Quentin Tarantino Discusses Grindhouse’s Poor Box Office Haul
It’s been more than a decade since Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez teamed up for the action bonanza Grindhouse, a compilation of films designed to invoke those old B-movies of yesteryear. While the concept was awesome in and of itself, audiences mostly stuck their noses up at the project resulting in a disappointing box office haul. Quentin Tarantino decided to drop by Empire to share his thoughts about the failed experiment.
“With Grindhouse,” Tarantino explains, “I think me and Robert just felt that people had a little more of a concept of the history of double features and exploitation movies. No, they didn’t. At all. They had no idea what the fuck they were watching. It meant nothing to them, alright, what we were doing. So that was a case of being a little too cool for school.”
Even so, Grindhouse did produce a number of spin-offs based on its fake trailers, namely Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun. So, the experience wasn’t a complete failure. Though, that thought didn’t stop Tarantino from reliving what he considers a “humbling experience.”
“I’m in London doing press on the film before opening weekend,” Tarantino said. “And I go to Edgar Wright, ‘Hey, let’s you and me and your friends go see it on Friday night in Piccadilly.’ So Nira [Park], his producer, and Joe Cornish and the whole Edgar group, we head into the heart of Piccadilly Circus to go see Death Proof on opening day. And we walk in the theatre and there’s about 13 people in there. On the opening 8.30 show, alright? [Laughs] That was a rather humbling experience. But we sat down and watched it and had a good time. Edgar was like [launches into Edgar Wright impression that sounds more like Jason Statham], ‘That was very impressive. I think I would have turned around and walked out of there. The fact you said, ‘Fuck it,’ and sat down, I admired that.’”
I remember watching Grindhouse with my brother alone in an empty theater and I can assure you the lack of an audience did not deter our enjoyment of the flick. If anything, it added to the overall experience.
Here’s the official synopsis for Grindhouse via Fandango: Filmmakers Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez pay tribute to exploitation films of the 1970s with two features in one. Tarantino directs Death Proof, a slasher film about a scarred, weathered rebel named Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), who leeringly stalks three young women out for a night on the town. Rodriguez directs the zombie film Planet Terror, in which an undead couple leads a rampage that will leave countless dead and millions afflicted. Faux ads and movie trailers run during each feature’s intermission.