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Chris High reviews books, movies, albums, theatre and gigs.

Death Proof

Cast: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Tracie Thoms, Vanessa Ferlito, Zoë Bell, Quentin Tarantino
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Grind House Productions
September 2007

Promotional image for the movie: Death Proof by Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino: Icon. A man with a cinematic golden touch if ever there was one, with hits the calibre of Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Vols 1 & 2 and Dusk ‘ Till Dawn already weighing down an impressive catalogue.

So what’s the new one, Death Proof, like? Well, like most of the great man’s work, it is a whole lot of fun that could, in all honesty, have been so much more.

A mysterious figured named Stuntman Mike (Russell), whose vintage Dodge Charger has been partially modified to withstand even the most extreme auto collision. Though the maniacal driver himself always comes out relatively unscathed, the same certainly can't be said for the poor young lass in his passenger seat -- or anyone unfortunate enough to be on the road when the urge to kill strikes for that matter.Until he decides to pick on the wrong bunch of girls, that is, and so brings about a revenge mission of unprecedented proportions.Death Proof, as well as being something of a shallow study into the psyche of the bored American female, is also – once it gets going – an out-and-out thrill fest of gigantic proportions that will get audiences covering their eyes in places.

With a script that works on many levels, but somehow fails on so many others – such as the mocking of other car-chase films such as Gone In 60 Seconds and some overly long diatribe – the retro cinematography will either delight lovers of 1970’s Dirty Harry-style movies or grate on younger audience members who have no clue what the 1970’s were. At times it’s as though the whole thing were filmed on a camcorder over a course of days rather than on a lavish budget Tarantino commands.

In fact only outstanding performances predominantly from Kurt Russell, Tracie Thoms, Zoë Bell and Vanessa Ferlito, save the movie from becoming tedious and so propel it towards legendary status via an extremely circuitous route. All of this aside, Tarantino fans will love it, mixed bag or not, that’s guaranteed.

Death Proof will be at Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool, from September 21. There is also a special advance screening on Tuesday September 11, where Quentin Tarantino will be conducting a Q&A session in person after the show.  

Click to visit the Picturehouse at FACT website

Picturehouse at FACT opened in February 2003, as the first independent cinema
to open in Liverpool’s city centre in over a decade.

FACT, the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology. 88 Wood Street, Liverpool, L14DQ
T: +44 (0)151 7074444           Email: info@fact.co.uk


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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