American Grindhouse (2010)    1 Stars

“Giving Audiences What They Want Since the Dawn of Motion Pictures.”

American Grindhouse (2010)
American Grindhouse (2010)


Director: Elijah Drenner

Cast: Robert Forster, Eric Schaefer, Eddie Muller

Synopsis: A documentary about the history of exploitation movies, from the silent movie era to the 1970s.






The trouble with movies like American Grindhouse is that they cast their net too wide.   Elijah Drenner admirably attempts to provide a comprehensive history of exploitation movies from the dawn of the cinema to the present day, but with a running time of only 80 minutes, manages to provide nothing more than a potted history.   The film sort of skims over its subject matter like a stone on water, taking a brief look at some particular aspect before quickly moving on.   There’s plenty of film clips featured, but most of them last little longer than a second or two – and are mostly just the title screen.   And although the movie succeeds in piquing your curiosity so that you do actually want to see maybe one or two complete movies, you also see enough to know that as soon as you do start watching one you’re going to wonder why you bothered.   The talking heads are probably more interesting than the film clips, and it’s a shame more time wasn’t devoted to letting the practitioners of this dubious genre recall their times in the business instead of showing us tiny snippets of their output.

(Reviewed 8th March 2012)

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