Death Proof (2007)
Frequently Asked Questions
In the opening credits, the camera lingers on a set of feet lying on the dashboard. The feet belong to Shannon Hazlett, but they are meant to belong to the character Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito).
Later, Tarantino devotes screen time to the feet of both Jungle Julia (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) and Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), albeit this latter is only in the Unrated version.
Stuntman Mike had a 1970 Chevy Nova (for the first half of the movie) and a 1969 Dodge Charger (the second half of the movie), Kim had a 1972 Mustang Grande, and the girls were test driving a 1970 Dodge Challenger 440 Magnum during the big chase.
The Mustang was a Kill Bill "Pussy Wagon" inspired custom job, looking at the paint/interior. The longer "Grande" model also would originally have had a vinyl top, but this is nowhere to be seen in the film. The Mustang also appears to be the only muscle car in the film without a roll cage installed.
The Challenger is referenced in the film as the car driven by Barry Newman in "Vanishing Point." If the Challenger was actually supposed to be the "Vanishing Point" car, it should be supercharged (according to that film). The Challenger was modified in this film to add in the window posts that Zoe straps herself to, as no Challenger had enclosed windows in 1970.
No real mention is made of engines, besides the 440 in the Challenger, and, considering the highly modified appearances of all of the other cars, practically anything could be under the hoods of those beasts. Stock configurations, however, assuming all V8s, would be as follows:
- either a 307 or a 350 (396 discontinued after 1970)
- 383, 426 Hemi, or 440 Magnum
- 302 or 351 (Windsor, I believe)
- 440 Magnum.
Stuntman Mike was very clever on how to stay clear of charges -- he's an obviously experienced psychopathic killer who'd know how to keep himself clean of any charges.
He didn't smoke any weed when offered, he didn't drink any alcohol while at the bar, and he threw away the photos he had of the girls before going after them. While driving head-on at the girls, he turns his headlights off. Then seconds before he crashes into them, he turns them back on. This was done so that they wouldn't see him until it was too late, and also so that when forensics investigates, they will see that he had his headlights on during the crash.
As pointed out by Earl McGraw, Stuntman Mike comes out clean as a whistle, while all the girls are drunk and high.
Mike could have possibly been charged with reckless endangerment or involuntary vehicular manslaughter due to him giving Pam a ride without a proper passenger seat or seat belt and nobody would know she had died before the crash. However, as Earl McGraw points out, she asked him for the ride and it would look like he was just trying to help her out.
Any evidence towards Stuntman Mike would be circumstantial. The fact that he drives a stunt car, and was the one speeding, doesn't mean he was the one that crashed into the girls. The evidence contradicting this would be more overwhelming.
When two vehicles are moving at the same speed, say fifty miles per hour, and one is sideswiping the other, the only force behind the impact is that imparted by the lateral (i.e. side-to-side) motion, which is perhaps only ten miles per hour. If they had slowed the car, the impacts from Stuntman Mike's car would have drastically increased in force: doubling the velocity quadruples the impact (for example, look at how violent and destructive the first car crash was when comparing the girls' and Stuntman Mike's vehicles' speeds). So if they had dropped to, say, thirty miles per hour, while Stuntman Mike's car held at fifty, he'd have hit them at the equivalent of twenty miles per hour, or four times as hard. This would make slowing the car a far more dangerous tactic. In addition, the car would have had to have slowed down very gradually to keep the inertia from hurling Zoe off of the hood, during which time they'd have been more vulnerable to being forced into a crash.
Another explanation is that, given the fact that the movie is an homage to the '70s exploitation movies, the movie was written this way on purpose. A lot of '70s exploitation movies had weird dialogue, thin plotlines, a lot of inconsistencies and a general B movie-like feel. Therefore, a goof like this was not uncommon in those movies.
Also, when someone is being attacked, self-preservation tends to kick in and the instinct to simply "get away" would probably be overwhelming. So Kim may not have been thinking of stopping to let Zoe in, but simply to get away as quick as possible.
In the first half of the film, Stuntman Mike plotted out the deaths of the first group in a very clever fashion. But in the second half, he doesn't really have a plan when he attacks the second group. His decision to go after them appears to be a random decision based on opportunity, so he didn't have time to plan anything, but likely was expecting little difficulty.
After what happened in Texas, Stuntman Mike took up dwelling in Lebanon and likely got bored causing him to have a smoldering desire. Then the thrill of attacking them with one of the girls on the hood of the car would have been too much for him to resist, so that apparently inspired him to drive after them in broad daylight on a country road. It would have been a funny game for Mike to try and smash into them to shoot down Zoe and kill her.
