DVD Review: Death Proof.

Death Proof is Quentin Tarantino’s half of Grindhouse. GH was a concept dreamed up by QT and Robert Rodriguez. They each filmed a film that was an homage to the old 70s exploitation flicks.

These two films, along with a handful of trailers (for movies that don’t exist), were released as one film.
Grindhouse failed to deliver at the box office, likely at least in part because of the length. That is a real shame because both films are quite enjoyable and clearly are labors of love.

Three gals out on the town for a little fun run into Mike (Kurt Russell), a grizzled, yet charming, stunt man. He offers one of the lasses (McGowan) a ride home. Alas, she never makes it there. Mike’s car, a jacked up Dodge Charger, is Death Proof…if you are the driver.

Later, Mike runs into another group of ladies. But this group, taking a break from working on a film set, is not as helpless. This bunch features stuntwoman Zoe (played convincingly by stuntwoman Zoe Bell), who proclaims “There’s no point to living in America unless you drive a Dodge Challenger.”

Not surprisingly, she happens to drive one. Accompanied by Abernathy (Rosario Dawson) and Kim (Tracie Thoms), Zoe soon finds herself in one of the coolest, craziest car duels in the history of films. Death Proof does indeed have the aforementioned car duel, but it also has some really great dialogue. The racy, frank banter among the girls is first rate. Zoe Bell is a hoot and Kurt Russell does a great job as our villain.

Personally, I always find the extras on Tarantino films interesting. He has energy and passion that makes him interesting to listen to.

Here, we get a look behind the casting decisions (Introducing Zoe Bell, Kurt Russell As Stuntman Mike, Finding Quentin’s Gals and The Guys Of Death Proof) as well as the stunts that are a vital part of Death Proof. While each of these could easily be a puff piece, Tarantino’s enthusiasm makes them interesting and engaging. We find that virtually every casting choice was made for a reason.

And while this energy, combined with details and factoids from Tarantino’s geek-like encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, make the extras more interesting, QT’s propensity to ramble on can occasionally be a bit much. It might have been helpful to have somebody around to occasionally cut him off (perhaps with a stun gun?).

Odds are pretty good that there will eventually be a massive DVD combo pack of Death Proof and Planet Terror together. Between the two, Death Proof stands on it’s own better than Planet Terror. A very fun B flick with cool cars, hot chicks and a genuinely baddass villain.

Order Death Proof from Amazon.

Jeremy Lynch
For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.