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Death Proof

Death Proof

Genders: Thriller, Action

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Actors: Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito

Year: 2007
Run time: 1h 27min
IMDB score: 7.1
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Death Proof

Genders: Thriller, Action

Imdb Score: 7.1

Runtime: 1h 27min

Released: 31 May 2007

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Actors: Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito

Company: The Weinstein Co./Dimension


Imdb Link

Death Proof Available Subtitles

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Korean subtitles Death Proof4 years ago
French subtitles Death Proof4 years ago
Brazilian Portuguese subtitles Death Proof4 years ago
Italian subtitles Death Proof4 years ago
Spanish subtitles Death Proof4 years ago
English subtitles Death Proof4 years ago
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Probably the most misunderstood film of this decade

5/10 Given the vast majority of major criticisms levelled at this film, it would appear that a large percentage of the audience has completely missed the joke, or simply, didn't find it at all amusing. With Death Proof (2007), Tarantino creates such a loving homage to a notoriously cult cinematic sub-culture that many people seem unaware of how to approach it or even how to appreciate the sheer fact that the film purposely goes out of its way to ape the style of late 60's and early 70's exploitation cinema in look, feel and content. The film isn't meant to be taken entirely seriously, but rather, is a parody and/or pastiche of the kind of films that the vast majority of mainstream audiences simply wouldn't want to see. I'm talking about films such as Two-Thousand Maniacs (1964), Ride the Whirlwind (1965), Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966), Satan's Sadists (1968), The Big Bird Cage (1971), Boxcar Bertha (1972), Fight for Your Life (1977) or Satan's Cheerleaders (1977); low-budget films made with often-non-professional actors, little in the way of conventional film logic, and highly controversial in terms of plot, theme and content.

It also sets out to pastiche the "grindhouse" cinema phenomena, with the original idea of two films being shown as a double feature at drive-in movie theatres from state to state, with both films often being re-cut and re-edited, not by the filmmakers, but by the theatre owners themselves. This is evident in the amusing switch in title; with the film opening with the caption 'Quentin Tarantino's Thunderbolt', before awkwardly cutting to an obviously out of place title card with 'Death Proof' crudely emblazoned across the screen. This is also the explanation for the purposeful mistakes in continuity, the sloppy editing and the switch between colour and black and white, as well as the facade of severely deteriorating film stock. It's not sloppy film-making, but rather, a purposeful appropriation of sloppy film-making geared towards appealing to the kind of obsessive movie aficionado who gets the references and can appreciate the joke that Tarantino is attempting to pull.

With this in mind, it seems hard to understand what people are complaining about. Do audiences actual expect this film to keep them enthralled and entertained when the vast majority of them would balk at experiencing many of the low-budget, semi-obscure films that influenced it? Hardly! The accusation here that "nothing happens" is fascicle. The fact that there is film running through the camera is proof enough that something is happening, with the hilariously bland dialog deconstructing the film in much the same way as the purposely amateurish composition, editing and sound all intended to fracture the cinematic language in the same way that Godard did; by reminding the audience that this is the film and the point of the film is to experience the sights and sounds that unfold before us. Added to this the colourful iconography, the music, the characters, the girls in tight t-shirts, the for once entirely justified performance from the man himself, all reminding us that this is a joyous, darkly comic romp in which the point is not "why?" but "why not?".

The effect is reminiscent of Kill Bill (2003), which at times felt superficial or perhaps even too knowing for its own good, but still demonstrated to us the filmmaker's great use of tone, texture, colour and movement, as well as turning many people on to a whole new world of cult Japanese cinema; from the works of highly individual filmmakers like Seijun Suzuki, Kinji Fukasaku and Takashi Miike, to cult performers like Sony Chiba. Death Proof attempts to do something similar with the likes of the American revisionist road movie, the B-cinema of Roger Corman and the femsploitation subgenre of films like The Big Bird Cage (1972), Caged Heat (1975), Day of the Woman (1978) and Ms. 45 (1981); a coolly ironic series of films in which wronged women take bloody revenge in an often elaborate and over the top style, chiefly intended to give a feminist slant to the still rampant degradation and misogyny prevalent in the exploitation genre.

