By Leah Rozen Lesley Messer
April 16, 2007 12:00 PM

Freddy Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, Rosario Dawson, Kurt Russell


Two of cinema’s best-known bad boys have teamed to make a pair of movies with nothing on their minds but other movies. Under the umbrella title Grindhouse, director-writers Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) and Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) offer a double feature of loving but winking tributes to the cheapie exploitation flicks both marinated in as youths.

Tarantino’s Death Proof, which comes second, is the better film. A tale of car chases and revenge, it’s knowing, droll and packed with mind-blowing driving stunts. Rodriguez’s weaker Planet Terror, about a brave posse fighting predatory humanoids, is hokier and overdoses on gore (both films are exuberantly bloody). At 90 minutes each, they’re too long, but the filmmakers’ sheer, wait-till-you-see-this enthusiasm is obvious in every frame, and it’s infectious. (R)