Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Death Proof

"Death Proof" (2007, Quentin Tarantino, Troublemaker Studios, The Weinstein Co., Dimension Films) is a Grindhouse film about a killer in a stunt car whose favourite victims are young, drunk bimbos.

Kurt Russell plays 'Stuntman' Mike, an ageing Hollywood stuntman who stalks young, attractive women and drives about in an old stunt Chevy Nova (and later a Dodge Charger) which he maintains are 'death proof'.  He then proceeds to demonstrate this by using it as a weapon, for you see, it is only 'death proof' for him!

But his reign of terror can truly not last forever, and maybe, just maybe, one day he'll meet his match!

A fun modern Tarantino exploitation film which aims for the Grindhouse vibe, complete with the Grindhouse-y camera-work we have come to know and love. The first half of this film is pretty great with lots of bar scenes and build-up followed by some truly disturbing scenes with our charismatic antagonist. It does slow down in the middle, but generally the car chase scenes make up for those bits and the film picks up the pace for last few acts.

I adore Kurt Russell, and he's very good at bringing this asshole character to life. Stuntman Mike is a complete douchebag! The character completely epitomises the sleazy and the entitled. It's hard for me to not love a character portrayed by Kurt Russell, but Stuntman Mike is really hard to like. And that's a great thing!

Most of the other characters, outside of a few of "The Girls" are mighty disposable, but it's a movie about a maniac in a car, so I wasn't expecting much in the way of character development. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find such a good build up of our main victims. And, in true Tarantino style, we also get to enjoy their brutal, brutal deaths.

Kurt Russell delivers a fantastically creepy stalker character who has a very nasty side, and we have some cameos in the forms of Eli Roth, Rose McGowan, and Mr. Director himself. Stuntman Mike is also pitted against some truly strong characters including stuntwoman, ZoĆ« Bell, and the kickass Tracie Thoms and Rosario Dawson.

"Death Proof" starts off promisingly with some good dialogue, some creepiness, some lap-dancing and then some horrorshow brutality. Although the film wonders a little in the middle, this is completely typical of the Grindhouse genre and makes it all the more fun when it picks up the pace again. While it's far from Tarantino's best film, it's still a entertaining thrill ride and, as ever, a vehicle for his foot fetishes...

[Image: Dimension Films]