Death Proof

Director: Quentin Tarantino (2007)
Starring: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Zoe Bell
Find it: IMDB

Wherein Quentin Tarantino's worst movie is better than a lot of directors' best. Death Proof is the much-maligned second part of Grindhouse, Tarantino's double-bill collaboration with Robert Rodriguez. Where Rodriguez's Planet Terror is more fun, Tarantino delivers the more authentic Grindhouse experience - in that Death Proof is disappointing, talky, and a waste of a great concept.

And that's coming from someone who likes Death Proof more than most. Kurt Russell is Stuntman Mike, a serial killer who drives about in his stunt-car, intentionally crashing into things and murdering pretty youngsters in the process. It's a lot like Crash (not the shit one about racism - the other thing) only with a foot fetish instead of a car crash fetish. In the first half of the film, Mike harasses DJ Jungle Julia (Sidney Poitier's daughter - also called Sid) and her pals, before murdering them all in a grisly car crash. Mike himself winds up pretty battered and bruised by the end of this - a murder which has actually gone to plan - so it's fair to say that his Modus Operandi is a pretty dumb one.

Then, in the second half, he moves on to another group of friends; led by Abernathy (Dawson) and stuntwoman Zoe Bell (played by stuntwoman Zoe Bell). The second half of the film is much better than the first, featuring an incredible car chase scene, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and one of the best endings to a genre film I've ever seen. It's Girl Power at its finest. Also, if you like that sort of thing:

I think we can safely say Tarantino likes that sort of thing.

It's objectification of the female form, Jim, but not as we know it. But it's Tarantino's peculiar little obsessions and tropes that make his films so enjoyable, charming and original. It may be a lesser work compared to the likes of Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, but I would personally hold Death Proof in the same esteem as his equally enjoyable Inglourious Basterds. Even at his most self-indulgent, Tarantino knows how to write and direct the hell out of a film.


  1. Aside from Kurt Russell, I didn't really like this movie. Too much chick talk. Bored the hell out of me.

    1. Aw see, I kinda liked (most of) the chick talk. Also, Russell is the bomb.


  2. Great movie. I also LOVED the dialogue.