In evaluating Robert Rodriguez’s half of the Grindhouse double feature experiment/debacle with Quentin Tarantino, one has to remember that the insistence on an homage to 70s drive-in crap was an insurmountable mistake.
A small Texas town is beleaguered by zombies, created by a military experiment gone bad. All hell breaks loose. Not really funny and not at all terrifying, mostly boring, often disgusting. But in the ultimate structural pass, Rodriguez is not responsible for a lazy, uninteresting film, because he is patterning his movie on same. Along with Tarantino’s Death Proof, there are few greater examples of Hollywood hubris.
Entertainment Weekly called it “crazily funny and exciting tribute to the grimy glory days of 1970s exploitation films” that “will leave you laughing, gasping, thrilled at a movie that knows, at long last, how to put the bad back in badass”, proving that some critics will go to great lengths for fear of seeming uncool.
It was, however, kind of gutsy to cast a near midget (Freddie Rodriguez) as the strong, silent hero.