So after a few crazy movie trailers for films that will hopefully exist in Grindhouse 2, the next film came up
Grindhouse: Death Proof (2007) starring Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Tracie Thoms, and Rosario Dawson. Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Stuntman Mike (Russell) cruises the off beat roads in search of unsuspecting female travelers. Why? To kill them of course in the best/ worst traffic accident possible. The law cannot touch Stuntman Mike nor can death until he crosses the path of a few stunt girls.
This is a very different film from Planet Terrorö. I was on such a high from the first film that its slower pace started to bore me. Tarantino is a master of dialogue but much like Kevin SmithÆs Star Wars tirades, I think I heard one too many Tarantino restaurant conversations. He would grab you with a quick joke towards the end but as the camera kept spinning around the actresses I started to get bored. After all this is a film about a Maniac with a death proof car. I donÆt care about the characters I want to see people die! A lot.
Tarantino does resurrect the bad ass that is Kurt Russell. His laugh, which recently has been the one of a dad in his films, is back to be the crazy guyÆs laugh ala Big Trouble in Little China (1986) (by the way Tarantino, nice homage to that film, I hope you guys notice it as well). Tarantino does put a great moment in there for Stuntman Mike when things do not go his way and I found myself loving it. That was a small thing but added so much to his character, why didnÆt he do that for the girls (keep it small and get to the action)? I think he was building suspense. If that was the case then Tarantino was doing Hitchcock remaking Duel (1971) and Vanishing Point (1971) and not so much an exploitation film.
The audience seemed as if they werenÆt getting the Grindhouse movie feel for ôDeath Proofö. There were some mixed boos and laughs at the reel missing moment but when there were obvious continuity errors, I laughed out loud yet, the theater was silent. However mention Big Kahuna Burger and everybody laughs out loud.
When he finally get to the big car duel the film becomes totally worth it. Tarantino gave his killer, Stuntman Mike, a great adversary and gave us a great ride. The interesting thing is that Tarantino (on purpose or not) gave these girls a character and wanted us to feel something for them, so obviously when they were in trouble we would feel something. The funny part is I wanted them all to die, horribly. With the all of gossip, the nagging, the boy talk I really wanted them to die, die loud, and die fast. But after the car duel I was rooting for them, cheering them on, and didnÆt even realize it. That was brilliant. To have me turn my emotions around like that shows a true film maker.
I enjoyed ôDeath Proofö, not as much as ôPlanet Terrorö but as double bills go you could do Grindhouse over and over again. And if anything, ôDeath Proofö proves you should always end a movie with a freeze frame.
Check out my review for "Planet Terror".