American Grindhouse

Watch American Grindhouse

"Giving ‘Em What They Want Since the Dawn of Motion Pictures."
  • NR
  • 2009
  • 1 hr 20 min
  • 7.1  (2,594)

American Grindhouse is a 2010 documentary film directed by Elijah Drenner that explores the history and evolution of grindhouse cinema in the United States. The film features interviews with filmmakers, actors, critics and fans, who explain how grindhouse cinema was born, what it meant and how it changed over the years. The story of grindhouse cinema begins in the 1930s, when movies were still considered a novelty and filmmakers were experimenting with different genres to attract audiences. The first films that could be considered grindhouse were low-budget exploitation films that were shown in seedy theaters and drive-ins, which were typically located in run-down neighborhoods. These films were often considered too risqué, violent, or gory for mainstream theaters, and they quickly developed a devoted following among working-class audiences looking for something new and exciting.

Over the years, grindhouse cinema evolved and diversified, spawning a wide variety of sub-genres, from blaxploitation and spaghetti westerns to horror and sexploitation. Directors like Russ Meyer, Tobe Hooper, and Quentin Tarantino became cult figures among fans of the genre, while actors like Pam Grier and Bruce Campbell became synonymous with the types of roles that were popular in grindhouse cinema.

The documentary does an excellent job of charting the evolution of grindhouse cinema over the decades and of explaining the social and cultural context that produced it. It provides fascinating insights into how the films reflected the changing attitudes and values of American society at large, and how they often tapped into taboo subjects like drug use, homosexuality, and sadomasochism.

One particularly interesting aspect of the film is its exploration of how grindhouse cinema was born at a time when the movie industry was still heavily restricted by censorship laws. By showing how filmmakers had to find creative ways to bypass these restrictions, the film provides a valuable perspective on how the history of cinema has been shaped by political and cultural forces.

Of course, American Grindhouse is also an incredibly entertaining film in its own right, featuring a compilation of clips from some of the most notorious and outrageous films in the genre. For fans of exploitation films, it's an absolute feast for the eyes, with scenes of violence, sex, and general mayhem that will leave you simultaneously laughing and cringing in equal measure.

The film also benefits from its excellent lineup of interviewees, who offer a range of perspectives on the genre, often with a healthy dose of humor and self-awareness. Critics like Kim Morgan and Joe Bob Briggs provide insightful commentary on the significance of the films, while actors like Fred Williamson and William Lustig share behind-the-scenes stories from their experiences working on some of the most famous grindhouse films.

Overall, American Grindhouse is an excellent documentary that sheds light on a fascinating and often overlooked corner of American cinema history. It's a must-see for fans of cult films, but it's also a valuable resource for anyone interested in the cultural roots of cinema and how it has evolved over time. So, if you're looking to take a trip back to the glory days of grindhouse cinema, this documentary is the perfect place to start.

American Grindhouse is a 2009 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 20 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.

American Grindhouse
Where to Watch American Grindhouse
American Grindhouse is available to watch free on Plex, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent American Grindhouse for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 20 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (2,594)