie Daredevil Savior Filmmaker Street Cred when you make Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.
It’s not exactly Rodriguez’s fault that he still has that reputation, but he definitely doesn’t have an issue thinking out loud with cameras and microphones around. After all, he learned from the best. He and Tarantino both have a ready audience for anything they want to produce, but here we are over a year later still talking about the possibility of some of those fake Grindhouse trailers becoming awesome, badass, real-live films instead of pouring into darkened theaters that serve cold beer and moonshine, clapping our hands red when Barberella, a hot Nazi bitch, or Danny Trejo (or all three at once) stalk onto the screen.
I’m sick of hype. Less talk, more action. The next time Tarantino or Rodriguez steps in front of a microphone, it had better be to introduce a new film, or I’ll really be past my boiling point.