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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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