Grindhouse Posters

Planet Terror movie poster

Grindhouse Planet Terror movie poster

Planet Terror and Death Proof double feature

The official site for Troublemaker Studios — the production company of director Robert Rodriguez — has released a set of what they are calling “limited-edition” Grindhouse teaser posters. Gindhouse is the double-bill feature ode to exploitation films from directors Robert Rodreqiuz and Quetin Tarantino, with each creating their own movie as part of the double feature. Rodriguez is directing Planet Terror and Tarintino helms Death Proof.

Released as exclusive posters at this year’s Comic Con, we are guessing “limited-edition” means “not approved by the MPAA and will not be displayed in theatres“. Since there is no MPAA rating on the posters, perhaps the studio isn’t submitting these as theatrical one-sheets to the MPAA’s Advertising Administration. (We have no idea if any of these are destined for your local theater lobby — would the MPAA have a problem with a poster of actress Rose McGowan’s amputated leg replaced with an assault rifle?)

In the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, director Rodriguez “dissects” the three Grind House teaser posters:

Death Proof movie poster

Death Proof

“It’s a slasher movie with a car instead of a knife,” says Rodriguez of Tarantino’s Death Proof, which stars Kurt Russell as a psychotic stuntman. “We did that poster as a silk screen. We wanted to imply an alternate film universe.”

Planet Terror movie poster

Planet Terror

In Rodriguez’s zombie-esque feature Planet Terror, Rose McGowan’s go-go dancer-turned-amputee sports a unique fake limb. The poster’s aged look, Rodriguez says, was achieved by the high-tech means of “dragging it around a parking lot.”

Planet Terror movie poster

Planet Terror

The director is tight-lipped about why actress Marley Shelton is holding a hypodermic needle in another Terror poster. But he’s more verbose on the subject of Grindhouse sequels: “Yeah, there may be a couple. One might be kung fu. One sexploitation. They’re a blast to make!”

The term grindhouse refers to the exploitation genre of films and movie theaters that showed those types of films in the 1970s. Grindhouse has been described as “inner-city theaters in disrepair since their glory days as movie palaces in the ’30s and ’40s. Known for ‘grinding out’ non stop, triple-bill programs of B-movies. By the late ’60s and into the ’70s they specialized in movies with sex, violence and other taboo subject matter.” This grindhouse cinema has long been an influence for director Tarantino.

The Grindhouse teaser posters and their artwork have embraced all the trappings and style of vintage 70s exploitation posters, including the previously mentioned screenprinted look, distressed edges, poster folds (which seem to be popular recently), and the colorful sensationalism of exploitation movie poster art. We especially love the screenprinted Death Proof movie poster, which replicates the cheaply produced screenprinted posters that were used by some theatres and drive-ins, complete with a blank space at the top of the poster that allowed the local movie theater owner to print their own local theater name, address, showtimes, etc.

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  1. CodyAugust 10, 2006 at 8:23 AMReply

    I didn’t remember there being a drive-in theater in Austin. I used to drive down Burnet Rd to work every day. It turns out there was a drive-in there, but it closed in 1975. Pictures of the theatre do exist. I wonder if Quetin Tarantino used to go there? I mean, why choose that particular theater?

    IMDB lists the movies as being filmed in Austin which might explain it. But, according to this page, there were at least 3 others in Austin alone.

    I thought maybe they would be re-opening the place for the premier or something, but the site is now a storage place and you can see on the satellite image that it would be difficult to put the theatre back.

    I guess Robert Rodriguez’s comment about an alternate film universe will just have to suffice.

  2. adminAugust 10, 2006 at 10:24 AMReply

    It’s funny, because the DEATH PROOF poster (and the Die Monster Die! / Planet of Vampires double-bill poster we posted) motivated me to and see if there were ANY drive-ins nearby — sadly there are none to be found.

  3. CodyAugust 10, 2006 at 10:41 AMReply

    We have one about 45 minutes away. The one time we tried to go the sound cut out about 5 minutes into the movie. There was a problem with their FM modulator (you tune to a radio station on the lower end of the dial). Anyway, after patiently waiting and enjoying the night air, my kids were getting restless. I went up to the snack bar to see if I could get any information.

    The person clearly in charge was anxiously waiting at the food counter, “hurry hurry! I need it now!” The kid behind the counter then ran back with a piece of alumninum foil. The foil was then hurridly ushered to the control booth. Assumedly to attempt to MacGyver the equipment back into operation.

    15 minutes later they refunded all the tickets saying it would be “fixed next week, this has never happened before!”

  4. adminAugust 10, 2006 at 10:45 AMReply

    I have only been to a drive-in once — some small drive-in in Tennessee. The double-bill was Lone Wolf McQuade and HOTS. ;)

  5. ChristopherAugust 11, 2006 at 9:52 PMReply

    Small observation about the poster, but interesting to note in case someone thinks that they were actually physically ‘distressed’. Rodriguez says they were dragged around a parking lot, but the distressed look actually comes from photoshop ‘brushes’ that add this. For example in the McGowan poster, the upper left corner distressing is the same as the lower right (but rotated 180), and there are other repeats on the sides.(and I saw the posters in EW and I could tell that the other Planet Terror poster had the same distress marks.

    Not a big deal – I only thought to note it because of Rodriguez’s comment and that some people care about those small details.

  6. ThresherMarch 12, 2007 at 6:08 PMReply

    I used to go to the Burnet Drive-In when I was a kid. It was at the corner of 2222 and Burnet Road. Right up the street from the Top Notch Hamburgers place that is featured in Dazed and Confused (still stands). I ordered two of the posters – just for nostalgia sake. :)

  7. Movie Poster of the Year « « the movie poster weblogFebruary 8, 2008 at 6:10 PMReply

    […] Robert Rodriguez wanted you to know how much they love the 1970s exploitation double-bills with the Grindhouse poster campaign. Were they trying to recreate the haphazard aspect of 70s B-movie advertising by creating […]

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