Monday, April 19, 2021

6 Grindhouse-Style Horror Movies to Pair with ‘Death Ranch’

Grindhouse theaters took their name from the way they continuously screened films day and night at cut-rate prices, known as “grind policy.” These independent theaters developed a reputation for cranking out low-budget exploitation and disreputable films that featured violence and sleaze. While the grindhouse peaked in the ‘70s and declined with the rising popularity of VHS, exploitation cinema never dies. The grindhouse spirit still lives on in cult film fanatics and genre film.

Death Ranch pays homage to exploitation and grindhouse cinema in spirit and subject matter. Set in the ‘70s, it follows three siblings on the run from the law. They take refuge in an abandoned Tennessee ranch, only to discover by nightfall that their hideout is the hunting grounds of a cannibalistic Ku Klux Klan cult. After getting captured and tortured, the siblings fight to escape and seek bloody vengeance.

Written and directed by Charlie SteedsDeath Ranch stars Deiondre Teagle, Faith Monique, Travis Cutner, Scot Scurlock, and Brad Belemjian.

The gore-heavy feature releases on Digital, VOD, and DVD on April 20, 2021. Because grindhouse films often screened as part of double or triple features, here are six modern grindhouse-style movies to pair with Death Ranch. You can pre-order the film on iTunes or Amazon (DVD).

Father’s Day

What happens when Astron-6 and Troma team up? You get a full-throttle modern exploitation movie unconcerned with the boundaries of taste, all for the sake of splatstick comedy. The plot sounds like a joke setup; a murderer, a priest, and a delinquent try to bring down a father-killing madman. Through insane gore, including a man vomiting up his own guts, Father’s Day uses humor and viscera to subvert exploitation tropes. In other words, while the gorehounds will find much to revel in here, there’s as much wry substance to celebrate along with it. It embraces everything about grindhouse cinema, including stretching out its meager budget to maximum effect.

The Devil’s Rejects

When much of modern exploitation and grindhouse-style films lean into the schlock through humor, Rob Zombie embraces disturbing grit. His follow-up to House of 1000 Corpses dropped the vivid neon aesthetic for a far grimier, dustier ‘70s style sequel. The Firefly clan take their depravity on the road in their attempts to flee a vengeful Sheriff, resulting in a trail of bodies in their wake. The Firefly clan dish out as much visceral punishment as they receive, and then some, resulting in one of the most brutal modern exploitation movies to grace the mainstream.

Drive Angry

Nicolas Cage stars as John Milton, a determined man on a mission who drives his Chevelle straight out of Hell after stealing Satan’s gun. He’s tracking the cult responsible for murdering his daughter and kidnapping his grandchild. He receives help in this wild road trip movie filled with carnage, and he’ll have to dodge Hell’s bounty hunters along the way. Everything about Patrick Lussier’s horror actioner screams over-the-top excess in the best possible way. One-liners, violence, muscle cars, and carnage offer a ridiculous amount of pulp entertainment.


This horror anthology assembles four horror filmmakers that tackle a different era or style of B-horror across three segments and a wraparound set at a drive-in theater. Adam Rifkin’s “Wadzilla” takes on the atomic ‘50s with a sperm kaiju wreaking havoc. Tim Sullivan’s “I Was a Teenage Werebear” offers a loving spoof of ‘60s beach musicals. Adam Green leans into exploitation with the black and white “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein,” and Joe Lynch ties it all together with “Zom-B-Movie.” Schlocky humor and fun are the aims here, and Chillerama brings the laughs.

Hobo with a Shotgun

Initially conceived as a trailer for a Grindhouse movie contest, Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun marks the second teaser to earn a full feature adaptation after Machete. The feature-length film takes the highlight reel of the faux trailer and expands it to a brisk hour and a half story that replaces original hobo David Brunt for a more recognizable genre mainstay; Rutger Hauer. The plot is a simple tale of an antihero taking matters into his own bloodied hands. Who doesn’t want to watch Hauer maim and dismember his way through a town’s most corrupt denizens? Its extreme splatter cinema with heart, humor, and Troma-like sensibilities sure to offend the delicate.


Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino paid homage to grindhouse cinema in a massive way with this double feature that emulates everything about the style of exploitation horror the theatres cranked out in their heyday. Rodriguez’s Planet Terror saw a go-go dancer and her lover lead survivors against a rogue military unit amidst a biochemically induced zombie outbreak. Tarantino’s Death Proof pit a maniacal driver against a group of stuntwomen. The theatrical release included a slew of fictitious trailers sandwiched between the films to further the grindhouse experience. 

Death Ranch joins the modern exploitation ranks on Digital, VOD, and DVD on April 20, 2021. You can pre-order the film on iTunes or Amazon (DVD).


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