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Death Proof (2007)

7.1
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Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans.

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Title: Death Proof (2007)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Herself
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Jungle Julia (as Sydney Poitier)
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Kim
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Pam
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Lee
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Dov
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Storyline

In Austin, Texas, the girlfriends Julia, Arlene and Shanna meet in a bar to drink, smoke and make out with their boyfriends before traveling alone to Lake LBJ to spend the weekend together. They meet the former Hollywood stuntman Mike, who takes Pam out in his "death-proof" stunt car. Fourteen months later, Mike turns up in Lebanon, Tennessee and chase Abernathy, Zoë and Kim, but these girls are tough and decide to pay-back the attack. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Going To Be A Wild Ride See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 May 2007 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Grindhouse Presents: Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£407,525 (UK) (21 September 2007)

Gross:

£707,262 (UK) (28 September 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(international) | (Grindhouse) | (extended)

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The complete list of songs contained in the jukebox is as follows: 01. Isaac Hayes - "Theme from Shaft" / "Ellie's Love Theme" (from Shaft (1971)); 02. Barry White - "You're My First, My Last, My Everything" / "Can't Get Enough"; 03. Bob Dylan - "George Jackson (Acoustic)" / "George Jackson (Big Band)"; 04. Stevie Wonder - "Lately" / "If It's Magic"; 05. The Chi-Lites - "Have You Seen Her" / "Oh Girl"; 06. The THP Orchestra - "Theme from S.W.A.T., Pt. 1" / "Oh Girl"; 07. Stevie Wonder - "I Ain't Gonna Stand for It" / "Knocks Me off My Feet"; 08. Bloodstone - "Natural High" / "This Thing is Heavy" ("Natural High" is heard in Jackie Brown (1997)); 09. Don McLean - "American Pie, Pt. 1" / "American Pie, Pt. 2"; 10. Sweet - "Little Willy" / "Man from Mecca"; 11. The Isley Brothers - "Take Me to the Next Phase, Pt. 1" / "Take Me to the Next Phase, Pt. 2"; 12. The Miracles - "Love Machine, Pt. 1" / "Love Machine, Pt. 2"; 13. Bob Dylan - "Subterranean Homesick Blues" / "She Belongs to Me"; 14. Honey Cone - "Stick Up" / "V.I.P."; 15. Earth Wind & Fire - "Shining Star" / "Yearning, Learning"; 16. Amii Stewart - "Knock on Wood" / "When You Are Beautiful"; 17. Honey Cone - "Want Ads" / "We Belong Together"; 18. Kool & The Gang - "Hollywood Swinging" / "Jungle Boogie" ("Jungle Boogie" is heard in Pulp Fiction (1994)); 19. Bob Dylan - "Band of the Hand" / "Theme from Joe's Death" (from Band of the Hand (1986)); 20. Sweet - "Wig-Wam-Bam" / "New York Connection"; 21. Friends of Distinction - "Grazing in the Grass" / "I Really Hope You Do"; 22. Marvin Gaye - ":Trouble Man" / "Don't Mess With Mr. T "(from Trouble Man (1972)); 23. Bob Dylan - "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" / "Rita May"; 24. Pacific Gas & Electric - "Are You Ready?" / "Staggolee"; 25. Donna Summer - "Love to Love you Baby" / "Need-A-Man Blues"; 26. Michael Zager Band - "Let's All Chant" / "Love Express"; 27. Santa Esmeralda - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" / "You're My Everything" ("Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is heard in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)); 28. Jigsaw - "Sky High" / "Brand New Love Affair"; 29. George Baker Selection - "Little Green Bag" / "Pretty Little Dreamer" ("Little Green Bag" is heard in Reservoir Dogs (1992)); 30. Sweet - "Blockbuster" / "Need a Lot of Lovin'"; 31. Eddie Floyd - "Good Love, Bad Love" / "Things Get Better"; 32. Joe Tex - "The Love You Save" / "If Sugar Was as Sweet as You"; 33. Bob Dylan - "Gotta Serve Somebody (Long Version)" / "Gotta Serve Somebody (Short Version)"; 34. Dick Dale - "Misirlou" / "Eight Till Midnight" ("Miserlou" is heard in Pulp Fiction (1994)); 35. Lee Williams - "They Told a Lie" / "I'm Tore Up"; 36. William Bell - "Formula of Love" / "You Don't Miss Your Water"; 37. Dinah Washington - "Mad About the Boy" / "Stormy Weather"; 38. The Box Tops - "Cry Like a Baby" / "The Door You Closed to Me"; 39. The Checkmates Ltd. - "Black Pearl" / "Lazy Susan"; 40. Sweet - "Fox on the Run" / "Miss Demeanor"; 41. The Delfonics - "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" / "La-La Means I Love You" ("Didn't I" is heard in Jackie Brown (1997)); 42. Brothers Johnson - "Get the Funk Outta Ma Face" / "Tomorrow"; 43. Bob Dylan - "Hurricane, Pt. 1" / "Hurricane, Pt. 2"; 44. ABBA - "Waterloo" / "Watch Out"; 45. 'T. Rex (I)' - "Jeepster" / "Life's a Gas"; 46. Melanie - "What Have They Done to My Song Ma?" / "Ruby Tuesday"; 47. George Frayne - "Hot Rod Lincoln" / "Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar"; 48. Robert Mitchum - "The Ballad of Thunder Road" / "The Tip of My Fingers" ("Ballad" is the theme from Thunder Road (1958)); 49. Dean Martin - "Rio Bravo" / "My Rifle My Pony and Me" (From Rio Bravo (1959)); 50. Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich - "Hold Tight" / "You Know What I Want". See more »

Goofs

As 'Death Proof' is an homage to the old, low budget Grindhouse films of the 70's and 80's, there are many deliberate errors by the filmmaker to give an authentic Grindhouse feel. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Arlene: [shouting to Jungle Julia] Hold on, I gotta come up! I gotta take the world's biggest fuckin' piss!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the OPENING credits during the prologue driving sequence, after "Kurt Russell in" there is a quick two-or-three frame color animation of the title "Quentin Tarentino's Thunder Bolt" which cuts immediately to a simple grainy white-on-black title screen that says "Death Proof". See more »

Connections

References The Cannonball Run (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Laisse Tomber Les Filles
Written by Serge Gainsbourg
Performed by April March
Courtesy of Sympathy for the Record Industry/Jean Emmanuel Dubois/The Talent House
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Probably the most misunderstood film of this decade
12 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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 façade 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.


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