You already know that "Grindhouse" consists of two mini-movies (Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" and Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror") and several hilariously phony movie trailers. In order to see the whole picture, however, you'll want to know all the in-jokes, intentional mistakes and general bread crumbs the cinema-savvy directors have placed for their sharp-eyed viewers. So, with some help from the stars, we were able to assemble this spoiler-free compilation of things you need to know before you visit the Grindhouse.
In Loving Memory If you listen carefully, you'll hear a radio dedication in Rodriguez's movie for a character who'll die in Tarantino's flick. "In 'Planet Terror,' Tammy, who's played by Fergie, is listening to the radio and then you hear a voice come over the radio," Rose McGowan explained. "That's because Quentin's movie would take place before Robert's movie, since ['Planet Terror'] is supposed to be the end of the world."
The Case of the Missing Reel Vanessa Ferlito did indeed shoot a striptease scene. Watch the film's trailer closely, and you can see the "Death Proof" actress crawling seductively across the barroom floor toward a seated Kurt Russell. Tarantino has said the deleted scene will be restored for DVD and international releases.
A Black-Eyed Zombie? To film her broken-down-Volvo scene with Jeff Fahey, Fergie rushed offstage immediately after playing a sold-out Black Eyed Peas concert in Dallas. Mere hours later, she was on-set in Luling, Texas.
A Cutting-Edge Tradition Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo continue a running joke with their fake trailer for "Machete," with Trejo once again named after a sharp weapon. In the "From Dusk Till Dawn" series he played Razor Charlie and Razor Eddie, and in the "Spy Kids" films he was also named Machete.
Two Eli Roths for the Price of One "Eli Roth plays the guy that's trying to get with me," actress Jordan Ladd said of the "Hostel" director, occasional actor and occasional MTV News contributor (see "Shoot Ends, 'Insane Editing' Begins: Eli Roth's 'Hostel: Part II' Column"), who appears in "Death Proof." "He was in pre-production for 'Hostel II,' so we shot him for five days, and then we had to use our first [assistant director]. Quentin thought he looked a little bit like Eli, but he looks nothing like Eli! So if you see Eli's character in the background, it's actually the first A.D."
Nacho Problem Sharp-eyed watchers of "Death Proof" will also notice a continuity flaw when Russell is seated at the bar alongside Rose McGowan. In three successive cuts, Stuntman Mike is holding a drink, then a nacho chip, and then his drink again. Much like the Eli Roth "mistake," Tarantino purposely dropped it in because it's the sort of thing you'd see in a cheap '70's movie.
I Know That Voice! That familiar personality behind the narration-heavy trailer for "Don't!" is none other than "Blades of Glory" funnyman Will Arnett. The comedian's extensive voiceover background includes straight-faced ads for Lamisil medication and GMC trucks.
The Bride Lives! "The colors of my uniform, they're black and yellow," noted Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who wears a cheerleader outfit reminiscent of Uma Thurman's now-famous jumpsuit. "It's got black trim, and it says 'Vipers' on the front, so that's definitely an homage to 'Kill Bill.' " Rodriguez added: "Quentin uses some colors from 'Kill Bill' in one of the cars as well."
Time to Bring the Pain In "Planet Terror," Freddy Rodriguez portrays a mysterious man with a knack for gunplay. If you look closely, however, you might see pain in his eyes. "I was injured," he admits. "In that gun scene I was spinning the guns around, and every time I would spin the gun the trigger would dig into my finger. Eventually, pieces of skin started flying out, along with blood. I had two big holes in my finger." Rodriguez noted that if you look closely, you might even catch a few Band-Aids wrapped around his injured digits.
Is There a De Niro in the House? Josh Brolin gained 25 pounds for his role as Doc Block, in order to develop a believable beer gut. Much to his dismay, Tarantino cut most of the footage of a shirtless Brolin.
Whose Blood Is It, Anyway? "I'm sure you guys are wondering where my blood comes from," grinned Electra Avellan, one half of the Crazy Babysitter Twins. "I have blood all over my boobs — it was Quentin's choice, and my choice too. But no one seems to figure out where it comes from. Everybody has other people's blood on them, but mine comes from somewhere else." Rodriguez's real-life niece claims that if you watch the movie close enough, you'll catch a bizarre, background bloodbath.
Put Your Hands Together for Marley Marley Shelton was excited to find a scene in the script that called for her to lose feeling in her hand — because her hands are oddly jointed in real life. "Funnily enough, I can actually move my wrists in a really bizarre way," she laughed, letting her hand hang freakishly limp. "Stupid human tricks!"
Quentin Nearly Fell for Real "Rosario's character tells a story about when [our characters] were in the Philippines shooting a movie, and how I was trying to take a photo of her and nearly pushed her in a big gutter and she thought she was going to die," Zoe Bell explained, referring to a foreshadowing story told in "Death Proof." "That is [a real] story about Quentin and I, when we were shooting 'Kill Bill' in China." In real life, the stunt woman attempted to take Tarantino's picture and almost made him back into a ditch. "I was the woman that nearly killed Quentin Tarantino!"
Coming Soon to a Fictional 7-11 Near You Explaining that he likes to create "a Quentin universe," Tarantino once again sidesteps product placement with fictional stand-ins. In "Grindhouse," he unveils four new creations. "One of them is an energy drink from Japan, called GO Juice," the director explained. "There's also a Tennessee beer called Old Chattanooga. And one of my favorite ones is we introduced a new cigarette called Capital W. Whites, and it's for women. We also introduced a new version of Red Apple cigarettes, called Red Apple Tans."
A Cultural Exchange Continuing with the theme of fictional product placement, Tarantino and Rodriguez traded creations for "Grindhouse." A character in "Planet Terror" can be seen smoking Red Apples, and "There's a Chango beer in Quentin's part," Rodriguez said of his fictional brew referenced in flicks like "Desperado."
The Big Gulp Winstead's memorable final word wasn't actually supposed to be spoken at all. "It was in the script, but it was meant to be a thought — like, 'She swallows and thinks, "Gulp!" ' — but I said 'gulp!' out loud," the actress admitted. "Everyone started cracking up hysterically, so I guess it worked."
Slick Work at a Greasy Spoon "One take," Rosario Dawson proclaimed, daring us all to look for any edits in the lengthy scene with her and the other "Death Proof" actresses in the diner. "Quentin was like 'You guys have this scene down! Let's just try it.' It was so amazing, especially because Zoe Bell has never acted before" (see "Rosario Dawson Talks Female-Focused 'Grindhouse,' Tarantino's Foot Fetish").
Planet Terror Royalty "Michael Parks plays Earl McGraw, and he shows up in many of Robert and Quentin's movies as Earl," Shelton pointed out, noting that the character appears in "Kill Bill" and "Dusk." "I play his daughter, Dakota McGraw, so it's a huge honor. Now, I'm part of the royal McGraw family — maybe I'll get some more cameos as Dakota McGraw."
Jukebox Hero Keep your eyes peeled for a scene-stealing cameo by one of Tarantino's favorite inanimate objects. "That is his actual jukebox, and his actual record," actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier revealed. "[The jukebox's] name is Amy, and she's stunning. He flew it in specifically to use it in the movie."
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