Grindhouse" got such a intriguing and funny review by Christy Lemire for the AP that I decided I had to see it now, long before it came out on DVD. And sitting through three hours and 11 minutes I was awfully glad I did, because this is a film of many dimensions, many of them going back to my youth in Dayton, Ohio, where Jefferson Street was the home of several grind moviehouses, where for a dime you could see a triple feature, two cartoons and a serial (Flash Gordon with a cardboard spaceship stands out in memory). The movies were all trashy, all badly scratched and battered, and just as in "Grindhouse" often "missing" a reel.
This is actually two movies combined in one film - "Terror Planet" about a plague in a Texas town by director Robert Rodriguez, and then "Death Proof," shepherded by Quentin Tarantino (Of "Kill Bill" fame).
Making sense is not what this film is all about. In "Planet," the zombies ooze pus but are easily blown away with revolvers loaded with infinite magazines. The sexy moments are tactfully elided with the message of "missing reel," but never mind. The spectacle goes on and on, with the high point when go-go dancer Rose McGowan loses a leg calf (it goes sliding across the floor with the shoe firmly in place). Her hubby (Josh Brolin) fixes a table leg to her knee and she hobbles along until he replaces the wooden leg with a massive machine gun, which she uses to wipe out a division or two of the zombies. She's a classic, beautiful but funny.
The Tarantino film starts out slowly with a lot of four-girl chit-chat, but then in the most amazing car chase scene ever filmed goes over the top. Three of the girls are driving a white muscle car when Kurt Russell, who has a thing about killing women in his muscle car, takes after the three. This is an almost-endless car chase, with the two muscle cars banging into each other with stuntwoman Zoe Bell, an Aussie, stretched out on the hood. The finale has Russell whipped and prone as the three girls sock him and finally leave him as roadkill.
An evening with Patty Larkin Sunday at 9 p.m. will be at the Crystal Bay Club Casino Red Room, 14 State Highway 28, Crystal Bay. Call (775) 833-6330 Tickets are $15 to $21 at www.crystalbaycasino.com. Larkin's latest CD, "Guitara," deals with women and how they changed the guitar scene. It's a fine CD, and I figure she's worth the drive to Crystal Bay.
Cheech Marin and a cast of comedians appear in "Up in Jokes," May 4-5 - Cinco De Mayo Weekend - in the Celebrity Showroom at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks. Joining Cheech are Gilbert Esquivel ("Comedy Central"), Loni Love ("Comedy Central"), Jill Michelle Meleon ("Mad TV") and Bret Ernst (Vince Vaughn stand-up tour/feature film). Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $59 at (800) 648-1177 or 356-3300 or by visiting janugget.com. He's not my favorite gigglemeister ,but a lot of people get their whoops from him.
FROM THE VAULT
Sometimes there are casts made in heaven, and with "When Harry Met Sally," this is one. Rob Reiner directed and Nora Ephron wrote the clever and witty script. The script was nominated for an Oscar; it didn't impress Academy voters, but it sure impressed me. Billy Crystal is Harry and Meg Ryan is Sally, and two better suited actors would be hard to imagine. Crystal is the wise guy, maintaining that men and women can't just be friends because sex always gets in the way. Ryan is a quirky lady who disagrees. She was fresh and young then and he still had his hair or a good toupee.
The whole thing is obvious; Harry and Sally are made for each other, but don't realize it until after they've shared a bed and then Splitsville. But at a New Year's Eve party, Harry confesses his love for her, and the kiss is stupendous.
The music was a fine collection of standards such as "It Had to Be You" or "Autumn in New York." Perfect background for the action.
Some fine lines: Harry: "When I buy a new book, I always read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends.
Sally: I'd like the chef salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side. And the apple pie a la mode ... But I'd like the pie heated, and I don't want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side. And I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it. If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it's real. If it's out of a can, then nothing."
The two were perfect for this film. Ryan later starred with Tom Hanks in several now-classic romantic comedies; Crystal went on to emcee the Academy Awards. Don't think it was rated, but it's totally inoffensive.
• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.