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American Grindhouse

23 customer reviews

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(Jul 26, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The salacious and uproarious AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE explores the hidden history of the exploitation film, those popular purveyors of cheap sex and violence. It emerged from the tents of carnie sideshows into features like Freaks, and mutated from there to change with the times. There were the rebellious teen flicks of the Eisenhower 50s, bloody gore-fests and drug movies of the turbulent 60s, and the Blaxploitation boom in the 70s. AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE takes a fascinating look at the films, filmmakers, shysters, and hustlers who made it all happen. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), with exclusive interviews with filmmakers, actors and critics Herschell Gordon Lewis, Joe Dante, Larry Cohen, John Landis, Fred Williamson, Kim Morgan and many more. Featuring over 200 clips from some of the most outrageous movies ever made, AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE is the most comprehensive documentary ever made on these masterpieces of the lowbrow. DVD EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL FEATURES: FEEL THE GRIND: The Making of AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE, Vintage radio spots, Photo galleries
Extended interviews... and much more!


A lively and stylish look at the history of illegitimate cinema. --John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Joe Dante, John Landis, Larry Cohen
  • Directors: Elijah Drenner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XEEM9Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,570 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Runk VINE VOICE on May 10, 2011
Format: DVD
To fans of exploitation cinema, the term "Grindhouse" is a household term that's frequently used. Recently the term has been unleashed on the general public, thanks in no small part to the Tarantino/Rodriguez project. But be that as it may, most folks still have no idea what the term means. I've been asked about it a time or two, and most fans would agree that it does take some explaining to define it.
Well, this documentary more or less does that. It's basically Grindhouse For Beginners. Lots of history, name dropping, movie clips and interviews. It moves at a very frantic pace, never staying on one particular film or topic for very long, but runs through tons of brief film clips throughout. It covers the very beginnings with some of Thomas Edison's first films, all the way through the classic years of 42nd Street.
Some fans are gonna be disappointed at the lack of specific films and directors being mentioned, and this is understandable, but this isn't meant to be an in depth history, but more of an intro. The director said in an interview I read that this film was to be kind of a glorified DVD extra. In the same interview he said that certain names and films were left out intentionally, though he gave no concrete reason why. Personally I think it's a flat out crime to have not mentioned Roger Corman once. But this documentary originally started out as a documentary on director Jack Hill, and then just kinda grew from there, which might explain the rushed and incomplete feel.
So why the four stars? Well, I enjoyed it. We Grindhouse weirdos are the type to have already obsessively researched the films, directors and history, so there isn't much information here we didn't know already(though some of the very early history of the 20s and 30s was enlightening for me).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 29, 2011
Format: DVD
I've read about various aspects of Grindhouse Cinema in books, and I lived through more of it than I care to admit, so seeing this insightful overview really put the capper on things for me.

This documentary takes you through the history of the genre (if you can call it that) with input from various directors and film historians. It starts at the very beginning (which might have been minutes after the first movie camera was invented) and on through all the factions, decades, directors, subject matter and what-not up into the 80s. You get trailers and scenes from some of the high(?) points along with a bit of behind-the-scenes input from the stars and directors. It's a wild ride in all its sordid glory.

As a true movie whore I loved every minute of this. It was great getting such a comprehensive overview of something that I knew only in bits and pieces. At a mere 80 minutes I could have used a bit more. For instance: They note Russ Meyer only for his having been one of the first (if not THE first) film maker to infuse 'nudie cuties' with plotlines, when he actually had a huge impact on developing the entire soft core porn genre. But this is a minor quibble. For anyone interested in Grindhouse Cinema, or if you lived through some portion of it, this will bring back fond memories and give you a good dose of film history to boot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gudis on April 27, 2013
Format: DVD
First of all let me just say that as a fan of the grindhouse genre what is presented in this documentary is solid and informative. With extensive coverage of grindhouse filmmaking starting with practically the genesis of film up through the 1970s with a brief mention of modern day films like Planet Terror, Death Proof, Black Dynamite and Machete. Genres covered included pre code cautionary films from the early 1900s through the 30s and 40s, Blaxploitation, biker films, nazisploitation, nudist films, sexploitation, hippiesploitation, prison films, the porn industry and some gore flicks. But having said that...there could have been more. They barely scratched the surface when it came to horror and monster films. No mention of classic grindhouse horror flicks like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn Of Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, I Spit On Your Grave and the list goes on and on. They also completely ignored the carsploitation genre entirely, no Vanishing Point, no Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, no Death Race 2000 and so on and so on.

The actual documentary itself before the credits start to roll barely clocks in at 75 minutes. I personally think that if they had chosen to cover the omitted material that I had mentioned above they could have easily filled a two hour timeslot and made a more complete documentary for American grindhouse films.

Granted, the filmmakers had not set out to do that initially, they had planned on just focusing on certain film makers from the genre and a select list of films, but later decided to try and do a history of Grindhouse cinema instead. That is mentioned in the special features on the DVD itself.

Again, it wasn't a bad documentary, there just could have been more to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AKN TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 21, 2012
Format: DVD
s review is from: American Grindhouse (DVD)
This was a thouroughly enjoyable movie for this film buff. Grindhouse movies are exploitation movies. As the film explains, almost anything can be exploited but usually it's sex, violence, or any combination of the two.

The most enjoyable aspect of this movie is the hundreds of great film clips from films most people have never heard of. I plan to go back with pen and paper in hand, and write down all the movies mentioned. There isn't one movie here that I wouldn't love to see, or have already seen. One that was mentioned that I recently saw was Russ Meyer's "Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill!"

These movies are pure schlock. They feed the most base instincts. And this movie tells the history of the Grindhouse genre in very well researched detail, and how it evolved and changed through time. It even points out that the first person who ever made a movie, Thomas Edison, made a couple of exploitation films.

There have been a few recent film clip collections that are terrible. They are cheaply made and don't have any information at all on the history of grindhouse film. In contrast, this one has the huge quantity of films mentioned, plus all the clips from each, plus the quality of material and history, and the complete details of the subject. To fit all the many movie clips into a watchable timeframe, unfortunately the clips are very short and leave one wanting to see more.

A few of the films talked about are Freaks, Last House, Blood Feast, Jaws, and Shewolf of the SS.

We see some of the directors of these films, such as H.G. Lewis, and Don Edmonds, talking candidly about making these movies, and the importance of making money out of any movie made.
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