Other reference points are more obvious as they're mentioned explicitly in the film; notably car chase cinema such as Vanishing Point (1971), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974), Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) and even Spielberg's Duel (1971). Some have complained that the film fails on account of its lack of action and emphasis on dialog and technique, but this seems churlish when you think of the films being referenced; with Vanishing Point featuring a number of cryptic, desert-set sequences in which characters talk and talk and talk, while Two-Lane Blacktop punctuates its scenes of hard driving and drag-racing with much in the way of meandering small-talk. Then we have the fact that films like Reservoir Dogs - which takes place almost entirely within a single setting - and Jackie Brown - which places emphasis entirely on character - use dialog to not only create the characters but to also tell the story.

Regardless of this, Death Proof is meant as a piece of entertainment. There's no real desire here for Tarantino to prove what kind of filmmaker he is because he's already done that with the number of great films that came before. Sure, it can be seen as self-indulgent, but surely those of us familiar with the style of film-making being referenced here will revel in this particular kind of extravagance, loving everything from the continually inane female banter to the awesome scenes of high speed carnage. If you're not a fan cult cinema or exploitation cinema or indeed a devotee of Tarantino's work then this film really isn't going to impress you. There's no shame in that. Some films are made for a niche audience, destined to be a cult in their own right. However, for those who get it, Death Proof has the potential to be a truly exhilarating, one-off piece of film-making.

4 years ago

blah, blah..blah... freaking BLAH!

1/10 Am I the only one that thinks Quentin Tarantino's 'Death Proof' is a piece of junk?

The first hour of the movie consists of four women chatting away in a bar about the party tonight and how the boyfriend of one of them who's a radio personality is like TOTALLY spaced on her birthday and blah, blah.. blah... freaking BLAH! Then they get killed by a mysterious guy called Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell). That's when the action begins.....and lasts for like 5 whole minutes! Then cut to few months later where another group of women chatting of the type that makes most men's eyes roll up into their skulls. Sorry, ladies but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I know that when my wife has a bunch of her friends over I have to either leave the house or retreat into my den, otherwise it's like having bamboo shoved under my fingernails.

Now eventually... eventually as in 45 long..... torturous..... b-o-r-i-n-g minutes later, Kurt Russell finally shows up again to wreak havoc on this set of women. Unfortunately by this time I was so mad at having had to sit through so much mind numbing dialog that I couldn't even enjoy the car chase and what followed. No payoff could have been big enough for having been subjected to about a full hour of excruciating boredom except for maybe, the credits to roll. I don't know what the heck happened to Tarantino, but if felt like he was channeling Oprah or "The View" through some sort of trailer park filter. It was, in a word: bizarre. Another 5 minutes of car chase action. Then the movie ends.

This movie is supposed to be a spoof on the 70's B-grade camp movies. However it turned out to be one of the most boring movies I've seen in my life!

4 years ago

Tarantino's B-movie: a spectacular ride!

10/10 It all started as an homage to old exploitation cinema and double feature screenings. It was meant to be one of the most shamelessly entertaining films of the year. Sadly, after flopping in the US, Grindhouse has been chopped in two, with Quentin Tarantino's segment, Death Proof, being the first to be released on its own after competing at the Cannes Film Festival. It is not presented in its Grindhouse version, which included scratches, dirt, missing reels and other visual aging techniques; instead, we get the full cut, containing additional information regarding certain plot points and a few "juicy" bits that were left out first time around (a hot lap dance being the best new scene). And while it certainly would be fun to see the entire double-bill in all its glory (hopefully it will get a worldwide DVD release), I must say I really enjoyed QT's half as a separate picture.

As this is intended to be Tarantino's answer to '60s and '70s B-movies, the plot of Death Proof is extremely simple: there is a psychopath, named Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), who enjoys killing women with his car, a virtually indestructible vehicle ("This car is 100% death proof. Only to get the benefit of it, honey, you REALLY need to be sitting in my seat!"). Whenever he arrives in a new town he selects a group of girls and sets his perverse plan into motion. And unless he runs into someone who is as crazy or drives as well as him, there is no way to stop him.

Those expecting QT's usual stream of film references will be disappointed: apart from a hilarious restaurant scene that sort of spoofs the opening of Reservoir Dogs and a couple of nods to similarly themed horror flicks (and, of course, the casting of Russell, which is a deliberate homage to John Carpenter), the director is not interested in exposing his absolute knowledge of this kind of cinema. This time, he delivers a straightforward genre movie, albeit with his trademark tough women at the center. The trailer promised a wildly fun B-movie, and that's exactly what Death Proof is: a movie like they don't make anymore, old-fashioned, irony-free and exciting as hell.

