Grindhouse: 2 pics in 1 – or just 2 pics?

Variety has posted an article about the form GRINDHOUSE will take when released in non-English speaking countries. A spokesman for the Weinstein Company, which is distributing the film, says that it will be split into two discrete films, Robert Rodriquez’ PLANET TERROR and Quentin Tarantino’s DEATH PROOF, which will be released three to five months apart.


PLANET TERROR (above) and DEATH PROOF (below)
will be released as a solo feature overseas.

Apparently, the theory is that overseas audiences are unfamiliar with the concept of a grindhouse double bill, so it makes more sense to release the two segments as separate feature films. This leaves the question of the faux trailers, which separate the two episodes, up in the air.

What goes unsaid in the article is that most contemporary American audiences are not particularly familiar with the concept of a double bill, which for the most part died out a decade ago. Sure, there are still a handful of second-run theatres that put two films on the same screen just before the disappear from theatres to video, but as a general rule, films screen solo these days.

Yes, once upon a time, major studios made main features and shorter co-features to go along with them, and ow-budget independents like Roger Corman churned out two films for the price of one, which could screen together at the drive-in. But that’s all a thing of the past, and how many of today’s movie-goers even remember those long-forgotten days?

Fortunately, GRINDHOUSE will remain a two-fer in English-speaking countries – a nice little piece of nostalgia that may lead younger viewers to read up on their cinema history. As for foreign territories, one suspects the real reason for splitting the films up is that it gives the Weinstein company a chance to double up the return on their investment, releasing two films for the price of one.