Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson
Another excellent review by Adam Truscott.
The One Where I Love Death Proof, And You Should Too
When asked what other Director I would write about, two sprung to mind.
Scorcese and Tarantino.
Going on the basis that there will be time to cover both, I ‘ll start with QT. And in true QT style, I’ll start somewhere near the end, and jump back.
I recently got my hands on Grindhouse.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have Planet Terror and Death Proof separately, and even did a double bill once, trying to shoe horn the trailers in the middle – not quite the same though, is it?
When Planet Terror kicks off this unique double bill, it immediately struck me. They have the order wrong. Start with Death Proof and I’m sure the success would have been bigger. Instead, most people went from PT, a brilliant John Carpenter homage, to DP, and… well… I think they got bored.
How you’re meant to follow Michael Biehn and Tom Savini both turning up with shotguns, I don’t know. Tarantino seems to know. He puts Kurt Russell in all black, and goes talky, rather than gory.
For me, it works.
PT is by far the more fun film. On a Friday night, you’d put that on ahead of DP any day of the week for sheer enjoyment. Bruce Willis as a mutant, wanting your balls? Check. Tarantino himself, as a rapist? Check. (Although why you would want to check that, I don’t know).
As I sit there, thinking they have the order wrong, it strikes me.
Who am I to question the order of the two films?
QT is the ultimate cinema geek. I didn’t even know about Grindhouse cinema until he bought it to my attention.
It’s widely reported why it wasn’t bought to more peoples attention of course. Did the Weinsteins get cold feet? Did QT realise people wouldn’t stay for DP, after seeing the universally mediocre/poor reviews?
It’s strange. If Inglorious (sp) had been released first, you kind of get the impression that Tarantino could have had more sway. Here, though, his stock was low.
So in the UK at least, due to awful US Box Office, (Thanks America!), we got the films split.
No trailers. No Grindhouse experience.
It was a classic case of the UK, not getting Tarantino. Something that despite the Holy Trinity, (Dogs, Pulp, Brown), he still battles with.
People love to hate Tarantino.
I’m not sure if that’s because people just think he’s a dick – who punches journalists. I’m not sure if it’s because he can’t really act. Maybe it’s because Spike Lee thinks/thought he was a racist.
Any of the above. Maybe all of the above. The fact is, Tarantino is the movie fans Director.
I first saw Death Proof on French DVD. No English sub, or dub. I just had to see it, and for whatever reason they got it first.
As ever, it was pretty stunning to look at. Tarantino just cuts a great movie.
Getting his foot fetish out of the way early on, he kicks in with bright yellow title cards – correcting the original title of the film, that is wrongly (rightly), displayed.
Geeks know they are on to a winner straight away.
Then some talking. And more talking. And more talking… Not until 25 minutes in, do we finally see Kurt Russell, as the soon to be iconic, Stuntman Mike.
Some will have switched off already, (especially if watching as part of Grindhouse). But those that are in to it, have been tapping along to the soundtrack so hard, they even missed QT turn up and not shame himself with his acting skills.
From then on in, it’s Russells film. And he exudes cool, every bit as much as other classic Tarantino characters.
If you’re a Kurt fan, and a Tarantino fan… well, you just sit mouth agape. Two of Hollywood’s greats, just kicking back, and drinking brewskis together.
I accept not a lot happens. There are two classic scenes. The four way take of a car crash, (Yes. That was her leg that you saw flying through the air.) And the final, breathless car chase, done for real.
The best thing about Death Proof for most QT fans, is we knew he would have the last say.
After getting a kicking from the critics, it was perfect that he should rise again. Making what many consider his best film. To Tarantino fans, it was no real surprise at all. He never stopped delivering the goods. He just changed the shape of the parcel each time.
“Now, I ‘aint stalking y’all… but I didn’t say I wasn’t a wolf”.