Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have been close friends for over a quarter of a century, and they’re two of Hollywood’s most vocal cinephiles who have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of even the most obscure genre films. When they tried to share that enthusiasm with audiences, the end result was a spectacular flop.
Grindhouse was an ambitious undertaking, with the double feature splitting up Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Tarantino’s Death Proof with an intermission that aired fake trailers directed by Rodriguez, Edgar Wright, Rob Zombie and Eli Roth, but the most memorable thing about the entire endeavor was that it ultimately led to Danny Trejo’s Machete getting two solo movies of his own.
In a virtual set interview with ComicBook, Scream‘s Marley Shelton was asked if she preferred Planet Terror or Death Proof having appeared in both, but she was reticent to name one above the other.
“Well, that’s like you’re asking me to pick a child, which of course I can’t do, but man, that was just such an amazing experience to get to work with Quentin and Robert, and truly that was actually a collaboration between the both of them. I feel like it’s one movie, the whole genesis and the whole experiment of Grindhouse, was a collaboration between these two brilliant filmmakers. So it really was their combined world, so that being said, I don’t think I have to pick a child. And I was playing the same character in both, so, there you go, just one big four-hour movie.”
People simply didn’t understand the concept of Grindhouse, and there were tales of patrons leaving the cinema once Planet Terror had ended because they didn’t realize there was still another film to come. In the end, the bold 191-minute experiment earned just $25 million at the box office on a $67 million budget, with the two halves being released individually in many territories to try and offset the studio’s losses.