Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Need we say more?

A 2007 double feature film by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, intentionally sending up the 1970s B-Movies that played in theaters, complete with the cute little coming attraction and in-betweener cartoons.

Thunder Bolt Death Proof - A stuntman plays on his small fame to hit on girls, then kills them with his car. Little did he realize that a few of his second bunch of victims are stuntwomen... and among them is Zoe Bell (playing herself), who also doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill in real life. Boy, is Stuntman Mike in for a world of hurt...

Planet Terror - A military transaction turns chaotic as a poison gas is released onto a rural town of Texas. There, the unknowing civilians turn into blood-thirsty zombies. The only people who can stop them is a Go-Go-Dancer with a gun for a leg, her expert gunman ex boyfriend, the crazy babysitter twins, a shellshocked doctor, a Jerkass cop, a crusty sheriff, a scientist obsessed with balls, and a whole bunch of other trailer-park freaks deep in the Heart of Texas.

Also contained a variety of fake movie trailers. All of these trailers either have been, are in the process of, or being considered getting made into an actual feature film.

And in some select theaters:

If you're looking for information on "grindhouse movies" (which this movie is Homage to) see Exploitation Film.

Tropes used in Grindhouse include:
  • Camp
  • Captain Obvious: "It's blood."
  • Catch Phrase: "Don't" has "If you are thinking..."
  • Chekhov's Skill: Kim's training as a stunt driver comes into play as soon as Mike begins his pursuit, and ends with a savage Car Fu retaliation. Meanwhile, Zoe Bell, stuntwoman, is fully qualified to go flying off the hood of a Dodge Charger into a nearby ditch, only to pop up shouting "I'm Ok!"
    • Cherry's numerous "useless skills" - she finds a use for almost all of them by the end of the film
  • Creator Cameo - Quentin Tarantino appears in both movies (He technically didn't direct Planet Terror, but Robert Rodriguez has stated he was a large part of the creative process). Rodriguez also appears as one of the terrorists selling the biochemicals (the guys who gang up on the other guy and cut his balls off) at the beginning, IIRC.
  • Death by Cameo: Fergie, Tom Savini, Quentin Tarantino, Bruce Willis....
  • Defictionalization - Rodriguez's Machete was released in late 2010, and Hobo with a Shotgun is due to be released in 2011. Rob Zombie is also giving strong consideration to do a full length version of Werewolf Women of the SS.
    • Grindhouse 2 would supposedly be Don't and Thanksgiving, with new fake trailers as well.
  • Dirty Coward: The owner of the go go dancing club.
    • Stuntman Mike proves himself to little more than a bully, and as such a coward.
  • Doomed by Canon: Whilst their identity may be missed initially, anyone recognizing Earl McGraw knows that, under the assumption that the plot is canon, that they must survive (due to his appearances in Kill Bill 1, Death Proof and From Dusk 'Till Dawn (in which he dies at the beginning).
  • Everythings Cuter With Kittens: To remind viewers that these films are X-rated.
  • Evil Is Hammy / Evil Laugh: Nicolas Cage as... Fu Manchu!

This is my Mecca! Hahahaha!