However, this does not mean Tarantino has set his visual or verbal obsessions aside: the dialogue is as imaginative and surreal as it has always been, and there are enough shots of bare female feet to keep fans happy. Naturally, being this a QT flick, those feet belong to a quality cast: the only real star in the film (apart from the villain, that is) is Rosario Dawson, but she is part of a talented ensemble, which includes Vanessa Ferlito (CSI: NY), Rose McGowan (Scream) and stunt-woman Zoe Bell (who doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill). The mention of honor, though, goes to Russell, who finally has the opportunity to go all bad again, and boy, does he go bad: even when he is pretending to be a friendly chap who offers you a ride home, he exudes a sense of menace that doesn't leave until the end of the picture. Also worth praise are Michael Parks, reprising his role of foul-mouthed sheriff Earl McGraw (of From Dusk till Dawn and Kill Bill fame) and tying the two halves of the film together, and Tarantino himself, popping up as smug, ridiculously likable bartender Warren. The latter is particularly charming because, unlike other times (From Dusk's Richie Gekko is a good example), QT does not try to prove he can act (although he pulled off a remarkable job in Alias). He's just there for the sheer fun, like everyone else.

Pure, unadulterated fun and excitement: that's the key to appreciating Death Proof. Do not expect a smart, unusual take on an overused genre, like the director has done in the past: this time around, he sticks to the rules, delivering a loud, silly, sexy, violent piece of Entertainment with a capital "e". It may not be the best film of 2007, but it sure as hell is one of the most purely enjoyable.

4 years ago

Dead Women Talking

1/10 I love movies in general. I love obscure B-, C-, and Z-movies in particular - the dumber the plots and the less coherent, the better.

When I first heard of Death Proof, I was therefore understandably excited. Tarantino is undeniably a pro director, and though I personally think his trademark elements - bizarre dialogue about pop culture, foot fetishism - are somewhat annoying, I was willing to give him a try. He couldn't possibly screw up a movie that is SUPPOSED to be bad, I thought.

Suffice to say, he could. Oh, how he could.

We begin our long and arduous journey through the demented mind of Quentin "I made two cult classics in the early 90s and am therefore beyond criticism" Tarantino by joining a motley crew of four young women on their way to a local bar, tended by none other than Tarantino himself in an utterly pointless cameo role. Then, nothing happens. Twice.

I'm serious, the first hour of this movie (it might have been less but it certainly didn't feel like less) consists of absolutely nothing else but four women, whose admittedly good looks cannot mask the fact that they are about as intriguing to watch as display dummies and slightly less entertaining, drinking in a bar and talking.

What they are talking about, I have no idea. I really cannot remember a single sentence of note said in this torturous first hour (for the protocol, I cannot remember anything said in the second half either), but I am fairly sure that it involved some kind of prank about a lap dance one of them (don't ask me for the names) pulled on one of the others.

After meeting Stuntman Mike, whose introduction moves at about the same snail-paced crawl as everything does in this movie, and another twenty minutes of talking and an embarrassing lap dance, we finally get to the "action" part of the movie. The use of quotation marks is deliberate, since the much anticipated murder scene (didn't I tell you? Stuntman Mike is a serial killer using his car as a weapon. Don't ask why, though - there is no explanation given) consists of two cars crashing headfirst and what amounts to about three seconds of gore.

Cut: Stuntman Mike is hospitalized, but alive and kicking. The four broads are not. Throw in an absolutely pointless scene with two absolutely pointless policemen, which I'm sure is another one of Tarantino's look-how-subtle-I-am references/homages/ripoffs to/from himself.

Cut again: Four shallow and irritating women sit in a car and talk boring nonsense, interlaced with four letter words to boost the as yet slightly neglected "controversial and provocative" aspect of this movie. After another hour of talking - mind you, this time, it's an entirely different deli! Nobody can accuse Tarantino of repeating himself! - Stuntman Mike appears and starts bumping into their car for no discernible reason.

A car chase ensues, mostly consisting of the two cars driving alongside each other at high speed, with the women yelling at Stuntman Mike to cease the hostilities - during the chase, one of the girls lies on the hood and has some difficulties maintaining this condition - and for some reason refusing to, uh, stop their own car and thus prevent their friend from falling off.

After finally gaining the upper hand on Mike and wrecking his car (not so death proof now, is it?), they drag him out and beat him to death. That's it. The end.

