Title: Death Proof (from Grindhouse)
If there was an Academy Award for lifetime achievement of cool, Quentin Tarantino would win it hands down. He can’t act, and he has the imagination of a 14-year old, but no other director can deliver pure blood rush the way Tarantino can.
His latest outing – Death Proof, part of the 3 hour plus feature Grindhouse – is a tribute to the kind of high-octane, rubber hits the road car flicks that turned road rage into low art; mock-testament to a world without special effects where men were men and cars were deadly weapons. More importantly, though, it’s a testament to Tarantino himself. Gone are the over the top CGI sequences of the Kill Bill movies, and the fractured, jumpy narratives of Pulp Fiction, this is Tarantino stripped to the bare essentials, and m*****f***** is he good!
It’s a familiar formula. A bunch of slightly unlikely protagonists – recognizable as stereotypes, but just quirky enough to seem real. The street-smart, profanity laden banter at the local diner. The long periods of calm building up to a storm of almost orgasmic violence. The uber-cool soundtrack. The gore. And the action sequences so fast-paced, so mind-blowing, as to set a dynamo in your heart. Forget logic, forget interpretation, forget character development – just sit back and let the adrenaline take over.
P.S. Okay, so there’s a lot more to Grindhouse than Death Proof. There’s Robert Rodriguez’s mildly amusing spoof of a B-grade horror flick Planet Terror, and a couple of hilarious mock-trailers (my favourite being Thanksgiving). In the end, though, Death Proof stands apart.