Death Proof (2007)
“A Crash Course in Revenge”
“A White-Hot Juggernaut at 200 Miles per Hour!”
“A Brilliantly Tasteless Orgy of Car-Crashing Mayhem” Nuts
“Exhilarating…Tarantino at his Blistering Best” Maxim
“Male Fantasy Made Flesh” Uncut
Written & Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Sydney Poitier, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Zoë Bell
With the recent release of his 6th and most adventurous project to date, wartime snuff flick Inglourious Basterds, writer and director Quentin Tarantino has certainly pushed the boundaries of modern film making aside. Opening to mixed reviews, it certainly follows the trend of his other movies, appealing to a very select audience and taking a lot of flak from another. At the height of this barrage trend was a film very close to Q.T’s heart, Death Proof.
What makes Death Proof stand out from the rest of his films, on the whole, is that it has been the quietest in terms of notoriety. Everybody has heard of Reservoir Dogs (1992) or Pulp Fiction (1994) and the infamous scenes within but no one realises what a stroke of genius his 5th film turned out to be.
Death Proof, a part of the Grindhouse project with fellow Director Robert Rodriquez, follows the path of the sociopathic Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), a gentleman who even a dark alley would refuse to accept, & two groups of girls just trying to have a good time. Mike, being the gentleman that he supposedly is, offers an innocent lift home to Pam (Rose McGowan) in the film’s namesake, his “Death Proof” Automobile. Being a stuntman, you would expect no less. Very quickly, the tone of the film changes and his true nature is shown, a stalker with a taste for sexy young ladies. That is until he preys on the wrong group of “Badass Babes” and tastes his own medicine in one of the greatest scenes ever produced.
As usual, Quentin hires an awe inspiring cast who make the characters their own. Stars such as Rosario Dawson and Vanessa Ferlito give great performances as the girls bringing very humane characters to the forefront, people who we can see around us who have their own hidden agendas & talents. Whether that be a few classic throwaway lines, which we all wish we had the courage to say, or a very enticing lap dance, which some of us wish we had the courage to do. Kurt Russell takes the role of Stuntman Mike and gives a mind-blowing acting master class, which all aspiring actors and actresses should take note of. He even eats in character!
Without a doubt, newcomer Zoë Bell makes the biggest impression, seeing that her usual 9 to 5 is being a Stuntwoman, famous for her stunt work in Xena: Warrior Princess and Q.T’s other revenge epic Kill Bill (2003/2004). Being able to act alongside doing your own stunts allows great fluidity in some of the scenes which Tarantino takes advantage of for the film’s finale.
Death Proof is a movie you watch with a group of mates, deep enough that you stay hooked to the story, yet at a pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat, waiting for that next slice of classic over the top action. A movie with cars & sexy ladies usually denotes a “Boys only” feel to it but please don’t let that put you off girls. This movie is for you too. It shows you just how badass you can be! If you’re already a fan of some of Q.T’s work or have never had the pleasure of doing so, don’t let this film pass you by.
With classic Tarantino scripting and a plot which allows you to sit back and enjoy yourselves, Death Proof is an exhilarating ride from the word go, incorporating everyday occurrences and some which defiantly aren’t, culminating in a 20 minute car duel with some spectacular camera work and showing off the sheer bravery of Zoë Bell. Being Death Proof has never been so appealing.