Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews. Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection. How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z). Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection but this is mine so don’t judge me. This is simply for fun.
This week’s movie is a wild one, and coincidentally fits with the theme of Halloween, as it’s a pretty scary film. It doesn’t involve monsters or anything like that, just a really sick psychopathic guy. The movie we’re talking about is Death Proof, directed by Quentin Tarantino.
What it’s about:
Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is a professional body double who likes to take unsuspecting women for deadly drives in his free time. He has doctored his car for maximum impact; when Mike purposely causes wrecks, the bodies pile up while he walks away with barely a scratch. The insane Mike may be in over his head, though, when he targets a tough group of female friends, including real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell (who served as Uma Thurman’s double in “Kill Bill”), who plays herself.
Sounds creepy right? Because it is.
This film was originally released as a double feature alongside Robert Rodriguez’s film Planet Terror (which I will be reviewing when I get to the letter P) as part of a unique movie-going experience known as Grindhouse. What I really enjoyed about this film was how classic and old it looked in some parts. It had the look of a film that was done in the 70s and it was full of little things like camera jumps and some moments that appeared to be missing reels.
I know Quentin Tarantino’s films can be very controversial, but he does do some pretty cool things. In the first half of Death Proof, stuntman Mike goes after three girls; Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito), Jungle Julia (Sydney Poitier), and Shanna (Jordan Ladd) who he’s been stalking in Austin Texas. He pretends to be this unassuming guy who just happens to show up at the bar they are at and ends up giving another young lady, Pam (Rose McGowan) a ride home.
She gladly accepts and things seem like they are okay until he tells her that his car is death proof, before proceeding to torment her by taking her on a wild ride which ends in him killing her by crashing the car. Afterwards, he goes after the three girls he previously met and violently crashes into them in a gruesome head on collision that kills all of them. Because his car is death proof, he survives and 14 months later, he finds a new set of girls to go after in Lebanon, Tennessee.
This situation turns out a bit differently though. The girls he goes after; Zoe (Zoe Bell), Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), and Kim (Tracie Thoms) don’t take any shit and after he tries to kill them in a very long car chase, that almost kills Zoe, they decide to go after him.
The end result is pretty brutal but I have to say as a female watching these women defend themselves was so satisfying. It was vindication for the murders he committed earlier in the film and for what he almost got away with again. There is nothing like a movie with some badass females and Death Proof is definitely that.
- No matter what film he does, Quentin Tarantino always finds a way to put himself in it.
- I don’t give a shit how bad I need a ride home, I am not getting in a car with some strange man.
- The first car crash scene always gets to me. It’s intense.
- The accident POVs for every single one of the girls is brutal.
- It takes a really sick guy to keep crashing his cars and getting into accidents just to kill women all the time.
- Zoe Bell is a badass to do the ship’s mast stunt. That scene is wild.
- I had an issue with all the ladies basically pimping each other out to dudes. In the first half of the movie, Jungle Julia set Arlene up to give any guy that bought her a drink and recited a poem, a lap dance. In the second half of the film, Zoe, Abernathy, and Kim leave their friend Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) behind with some creepy guy while they test drive his car. None of that was okay with me. You just don’t do that to your girlfriends especially without their consent.
- I find myself wondering what happened when Zoe, Abernathy, and Kim brought the car back to its owner after it was severely damaged.