American Grindhouse - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Grindhouse Reviews

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February 29, 2016
For a doc about the wildest period in American cinema, this is rather stale. Seemingly imitating an old school educational film, it's too structured and dry.
½ November 13, 2015
Manages to touch on everything in exploitation cinema from Edison to 'Hostel', but that's sort of the film's drawback, too -- it doesn't go in-depth into much. Still, with its abundance of great clips and interviews, 'American Grindhouse' makes a good primer for the uninitiated, and a fun look back for aficionados.
February 1, 2015
Cool history lesson, but not much else going on.
January 11, 2015
A fascinating look into cinema's notorious genre, 'American Grindhouse' is a must-see for movie and pop culture lovers. From obscure titles to more mainstream releases, filmmakers and historians discuss this (for better or worse) essential contribution to the art of filmmaking.
½ June 1, 2014
More sex, gore and exploitation than your average R rated flick. And it's a documentary. Excellent information for us cinefiles. Grindhouse history from Edison to pre-code era to present day. Educational!
May 21, 2014
A fascinating documentary celebrating the underbelly of cinema from day one...filled to the brim with fantastic footage of early indecencies.

The interviews are all insightful & interesting to see the oddballs behind these odd films. It was fascinating to see how early films began to get risquà (C).

As the years go on the movies get wild & wilder & the so called grind house is still around today. This is not for the faint hearted some is quite vile, a top Doco.
March 21, 2014
Fascinating. Should be seen by anyone with an appreciation for low-brow cinema.
November 24, 2013
"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." - H.L. Mencken.
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2013
Perfect for those interested in film history, "American Grindhouse" takes a look at American exploitation films from their start in the early 1900's to present-day with director's like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez bringing the classic nature of the film back. Focusing on giving the audience what they want, like sex, violence, and special effects, these films took on a life of their own. What will surprise you from this film are certain films that are considered exploitation films, like Hitchcock's "Psycho" and Spielbergs' "Jaws" as well as how popular many of these films were, even the ones completely considered smut. With many interviews with film historians, directors, and actors, "American Grindhouse" feels like a quick starter course for anyone interested in the subject, showing many clips from the films it talks about, creating one of the most well put together film documentaries I've witnessed in a long time.
½ October 4, 2013
Some interesting history but way slower than I expected.
September 2, 2013
What is grindhouse? This has all the answers!
July 3, 2013
Decent documentary about the history of Grindhouse flicks.
June 16, 2013
expected more from this documentary
½ June 16, 2013
A great documentary for anyone interested in film history or learning about 20th century fringe culture. Some of it was too gory for me, but it comes with the territory of exploring exploitation films. Overall, well-made and engaging.
March 29, 2013
Good doc ont he history of Grindhouse.
January 31, 2013
As long as film has existed, filmmakers have found a way to exploit it, as Elijah Drenner shows us in this shocking look at the cinematic underground, AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE. Drenner presents a complete and fully informed history of the Exploitation genre, from its early beginnings in films like Thomas Edison's TRAFFIC IN SOULS to the more recent trend in so-called "Torture-Porn" pictures like HOSTEL. Few realize just how outrageous and scandalous the films of the pre-Code era truly were, with a proliferation of sex and violence that Drenner brings back to the surface for a startling effect. The evolution of Exploitation is then documented in great detail, traveling through the stages of the early sex films, educational pictures, horror and the grand guignol, Film Noir, burlesque, teenage delinquency, Sexploitation, and gore (and that's just in the first half!). However debatable the content of these films may be, the cultural impact that filmmakers like Russ Meyer, Samuel Arkoff, and Herschell Gordon Lewis had on cinema is unmistakable. Robert Forster's dry narration often seems out of place given the sensational subject matter, but the colorful commentary of the Exploitation genre's most knowledgeable historians and filmmakers help to liven things up. An excellent ensemble of classic film trailers and vintage posters also accompany this informative look into filth, with key editing attributed to Andy Goldenberg, Dan Greene, and Drenner, himself.
January 31, 2013
Decent documentary about the history of Grindhouse flicks.
½ January 2, 2013
Awesome documentary on grindhouse filmmaking and spectatorship.
November 17, 2012
It's a great doc on the subject matter there's a wealth of film history in this.
November 9, 2012
Successfully got me hooked on the subject. I saw Tarantino's Grindhouse several times and loved it. I knew it was supposed to be done in a old, cheesy, B-movie style, but I had no idea what exactly that was. As a designer, I am deeply, deeply fascinated with grindhouse art/style. While I have yet to develop a taste for the sort of movies they advertise (I'm not in any big hurry to see "Slave Girls of the SS") I love their posters, title sequences, logos...I love the tone they convey. For the documentary itself, it isn't anything new; it's pretty vanilla and to the point and it's set up in neat sections that go from Thomas Edison in the 1920's to present day. I will admit that the ending of the American Grindhouse was rushed. I wish they would have more greatly explored the direction 'Grindhouse' and exploitation is taking today. Is there modern exploitation films? What do they think will be the next big thing that makes the masses squirm? They made a great point in saying that the graphic, independent essence of the style as been fully absorbed into popular culture; in 2012, we have seen everything and for the most part, are pretty numb to the bells and whistles that once made these exploitation movies a hit. Maybe the style is dead, maybe it will take a new form soon enough.
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