Quentin Tarantino is the most influential American filmmaker of the past quarter century. A passionate lover of so many classic genres, Tarantino has spent 30 years re-inventing and combining those genres into modern films for modern audiences all while infusing a dialogue style never heard before and oft-imitated since. His movies are violent, loud, feature colorful language, and above all else, they’re just plain cool. Technically, his directorial debut was My Best Friend’s Birthday from 1987, but only 36 minutes of that project exists. His first official film was 1992’s Reservoir Dogs, and he wrote gangster True Romance and a draft of Natural Born Killers before hitting the stratosphere with Pulp Fiction in 1994.
With the recent release of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Tarantino officially has 9 feature films he’s both written and directed on his resume (when we count Kill Bill as one movie, which they do on the poster for the Once). And since rankings and lists are always fun, I’m going to countdown Tarantino’s filmography in order from worst to best, along with a mention of each entry’s Best Moment.
Years ago, taking a comic book with you out in public was a sure-fire way to invite criticism and shame from a fairly large percentage of average adults. Sure, if you’re a kid or early teen it was fine, but should you try to do it as someone in their early 20s or, Odin forbid, your middle 30s”¦ it was like you were somehow dropping a deuce in the Wheaties of the great literary minds. Surely Poe or Hemingway themselves would show up, throw a bag over your head, toss you in the back of a van, and torture you for enjoying something other than one of “the great works” (which BTW I’m pretty sure actually happened one time in Key West).
Those days, thankfully, are gone. Yesterday I decided to venture out into the world and bring along a few issues so that I could enjoy them while drinking a large cup of coffee. Not a frapathingy or a mochawhatsit, but coffee. Simple ol’ coffee-flavored coffee, as Denis Leary puts it. In my backpack I put a few issues that I’ve been meaning to read and one of those was Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight #6. In hindsight, that may have been a faux pax and I would rather have taken the hood/van/car battery to my nipples scenario.
That Guy Dick Miller Director: Elijah Drenner
Cast: Dick Miller, Joe Dante, Roger Corman, William Sadler, Corey Feldman, John Sayles, Mary Woronov, Robert Picardo, Zach Galligan
World Premiere | End Films
Not Rated | 91 Minutes
Release Date: March 7, 2014 (SXSW)
Dick Miller is the last of the great American character actors. Whether sharing the screen with Nicholson, Hanks, Schwarzenegger, or The Ramones, Dick has been stealing scenes since his screen debut in 1955.
Miller has worked with some of the great directors: Scorsese, Corman, Dante, Cameron, Demme, and more. If you’re an avid moviegoer, you definitely know his face, but few know his name and even fewer know his story: an aspiring writer turned accidental actor.
Directed by Elijah Drenner, That Guy Dick Miller documents Miller’s funny and unexpected story, featuring interviews from the directors, producers, co-stars, and friends who have helped make him Hollywood’s leading “that guy.”
I was born a poor white child in the waning winter days of 1979. Never was I able to step foot inside a grindhouse theater, and the only time I ever went to a drive-in theater that wasn’t doubling as a flea market was to see Fletch when I was barely old enough to remember going in the first place. VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and spending a lot of time at the houses of friends and relatives with access to pay cable movie channels helped fill me in on the deranged cinematic greatness I was too young to catch first run in its proper theatrical venue. Being born in the wrong place at the seriously wrong time was no excuse for me to not become a fervent admirer of the finest exploitation movies ever made.
B-movies, C-movies, Z-movies, I’ve seen a lot. If I lived a few extra lifetimes after my first ran out I could never be able to see all of the movies I ever wanted to see. My DVD and Blu-ray collection isn’t massive (getting there though) and yet there are still a few titles I have yet to sit down and watch. Sue me, I stay pretty busy most of the time. Once upon a time there were theaters from the largest metropolises to the smallest one-horse burgs that specialized in playing the kinds of offbeat, occasionally undefinable, made-for-a-quick-buck flicks that were too gonzo to show its grimy celluloid visage in mainstream cinemas that primarily attracted bored suburbanites and their spoiled, hateful children. You could see a lot of these schlocky gems in double or triple feature bills or “dusk ’till dawn” marathons that cost substantially less for a ticket than a IMAX 3D screening, even with inflation taken into account. You definitely got your money’s worth, that could not be denied.