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DEATH PROOF by Quentin Tarantino


Three girls, Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito), Shanna (Jordan Lad), and “Jungle” Julia (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) enjoy a girl’s night out in a bar where they meet Lanna Frank (Monica Staggs), their drug supplier, The girls are drinking, swearing, talking about men, sex and the planned “girls-only” weekend – and about the prank radio disc jockey Julia played Arlene. Julia has announced on radio that the girls are out, and that the first man to recognize Arlene, buys her a drink, calls her Butterfly and recites from a poem will get a free lapdance from Arlene.
“Stuntman Mike” (Kurt Russell) has followed the girls into the bar and collects the prize. Mike also promises Pam (Rose McGowan) – an old school enemy of Julia who is also in the bar – to drive her home, and after enjoying his lapdance, Stuntman Mike invites Pam into his “death proof” stunt-car where she quickly finds out that Mike is a dangerous psychopathic serial killer who uses his car to kill attractive young women.
Fourteen months later, Stuntman Mike is on the prowl again. This time he targets four young actresses, Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Kim (Tracie Thoms) and Zoe (Zoe Bell). What Mike doesn’t know is that two of them are stuntwomen, and that one of the girls carries a gun …

Death Proof is a film of two halves, and half a film (international release). Originally intended by Quentin Tarantino to be one half of a double feature (the other half being Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror) named Grindhouse and 20 minutes shorter, it’s a stand-alone feature film now.
Death Proof is a celebration of 1970’s exploitation-movies and made to look like the real stuff, complete with damaged film stock, missing segments and botchy cuts. In this respect, it’s a big success – you probably haven’t seen anything like that for a long time, if ever, and the music and acting (especially Kurt Russel’s; but also minor supporting roles such as Quentin Tarantino himself as barkeeper Warren and Michael and James Parks as Texas Ranger Earl and offspring Edgar McGraw are not to be missed) is ace. But there is a problem: Most of the time, nothing happens except girls talking and girls talking dirty – and the dialogue is not as sharp as you would like it to be (and you expect it from Tarantino!).
The action in chapter one is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, and only towards the end suspense is being built up and finally discharged in an action-packed car-chase and women-revenge finale.
Just your standard B-Movie then? No, it’s more than that – but the original 20 minutes less wouldn’t have hurt.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosario Dawson, Zoe Bell, and Tracie Thoms in Death Proof  Grindhouse: Death Proof - Kurt Russel and Rose McGowan 

Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse: Death Proof Movie Trailer

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