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retro/tawdry

On Friday, Scooter Girl and I saw Grindhouse, the splendidly cartoonish Rodriguez/Tarantino homage to B-movies of all kinds (zombie, s/exploitation, car-chase, etc.) It's a dense 3+ hour rollercoaster ride of absurdity: satirically bad dialogue and violence, but also strikingly fantastic ensemble acting (by the hottest of ass-kicking girls) and group dialogue (does anyone do that better than Tarantino?), some lump-in-the-throat viciousness and a truly eye-popping set of car chases to wrap it all up.

So....zombies, supervixens, and Mopars. Can't beat it.

Afterward, while the credits were rolling, I asked SG if she'd seen Duel, Steven Spielberg's first feature, involving Everyman (in the form of a character named David Mann, played by Dennis Weaver) in a Plymouth Valiant against a faceless, murderous evil in a dilapidated Peterbilt tanker truck.

She said she hadn't.

The next day, during a discussion about the cheesy glee of Grindhouse, SG's hairdresser said, "Have you seen Duel?"

Again, she said she hadn't.

But then, she found it on on-demand. And after she said she was watching it, I threw the work I was supposed to be doing overboard and watched it too. It's a pretty simple story, as an unassuming, gently-henpecked businessman is forced to run from a mystifying killer truck; man against man, man against machine, nature, evil....Will Everyman discover previously unknown strength and ingenuity?

Beyond these existential questions, the movie just rocks: Desert chases! A slant-six-powered Valiant (just like the slant-six Dart i learned to drive in)! (I'm struck by how completely opposite the terrain and atmosphere in the movie is to the torrential quasi-hurricane that's raging outside. Spring in New England.....)

And now I'm watching the Bahrain grand prix, instead of sleeping. Because my priorities are all out of whack.

So.

Dust, gasoline, tire smoke, bare skin and diesel.

Makes Monday OK.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on 2007-04-15 at 22:16.

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