I was recently emailed a URL for "The REAL Grindhouse," a low budget mess of a film that happens to share its name with the cinematic experiment out this weekend from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. On his website director Stephen Tramontana relays the tale of how he tried to suckle at Tarantino's teat like thousands of other fanboys.
I won't go into the dirty details of Tramontana's "damning evidence" that he knows Tarantino had to have seen his film, GRINDHOUSE, and has subsequently been ripped off by the sticky-fingered director. Tramontana writes, "Tarantino was setting the film up. I tried to stop them from using the title Grindhouse because I own it. I am the only person with the title Grindhouse registered with the copyright office."
I hate to break it to Tramontana but titles can't be copy written. Remember that film that won all those Oscars a few years ago, CRASH? No, not the one based on the J.G. Ballard novel, also called CRASH, but the other one. I wonder if Oerd Van Cuijlenborg is foaming at the mouth over David Fincher's ZODIAC since his 2001 film had the same name. Probably not.
Does this mean that Tramontana thinks he also has legal precedence over Eddie Muller and Daniel Faris's book, Grindhouse: The Forbidden World of "Adults Only" Cinema? Do Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford cut it too close by using the word "Grindhouse" in the subtitle of Sleazoid Express: A Mind-Twisting Tour Through the Grindhouse Cinema of Times Square? Watch out, the Tramontana train is coming for you!
The other thing that makes me absolutely laugh out loud is that Taramontana proudly boasts about his film's win at the New York International Film and Video Festival. For those who aren't familiar with it, that festival is renown for being a "pay to play" fest. Also know as the New York Film and Video Fest, one festival director describes their modus operandi as "You pay a HUGE entry fee that's refunded if they don't accept your film. Of course they accept it. Then you can pay for all kinds of promotion that's supposed to get your film noticed. Then you win an award, and you can pay for the trophy. Oh yeah, I've heard you also have to pay for the screening. There's one in L.A. too." So, boasting that your flick even played at the New York International Film and Video Festival is the cinematic equivalent of publicly acknowledging what a loser you are... even more than pitching a bitch on your cheesy website.