No. Stuntman Mike drives a stunt car, which protects him from crashes. As he explains, back in the old days of cinema, the only way to make a car crash in a movie look real; was to actually crash the car. So mechanics/engineers would re-enforce the car as much as possible, so the stunt driver could crash the vehicle with minimal risk to themselves, hence the nickname "death-proofing". However, even though Mike said his car was "100% death proof", he is still seriously injured in the first crash.
Stuntman Mike was a bully who picked on who he thought were weak and helpless young women, and enjoyed scaring them before killing them. Most bullies get off on knowing they are scaring who they think are weak people because they're insecure and have low self-esteem, but once one of their targets shows they're not scared of them, and stand up for themselves, some (but not all) bullies will quickly turn into cowards when the tables are turned against them. An example is Scott Farkus, the school bully from The Christmas Story that chased kids, and laughed whenever they ran away from him, but then turned into a screaming, crying wimp when one of the kids stood up to him, and started beating him up. Scott claims "I'm tellin' my Dad!" and ran away. It's sort of the same thing with the ending in Death Proof. According to analysis by Sheriff Earl Mcgraw in the hospital, Stuntman Mike also can be compared to a rapist, that get only sex stimulations through grief of the victims.
Kurt Russell himself has also compared the character of Stuntman Mike to the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz, and has talked before in interviews about how shocked he was when he Russell first viewed the movie and saw the lion go from being a ferocious beast to a crying coward, all because he got a small slap to the nose, thus Russell's inspiration to turn Stuntman Mike into a crying sissy after he gets shot in the arm. The original script implies that this is how Stuntman Mike reacts to the pain of the bullet in his arm, but it was Russell who improvised much of the wailing.
The faces that appear during the credits are from film color tests. The card with the colors that appears in them is a way for the color corrector to get the best possible image out of the film. But as for who the girls are, no one knows -- they're just random models chosen for the shoot.
Some fans believe that the girls in the pictures are Stuntman Mike's former victims, as he always kept pictures of them on his visor and was seen taking pictures of his victims.
Yes, he plays Warren the Bartender.
They are seen in the bar in the beginning. They are the laughing girls who are seen entering Warren's Bar when we first see it. Look for them in the lapdance sequence (white and green shirts with matching skirts, holding drinks, and dancing quite distractingly in the background to the song).
1. The opening conversation is longer (though one or two lines from Arlene, Jungle Julia and Shanna have been trimmed).
2. We see the girls drunkenly leave Guero's while Stuntman Mike watches and applies eyedrops.
3. The scene where Arlene spots the Chevy Nova outside the Chili Parlor is extended with a talk between Arlene and her "boyfriend."
4. Dov and Omar's making fun of Stuntman Mike is extended.
5. The first conversation between Stuntman Mike and Pam is extended.
6. A new scene where the girls get their Wild Turkey shots and Stuntman Mike orders his virgin Pina Colada (and a Cabo Wabo margarita for Pam).
7. The second conversation between Stuntman Mike and Pam is extended, ending with a close up of the rain hitting the pavement outside.
8. Part of the "missing reel" is re-inserted, so we see the lap dance.
9. In the alternate version, when Stuntman Mike tells Pam they're going left, he has a happier look on his face instead of his menacing look in the original version.
10. Pam's pleas to Stuntman Mike were re-shot in the alternate version where they come off more scared and pathetic than they did in the original.
11. After the Chevy Nova crashes through the Honda's roof, a "Wilhelm scream" is added as the car crashes back onto the road.
12. The discussion between Earl and Edgar McGraw is extended (also explaining Pam's story as to how she got to the bar).
13. A lengthy black and white sequence introduces Abernathy, Kim, and Lee on their way to pick up Zoe. Stuntman Mike also meets these girls the first time, playing with Abernathy's hanging feet while she sleeps in the back seat - but then pretending to have brushed past them looking for his keys. This explains why Abernathy appears to recognise him later. The scene later changes to color.
14. The airport stalking scene is extended with Abernathy, Kim and Lee meeting Zoe in the airport terminal.
15. The talk in the car between the ladies is extended (and trims a joke from Zoe).
16. After the first chase, some of Zoe's dialogue has been removed.
"Funky Fanfare" by Keith Mansfield - "Our Feature Presentation."
"The Last Race" by Jack Nitzsche - The opening credits; Abernathy, Zoë and Kim go after Stuntman Mike.
