Down a cobbled alleyway by the side of a pub, a crowd gathered for the Saturday night launch of Glasgow's new Grindhoose cinema club. There were so many of them that many were inevitably disappointed, despite a last-minute relocation to allow for extra seating. The lucky ones filed inside The Old Hairdresser's and up a narrow, twisting staircase to a darkened room where a bedsheet tied to metal poles with string was serving as a screen. They were shown to their seats by elaborately made-up zombie usherettes. As the trailers began to roll beer was quaffed, women squealed; a loudmouthed young man peed all over the floor of the toilets; it was that old New York atmosphere alright.
"We just wanted to see if we could put something like this together," said the organisers, who describe it as an educational event featuring some of the trashiest, sleaziest and wild films ever to have graced the not-so-big-screen. They claimed to have chosen the films at random a couple of weeks ago, but were inadvertently topical with Turkey Shoot, an Ozploitation favourite about a group of rioters and their violent re-education. Also screening was Filipino James Bond rip-off For Your Height Only, starring Weng Weng as a secret agent who doesn't let his short stature get in the way of the action. There were entertaining period trailers too, a little bit of tease from Bettie Page, and prize giveaways courtesy of Arrow.
As it received an enormously positive response, it looks like Grindhoose will definitely be an ongoing event, so keep your eyes peeled for details of the next screening. It may not exactly be Avatar, but for many fans, this is cinema at its most enjoyable.