Yesterday my roommate and I went to Wal-mart to pick up some dvds. One of the three I picked up was the newly released Planet Terror 2 disc extended edition. There is quite a fervor online about the fact that Grindhouse wasn’t released in one set as was viewed in movie theaters. They think it’s a rip off and even called for a boycott of the two sets to act as encouragement in the release of a single set. Now, of course a single set will be released. Though it hasn’t been officially announced Robert Rodriguez hinted to it on the Planet Terror dvd. This theatrical cut will include the missing trailers and missing reels that the theatrical release had.
“Well that’s a win, we boycott and they release the cut we want” you say? Not so. What we have to remember is that the movie bombed. Despite critical acclaim and positive word of mouth, the movie did not perform well in theaters. It would make sense to try to make up for the loss. There’s also the fact that a boycott would actually send the wrong message. If no one buys the individual copies, why would the company stick its neck out to release it again in a format that didn’t work in the theaters? It’s backwards logic. They do have us over a barrel but the best way to ensure the release of the theatrical cut is to buy the individual extended cuts.
But fear not, while the film was originally shown as a double feature, these movies do work well on their own. One doesn’t have to watch Planet Terror to enjoy Death Proof or vice versa. Both of these movies are great and well worth paying for even if it is an extra 20 dollars. Yes, these movies are that good and well worth the money. There is also a $5 coupon in each dvd for a copy of the other film (which I myself had in my wallet but forgot to use darn it all) for those who’s budget is a bit tighter.
To be honest, I’m perplexed as to why people are so surprised by this tactic. This isn’t the first movie to double dip on movie releases in an effort to get more money. Clerks, Hellboy, Daredevil, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. All of these films put out a basic release with a few features and then released a bigger deluxe set some time down the line. It’s a little bizarre to release the extended cuts first this time around but the basic idea remains the same.
Finally one also has to take into account that, and it’s a crazy notion, some of the people who saw Grindhouse didn’t like one of the two films. Some preferred Death Proof while others preferred Planet Terror. Released in single sets, viewers now have the option of enjoying one without being bogged down by the other. You can watch one of the films on it’s own, or if you choose as I did last night, watch both of them back to back to recreate the double feature feel of Grindhouse.
Both of these films are highly enjoyable and I in no way regret paying full price for both dvds. The amount of enjoyment goes above and beyond the $40 dollars. It’s true most of the trailers are missing, but we know that the theatrical cut is coming trailers and all and that gives us something to get excited about for the next release, which I will most certainly buy.