"Baby It's You" by Smith - The first appearance of the Chervy Nova; Jungle Julia dancing at the Texas Chili Parlor.
"Paranoia Prima" by Ennio Morricone - Arlene's theme whenever she sees the car.
"Jeepster" by T-Rex - Jungle Julia calls Lanna-Frank; the gang does Chartreuse shots with Warren.
"Sally & Jack" (from the motion picture "Blow Out (1981)" by Pino Donaggio - Jungle Julia texts Christian Simonson.
"Good Love, Bad Love" by Eddie Floyd - Dov and Omar order drinks for the girls; the gang does Wild Turkey shots.
"Staggolee" by Pacific Gas & Electric - Stuntman Mike eats nachos and studies his prey; Dov and Omar detail their plans to bed the girls and make fun of Stuntman Mike's appearance.
"The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)" by Joe Tex - Arlene dances and sees Stuntman Mike for the first time; Pam explains her disdain for Jungle Julia to Stuntman Mike.
"Down in Mexico" by The Coasters - Arlene gives Stuntman Mike his lapdance.
"Hold Tight" by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch - The build-up to the crash scene.
"It's So Easy" by Willy DeVille - Stuntman Mike's first appearance after the crash.
"Twisted Nerve" by Bernard Herrmann - Abernathy's ringtone.
"Unexpected Violence (Violenza in attesa)" by Ennio Morricone - Stuntman Mike stalks and photographs the second group of girls.
"Riot in Thunder Alley" by Eddie Beram - Stuntman Mike goes after Abernathy, Zoë and Kim.
"Gangster Story (from the motion picture "Piombo Rovente")" by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis - The first part of the final chase (the girls speeding behind Stuntman Mike as he flees).
"Italia a mano armata (from the motion picture "Italia a mano armata")" by Franco Micalizzi - The second part of the final chase (the chase down the freeway).
"La polizia sta a guardare" by Stelvio Cipriani - The finale of the final chase.
"Score" (from the motion picture "Dragon's Claws")" by Chen Tsun-Chi & Chow Fook-Leung - Zoë's roundhouse kick sends Stuntman Mike crashing to the pavement.
"Chick Habit" by April March - The first half of the end credits.
"Laisse Tomber Les Filles" by April March - The second half of the end credits.
When Lee, Kim, and Abernathy stop at the gas station on the way to get Zoe, Lee is also listening to "Baby, it's you" on her iPod and singing along.
This takes some work, but all of the above films all exist within the same movie universe. There are several links between all of the movies that can be made.
Warning BIG spoliers ahead.
The best link is the character of who appears in all of the movie's plots.
dies at the start of From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). So this would place From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)'s events at the end of the timeline.
Then there is who is alive in the Death Proof (2007) segment of Grindhouse (2007), but dies in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003).
There is also the link of from the Planet Terror (2007) segment of Grindhouse (2007) and the town the that and were heading to in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) which was also called "El Wray".
Another link is who appears in both the Death Proof (2007) and Planet Terror (2007) segments of Grindhouse (2007), and this is the best place to start. is also the daughter of and sister of who also appears in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999).
I think that is most of the links made (there could be more) but from this you can start to piece together the chronology of the universe, so...
The events of Death Proof (2007) must happen before the events of Planet Terror (2007). This can be assumed by the relationship between and which is frayed in Death Proof (2007) and most of Planet Terror (2007), but they do make up by the end of Planet Terror (2007). Also the lack of "sickos" in Death Proof (2007) would suggest this is before Planet Terror (2007). Plus leaves at the end of Planet Terror (2007), but is back working in the hospital in Death Proof (2007). There is also a mention "in memory of" over the radio of from Death Proof (2007) in the events of Planet Terror (2007).
So we have...
1, Death Proof (2007)
2, Planet Terror (2007)
Then we can move onto . As he is alive in Death Proof (2007) but dies in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003). That would place the (current) events of Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) after the events of Death Proof (2007).
1, Death Proof (2007)
2, Planet Terror (2007)
3, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
4, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Then onto who is alive in Death Proof (2007), Planet Terror (2007) and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) but is killed in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996).
Leading us to...
1, Death Proof (2007)
2, Planet Terror (2007)
3, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
4, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
5, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
But then you have to include From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999) and From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (1999).
makes reference to the events and death of his father in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999), which obviously sets this film after From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Then From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (1999) is actually a prequel set in the 1800's therefore the earliest of the connections.
So finaly, chronologically the films go...
1, From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (1999)
2, Death Proof (2007)
3, Planet Terror (2007)
4, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
5, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
6, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
7, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999)