  • Exploitation Film: Errr, yah; the whole point.
  • George Lucas Throwback
  • Gorn
  • Hammer Horror: Possibly Don't, although it appears to be more violent than Hammer usually went.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Naveen Andrews, aka Sayid.
  • Instant Mystery, Just Delete Scene: Inspired by an Italian crime movie with a missing reel which he felt made the film more interesting, Tarantino invoked this trope in both "features" by giving each a "missing reel" (although Death Proof had it restored in the "complete cut"). In Planet Terror, though, the film cuts from El Wray and Cherry starting to have sex, says "MISSING REEL", and when it cuts back, everything is on fire and we'll never know why. We'll also never know just who El Wray really is and why the police chief suddenly has the utmost respect for him.
  • The Ketchup Test - In the Thanksgiving trailer.
  • Large Ham - Guess who? "THIS... is my MECCA!!! Muahhahahaha!!
  • Male Gaze
  • Ms. Fanservice - Pretty much every female character.
  • No Export for You - The theatrical cut of Grindhouse wasn't released on home video in the US until more than 3 years later, and it wasn't released overseas as Grindhouse at all - both movies were released individually.
  • One-Scene Wonder - A few, such as Marcy, and later Jasper in Death Proof.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall - The films go to great lengths to give that authentic 1970s grindhouse feel, such as fake trailers, grainy footage, missing reels, jumping scenes, burned film, terrible synthesized music, an ad for a Tex-Mex restaurant which is supposedly next door to the theater you are watching the movie in, etc.
    • In one scene of Planet Terror, a large crane is clearly visible. Rodriguez considered removing it by computer, but then decided that leaving it visible would be much more grindhouse.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: Several of them!
  • Record Needle Scratch: Used during Thanksgiving to introduce the pilgrim killer during the parade.
  • Recurring Character: Dakota Block appears in both films, as does her father, Sheriff Earl McGraw, who has appeared in various other films by Tarantino and Rodriguez.
  • Recut: The two features were released separately overseas and on DVD, and both are longer, restoring the "missing reel" that Death Proof had in the U.S. theatrical cut - the missing reel for Planet Terror covers up a major plot point, and as such, was never filmed. As of yet, the full double-feature has only been been released on cable and on a Japanese-only Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition.
    • "On Cable" meaning "Only on movie channels"; on MTV, where the "Missing Reels" were, they simply cut to a commercial.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Ehrm, come on, you expected this to be a less gory and less perverted filled with sexual references including mutating penis? It's an exploitation movie, you know. Most of these were that cheesy back in 70s-80s, you know.
  • Retraux
  • Rule 34: Yes, there is fanmade Werewolf Women of the SS material.
  • Running Gag: Several, most notably the missing reels.
  • Shout-Out: George Romero makeup artist Tom Savini's death in Planet Terror is very similar to another character's death in Romero's Day of the Dead.
    • Death Proof makes a lot of references that have already been made in other Tarantino films. Kim's car has the same pattern as the Bride's jumpsuit in Kill Bill 1, but before that, it was Bruce Lee's jumpsuit. Abernathy's ringtone is the "Twisted Nerve" whistle used in Kill Bill, but Bernard Hermann original wrote it for something else. The only honest-to-God self-reference is when Mike mentions Big Kahuna burgers, a running gag in Tarantino's films.
      • Also, there are Red Apple cigarettes in Planet Terror.
    • There's a shout out in "Planet Terror" to "Death Proof": a DJ on the radio dedicates a song to Jungle Julia, in honor of her death
    • If you watch closely, Dakota in Planet Terror has a small notepad listing stuff to do. The last thing in that list? Kill Bill. Her husband is Dr. William Block...
  • Slasher Movie: Parodied in Thanksgiving.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler/Ghostapo: we repeat: Werewolf Women of the SS
  • Too Dumb to Live: The girls in the first half of Death Proof. They drink a ridiculous amount of alcohol, and then spend an hour or more smoking weed, before driving down the road in the middle of the night, wearing no seat belts and paying more attention to the radio than the road. It's a miracle they didn't die before Mike even got to them.
    • Granted it was during a zombie epidemic, but giving your young son a fully loaded gun without even teaching him how to use it seems pretty stupid. And it ends up as well as you would expect.

Death Proof

  • Badass Driver: Stuntman Mike sees himself as this, until Kim comes along.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Lee, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Being the ditz of the group, she's always the target of some jokes, even being scared by Zoë, when she said the latter was from Australia.
  • Brainless Beauty: Lee Montgomery.
  • Camera Sniper: Stuntman Mike watching the second group girls from his car. They walk in slow motion as Stuntman Mike adjusts the camera focus to follow them.
  • Car Fu: A large chunk (roughly the last six minutes of the movie).
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kim's.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Zoe's ability to always land on her feet. The girls talk about it in a joking way, but it saves her life later on.
  • Continuity Nod - The sheriff and his deputy who come to the hospital showed up at the wedding chapel massacre in Kill Bill. (Both the hospital and the chapel were in Texas.)
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Abby. She disapproves of Kim's gun and complains when they are going to do a stunt. After Stuntman Mike pissed her off enough, she suggested killing him. Later it is actually her who kicks his head in.
  • Curb Stomp Battle - The end; Kurt Russell gets knocked around by Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, and Tracie Thoms, until Zoe roundhouses him on his ass, and Rosario ax-kicks his head in.
  • Death by Sex: Inverted. The first girls, in spite of acting all wild, are actually pretty uptight about sex (especially Arlene/Butterfly), and they die. The second group, on the other hand, are very open about their sex lives, and they not only survive, they kill the bad guy!
  • Decoy Protagonist: More like an entire decoy cast!
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The entire first half makes you ask when something, anything is actually going to happen.
  • Five Second Foreshadowing - When Pam realizes that Stuntman Mike isn't actually going to give her a ride home, there's a super close up of her eyes. One second before Stuntman Mike hits the gas and speeds off... With Pam locked in the passenger side.
  • Food Porn - Come on, admit it. If you didn't get a craving for nachos after watching the nacho scene in Death Proof, you're lying.
  • Foot Focus - Plenty of it, as usual in Tarantino films. It's even Lampshaded.
  • Go-Go Dancing: Cherry Darling is quite insistent that she's a go-go dancer, not a stripper. We get to see her performing, as well.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Stuntman Mike has a large scar running down his face. He's something of a bastard. He also sarcastically claims he Cut Himself Shaving.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Halfway through, the movie is filmed with a very different style, with very different characters, in a very different place. It was almost like watching a sequel in the middle of the first movie!
    • Reading an interview with Tarantino reveals that this is actually exactly what's supposed to be going on.
    • A bit of Truth in Television - the shoestring nature of the B-movie industry meant a lot of half-finished productions. These might be finished by an entirely different crew, or by just editing in footage from another unrelated half-finished production.
  • Hot Amazon - Zoe Bell, for starters.
  • Jabba Table Manners - Watching Stuntman Mike noisily and messily slurping down his plate of nachos in his introduction is enough to tell you that this guy is going to be a creep.
    • Oh, c'mon, it's nachos. How do you eat them?
  • Loud Gulp - Lee actually says "Gulp" when she realizes her friends have left her with mister Redneck Rapist.
  • Market-Based Title - "Death Proof" was apparently released as "Thunder Bolt" in some markets, as suggested by the title card that appears for a split second before the "correct" title is superimposed.
  • Meaningful Name / Shaped Like Itself: - "Why's he called Stuntman Mike?" "'Cause he's a stuntman."
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Mike whines and cries and blubbers like a baby after being shot in the arm. Possibly Truth in Television as bullet wounds that merely graze the skin hurt more due to the higher concentration of nerve endings there.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Tarantino said that he wrote Kim essentially as a female version of Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Stuntman Mike.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm Scream is heard in Death Proof after Stuntman Mike runs over the first car.
  • Tempting Fate: Driving in the middle of the night, drunk, high out of their minds, blasting loud music, and sticking their legs out of the windows, they were practically begging for an accident.
  • This Is a Sentence Bitch: Virtually all of Kim's dialogue.
  • Trunk Shot: A Tarantino trademark, played with: it's a shot of Kim and Zoe from under the hood.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Lee is left behind with Jasper, the redneck who owns the Dodge. We never find out what happened to her, or what happened when the girls returned the ruined car.

