|The gritty-cool poster for Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof|
Stuntman Mike is a distinguished stunt driver in Los Angeles, and a homicidal maniac! He preys upon attractive young women to kill with his death proof stunt car, - but some women are out of Mike's league.
Death Proof is master filmmaker Quentin Tarantino's (Jackie Brown (1997)) contribution to Grindhouse (2007), a double-feature release that paid homage to the 70s exploitation double feature culture in American so-called Grindhouse cinemas. The other feature is Robert Rodriguez' equally smutty and great Planet Terror (2007). Grindhouse was released as one long double-feature presentation in America and as two individual movies everywhere else, with Death Proof's playing time buffed up with 27 minutes. This is a review of the stand-alone movie.
The film is more Tarantino than Roger Corman, who headed some of the kind of films that are celebrated here, in that writer-director Tarantino doesn't restrain his own style and talents according to genre conventions here but make his own footprint in the car movie genre. But since the film is 100 % bad-ass fun, it's totally cool.
The empowering girls are the main attraction: Especially Zoë Bell (Raze (2013)) as herself, Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Hood of Horror (2006)) as Jungle Julia, Tracie Thoms (Veep (2014), TV-series) as Kim and Rosario Dawson (Eagle Eye (2008)) as Abernathy are some butt-kicking babes here. Kurt Russell (The Thing (1982)) is great fun and really creepy as a girl-munching wolf of a man, and it's very strange to think of the fact that Tarantino had 8 other male stars in mind, who were all unavailable, before he got the bright idea that Russell should play Stuntman Mike.
The music is all source here, meaning that the film has no score but just a lot of great songs and score tracks from other films, and it's a real treat for the ears. Finally, the many minutes long final car chase is one for the books.
Watch the trailer for the movie here
Cost: 67 mil. $ (together with Planet Terror/full Grindhouse production cost)
Box office: 25 mil. $ (North America only) - for Grindhouse
[There aren't many numbers out on the unsuccessful release of Grindhouse and its two individual movies, but there is no doubt that the films flopped theatrically. Audiences didn't embrace the double feature throwback in America, and internationally, the films didn't accrue enough to change things around. Some are hard on Death Proof for this reason alone, and Tarantino has even himself stated that he considers it his worst film, probably greatly affected by suffering his first real flop. Death Proof, Planet Terror and Grindhouse were, regrettably, a huge flop.]
What do you think of Death Proof?