Eli Roth’s “Clown” Proves “Grindhouse”‘s Cinematic Legacy is No Joke

Eli Roth’s “Clown” Proves “Grindhouse”‘s Cinematic Legacy is No Joke (photo)

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It was no small irony this past September when “Machete” matched the box office of the film that produced it, “Grindhouse,” despite the fact that “Machete” cost nearly $60 million less to produce. Although its reputation as an actual film has only grown since its infamous debut, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s epic exploitation double bill that was intended to pay tribute to the films of their youth may have inadvertently stumbled into an even more prominent place in film history, shaping how films get made in the future by making the faux trailer, once a closed-ended what if of the Internet, into only the start of the development process for turning it into a feature.

While Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie have insisted they will never turn their teasers for “Don’t!” and “Werewolf Women of the SS” into full-length films, word spread over the summer that Eli Roth is already at work on a script for “Thanksgiving,” the homage to ’80s slasher films that takes full advantage of the carving opportunities on Turkey Day. However, in the meantime, Roth took a page out of the “Grindhouse” playbook to introduce “Clown” to both financiers and the world in October, debuting a trailer made by music video director Jon Watts and writer C.D. Ford that got the duo meetings in Hollywood:

Now, Watts and Ford have a deal to make the other 87 minutes, detailing how a suburban dad who can’t get the clown makeup off his face turns into a homicidal maniac, with Roth serving as an executive producer on the independent film. But despite the fact that “Clown” has no direct connection to “Grindhouse,” there’s no doubt that it had an influence beyond the wink of including Tarantino as an executive producer and Roth as the director on the “Clown” trailer. Proving its effectiveness with an audience first was a key part of getting “Machete” made and also had a huge impact on “Hobo With a Shotgun,” the winner of a SXSW contest to find the best fake “Grindhouse” trailer in 2007 that since went onto become a feature starring Rutger Hauer which is due out next year. Both the original teaser and the Hauer-enhanced version are below, proving “Grindhouse” to be one of the least likely franchises ever forged.

Trailer for the full-length feature due out in 2011:

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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