Originally released in the US as one half of an exploitation double feature with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror under the name Grindhouse, Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof was released in the UK as a single feature. The film is a pastiche of the sort of cheap, exploitative thrillers that found their way into certain cinemas before the advent of home video in the 1980s. Tarantino purposely damaged the film stock causing rips, jumps and scratches to make it look more like the kind of 1970s film that he was recreating. The film also makes great use of cars and music from the era to further recreate the 1970s feel.
Death Proof is neatly split into two halves with both revolving around a deranged movie stuntman called Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell). Mike appears to take joy in stalking small groups of women, following them in his ‘Death Proof’ stunt car before crashing into them. We see this take place twice but with very different results. In the first instance Mike gets to know his potential victims in a bar in Austin, Texas first whereas in the second half his appearance is more of a surprise and fuels a revenge filled final few minutes. I thought Death Proof was ok and with any Tarantino release there is a lot to like but for me there are vast swathes of dull, un-Tarantino like dialogue and it sits towards the bottom of his filmography in terms of how much I liked it and how likely I am to watch it again.