Monday 8 October 2007

Death Proof (2007) - ickleReview (DVD)

Quentin Tarantino film made in the style of 1970s "grindhouse" B-movies. In Austin, Texas a gang of girls drive to a bar, talking. At the bar, they talk some more. A tee-total stranger, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), appears to be following them. He drives a black stuntman's car that is supposedly death proof. He tests this out on the gang of girls. An insane stunt crash follows, complete with instant replays from multiple camera angles.

Fourteen months later, Stuntman Mike tracks another gang of girls in Lebanon, Tennessee. They talk and drive. One of them, Zoe Bell, playing herself (Uma Thurman's stunt double from Kill Bill), wants to test-drive a car. Stuntman Mike chases them. A crazy car chase sequence ensues.

Although the dialogue doesn't really go anywhere, it's still fun to watch. There's an odd anachronistic bent to this film with the 1970s soundtrack and 1970s fashions but a modern-day setting. The title sequence and production values imitate the grindhouse style: the film stock is deliberately damaged, reels appear to be missing or cut off too early, and the colour even goes AWOL for a few reels in the second half.

Tarantino drops in plenty of references to his other films (including Big Kahuna Burger from Pulp Fiction), as well as the titles of films that have influenced this one. It's a kind of film geek's filmography.

Death Proof is unapologetically violent in parts, but in a funny way. At times it's gratuitously misogynistic; but at other times it empowers its female characters.

Nugget: a queer cinematic joyride.

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