While my colleague Jette Kernion was out front meeting and greeting the celebrities, avoiding the local zombies, and taking a whole bunch of excellent pictures, I was ... standing in a massive line to get some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and two bottles of water. (Hey, it's a long movie!) The palatial Paramount was positively packed with all sorts of people: Austin bigwigs, local filmmakers, Grindhouse crew members, and lots and lots of mega-geeked movie nerds. (This premiere was half-swanky and half-normal, mainly because the Austin Film Society was smart enough to sell public tickets for the event -- although the lowest admission price was $25.) I was in attendance as a guest of South By Southwest producer Matt Dentler ... and we had a really great pair of seats.
I won't be getting into my own particular review of the film (our guest reviewer Nick Schager and Jette will have those honors next week), but instead I'll just offer a brief recap of the crowd reactions. (Suffice to say they were loud, frequent and very, very raucous. It was great.) Our seats were wedged between a handful of very enthusiastic actors, extras and various types of craftspeople. Grindhouse was, don't forget, mostly filmed in and around Austin, so this hometown crowd was whooping it up with every onscreen reference to the Alamo Drafthouse, Texas Chili Parlor and Shiner Bock Beer. (Specifically, Tarantino's half of the House is a certifiable love letter to the city of Austin.)