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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Grindhouse: Amputee turned sex-symbol

For those still unfamiliar with Quentin Tarantino’s cinematic style, his latest endeavor “Grindhouse”, will quickly bring audiences up to speed. Or make them wretch, depending on one’s love for gratuitous violence and cycles of arrested male development.

Composed of two 85-minute movies, one by Tarantino and the other by Sin City director Robert Rodriguez, Grindhouse is a tenderly bloody acknowledgment of old-school exploitation films; the kind the two (directors) have not only sought to emulate, but have established entire careers on.

What is of greater interest, however, is Rodriguez’s part of the pie, Planet Terror, featuring Rose McGowan as a go-go dancer named Cherry Darling, whose leg, an early causality of the zombie outbreak, gets outfitted with a machine gun prosthetic. She wears a four-inch stiletto on her other foot, perhaps compensating for height or balance. More likely, though, her bionic-like state pays homage to the misogynist’s dream of sex and violence. Think about it, is anything more stereotypically “sexy” than a hot woman with a machine gun for a limb?

Adding to this heterosexist dream-girl conundrum is the presentation of an amputee-come sex-symbol. There is an unspoken yet unequivocal stance in western culture where amputees, and the disabled community in general, are desexualized, let alone regarded as hot. Looking at Cherry Darling from such a perspective, one might think that Rodriguez is making a long overdue statement of sorts, rallying against conventional perceptions of what is and is not deemed attractive. Then again, maybe it’s nothing more than horny man’s Grand-Theft Auto induced vision of the perfect woman, complete with boobs on top and bullets coming from down below.


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