I hate this movie. It's an insufferably boring and egomaniacal mess and there is absolutely no reason to see it. It's not funny, not even unintentionally so. It's not scary. It's not interesting, not over-the top surreal, nothing. There is no gore, no monsters, mutants, freaks, demons or at least a cool villain to hold your interest (Kurt Russell wasn't bad as an actor, but to call his character two-dimensional would be an exaggeration), there isn't ANYTHING in here that makes a good B-movie entertaining . Avoid it at all costs.

4 years ago

Tarantino careers off the road...(don't tell me i don't get it)...

1/10 I was a little dubious about seeing this out of context of 'Grindhouse' as i figured, despite what the greedy distributors might think, it would make less sense and the idea as a whole would work better in Europe, particularly after we've been waiting for so long.

It started off brilliantly, style wise the whole seventies exploitation flick look was there and executed fantastically (the scratches, the jump cuts, the poor continuity) and worked better than i expected as it successfully walked the difficult tightrope between homage and parody. Then the talking started. I don't want to labour the point about the dialogue but feel i have to as it is painful.

Tarantino has never been able to write for women. Far and away the worst scenes in terms of dialogue in Pulp Fiction are those involving women. The Uma Thurman scenes with Travolta are ham fisted attempts at fantasy chemistry, how a teenager might practise talking to a high school crush in front of a mirror. In Reservoir Dogs one of the only women characters that doesn't get shot was cut from the final film. In fact all of his original work aside from Kill Bill is male based, but even the Bride is merely an action revenge figure in female form so the scripting here would have worked either way. With that in mind what made him think him he could pull off a two hour movie with 8 women talking incessantly all the way through it?

Worst still amongst all the talk Tarantino self references his own films in it, even when he's doing one of his useless cameos he references Pulp Fiction! I know he's made a career out of this but in previous films most of the dialogue was in short snappy burst with outside views on mass pop culture and it was charmingly woven into strong individual characters that moved the plot and story along. Quentin has got to the point now where it's clear when HE is talking through the characters to put across a personal point of view or about his knowledge of obscure trash Americana from yesteryear. This is all laced with his wet dream on how he thinks women talk when he's not around. Here one woman is much the same as the other and by the time a brief anti-climax comes along involving Kurt Russell i want them all to die!

When Stuntman Mike does finally appear it's good but too brief, in fact it's a cameo role. I understand that there's no explanation for his actions, there doesn't need to be, it's supposed to be exploitation. But, without wanting to sound like a sadist, if it is supposed to be exploitation then where was it? These films were supposed to be a retro study of the cheap drive-in extreme cinema of the seventies, OTT comic book violence and unrealistic set pieces. There's more sex and violence in Bourne than in this! If the movie had kicked into overdrive as i expected after that point i could have perhaps forgiven the poor exposition. But from there we have another cameo from Russell who disappears until the end, a clean up of the reel and 4 more women, impossibly more annoying than the last. This again allows Tarantino to put words in their mouth so he can have a conversation with himself about his favourite muscle car movies for another hour. When Russell does pop up again for the final pursuit he's inexplicably turned into a groveling whining bitch. Then it ends.

There's a popular lazy argument on IMDb lately that if you don't like a film you don't 'get it'. Don't tell me i don't get it. I get the retribution, i get the elongated build up, i get the missing and throw away characters, i get the metaphoric idea of women screwing Stuntman Mike with a car, i get (and liked) the abrupt ending etc etc. And I like Tarantino, but this is not good, not good at all. Sure there's a couple of genius strokes (the four view death, the reverse hospital set, the fact that there is no CGI) and Tarantinos perfect use of popular music is, as ever, outstanding, on par with if not better than the original master of this skill Scorsese. But it's not enough to make this worth seeing. Buy the soudtrack, put that on and listen to your girlfriend chat with her friends on speaker phone, at least the conversation will be more realistic.

Any film, no matter who is involved in the making of it, that causes you to drift off while you're watching or can't hold your attention is poor. Even at the 'Grindhouse' 90 minute mark it would still have been 10 minutes too long and it's a shame it's been taken out of it's context and elongated to it's detriment. If you want real Grindhouse get some originals or see 'Devils Rejects' or 'House of 1000 Corpses' as Rob Zombie seems to have done this already to much better much more extreme effect...and with a retro twist.

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4 years ago