Planet Terror


"Science comes first but business comes a close fucking seconds."

  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul - Dr. William Block. And keep in mind, that was before he was turned into a zombie. You gotta admit, those specs look good though.
  • Gatling Good
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot - "Goddamnit, girls. If you're gonna do that, do it on stage!"
  • Groin Attack: Abby seems fond of them. The rapists testicles actually melt off.
  • Homage: The action may be all Robert Rodriguez but the horror suspense elements, down to the synthesizer music, is pure John Carpenter.
  • Infant Immortality - Averted, in one of the film's only genuinely horrific scenes. Robert Rodriguez said he used his own kid, Rebel, as Tony because he didn't want to 'kill' anyone else's kid.' He also made a less-violent cut of the film where Tony survives the movie for Rebel to watch.
  • Ironic Echo - "I'm gonna eat your brain and gain your knowledge."

"What did I tell you, Tony? Don't point the gun at yourself. Didn't I tell you that?"

  • Kick the Morality Pet: Okay, Dakota doesn't literally kill her son, but she does give him a loaded gun.
  • Leg Cannon: Cherry Darling had her leg eaten by zombies, and replaced it with an M-4 assault rifle, which she used to kick much ass. And then later, she had that replaced with a full-on minigun.
  • Lost in Transmission - The audience sees "MISSING REEL." During the missing reel, it's implied, we'd have gotten to see Rose McGowan totally naked, plus the entire plot surrounding Ray's mysterious origins would have been explained.
    • And when the film comes back, everything's on fire, and we'll never know why. Possibly the best jump cut in movie history.
    • There's a Meta-Gag in there as well. An presumed urban legend (re-told in the novel Fight Club) is that older movies would have their nude scenes cut shorter and shorter as projectionists removed a few choice frames for their collection.
  • Made of Plasticine - Everyone, human and zombie alike.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Subverted with Dakota after she gives her son a loaded gun to defend himself with, only to have him shoot himself in the head. She then starts cradling the kill and pulls a Demona when her husband shows up and shrieks blame at him for it.
  • No Name Given: We don't really know what Cherry's real name is. "Palomita" was just something Wray gave.
  • Noodle Incident - The "missing reel". Cut to the diner on fire. Sheriff Hague had been shot. Dakota and her father, the babysitters, the go-go dancing club owner and some of the dancers somehow made it there.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: El Wray is just about the shortest person in the whole movie. And yet, many an ass is kicked.
  • Rated "M" for Manly
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Dr. Dakota Block gives a gun to her child, when she leaves him alone in a car. He shoots himself in the face (accidentally or not) within a few seconds of her leaving the car.
  • Rocket Jump: Cherry does this with her grenade launcher leg. One of the only non-videogame characters to perform this move.
  • Rule of Cool
  • The Savage South: Zombies everywhere in good old Texas!
  • Serious Business: Barbecue

JT: "No Texan's ever gonna give up his barbecue recipe, and that's a fact! I could be bleeding like a stuck pig, I ain't gonna tell ya! I could be dying in your arms, I ain't gonna tell ya!"


And with Nicolas Cage as..... Fu Manchu!!