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2 August 2013

Deathproof (2007)

A number of years ago I was looking for the DVDs for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films. I'd seen the films before, but was desperate to watch them again. Whilst looking on ebay, I came across someone selling a bundle of 6 Tarantino DVDs. Get this... The bundle was the same price as the Kill Bills would have been separately. You know how I love a bargain!

Rose McGowan looking a little suspicious
Deathproof, 2007 Dimension Films

Since then, I've been disappointed by From Dusk Till Dawn (just the once), and I've high-kicked my way thorugh Kill Bill 1 and Kill Bill 2. I haven't rewatched Jackie Brown (though I loved it the first time round), and I haven't gone anywhere near Pulp Fiction. This week I dusted off Deathproof, which depending upon who you talk to was Quentin's flop of 2007.

In all honesty, I knew nothing about this film going into it. I'd maybe scanned over the cover and mentally written it off. It's got cars in it... hmmm. I don't know why I chose to watch it this week... but I'm glad I did!

Dirty Dancing
Deathproof, 2007 Dimension Films

What I hadn't realised until the end is that Deathproof is one part of a set of two films released under the "Grindhouse" banner. Robert Rodriguez teamed up with Quentin Tarantino to produce a double-feature... two feature-length films to be played back-to-back. The other film is Rodriguez's Planet Terror which by some incredible fluke, I bought a couple of weeks ago! I can't wait to watch this now!

Oh no! I think that I might be watching them in the wrong order. Oh well... I'll get over it! Yep... I'm over it! ;-)

Quentin slips in a cameo
Deathproof, 2007 Dimension Films

Grindhouses were the theatres in America that specialised in "gentlemen's" shows and which ultimately got a name for themselves in the 70s by showing Exploitation films. Quentin has squeezed all this together in Deathproof to come up with Grindhouse as a genre. We're in mish-mash throwback territory. YES!

Deathproof, 2007 Dimension Films

To look at the DVD cover, you'd think that Deathproof revolves around a car, and it does, but really this is a film about people. It's a chick-flick. Only these are the sort of chicks who like to live it up large; Who can drink you under the table and then who can crack the table in two with a mighty karate chop. We're talking "girl power" with added adrenalin. YEAH!

Stuntman Mike
Deathproof, 2007 Dimension Films

There's a baddie in the form of the wonderful Kurt Russell who plays Stuntman Mike. Right from the start you know that he's bad, you just don't know how bad. Watching Kurt made me think about "the trademark Tarantino dialogue" that you often hear mentioned.

I don't know if you've ever noticed the monotone monologues that Quentin favours in his films. Sometimes they're brilliant; sometimes they feel a little forced. I'm developing a theory that what we're actually seeing here are limitations in the actors themselves. I'm now beginning to think that a lot of the actors that Quentin uses simply don't know what to do with the dialogue he's giving them; the end result being this 'trademark' delivery. They get the words out, but it doesn't sound quite right. And to prove it... You take a star like Kurt, who knows exactly what he's doing and his lines don't come across in the same way. He just sounds a whole lot better.

I'm putting it down to acting ability. You've either got it or you haven't. Kurt's got it!

What's under the bonnet Zoe?
Deathproof, 2007 Dimension Films

The goodies are the girls, and there're loads of them! I only really recognised Kiwi Zoe Bell, and I can't put my finger on where I know her from. Quentin loves the ladies... especially their feet. Yep... plenty of foot action in Deathproof. Not wanting to mention them all, I'm going to call out Zoe Bell, Vanessa Ferlito and Rose McGowan. Everyone has their moment, but these three seemed to have a few more than the rest. There's a lot of 'laddish' banter between the girls which sometimes works and sometimes feels like they're trying a little too hard. On the whole, I enjoyed it

The wonderful McGraws
Deathproof, 2007 Dimension Films

Earl and Edgar McGraw are back! The Texas Rangers, played by Michael and James Parks have yet another cameo. It's a brilliant touch. Quentin has them pop up in a lot of his films. I could be wrong, but it looks like daughter Dakota McGraw could be a big player in Planet Terror. Oooo... Need... to... watch... this!

The filming is very much "exploitation", simulating dropped and repeated frames with graininess, dirt and flecks being added to the picture. It sets the scene well, giving the film a great vintage feel. As the story progresses, the gimmicks are used less and less, allowing the film to flow effortlessly from what is a largely dialogue-based first three quarters into a high-octane finale.

What year is this mobile phone from?
Deathproof, 2007 Dimension Films

The music is of an era; Mainly late 60s to early 70s. I don't know a lot of the tunes. Quentin does a great job of creating a kind of alternate universe with the different styles. Watching the film, I couldn't really place the timeline. Some of it feels very modern, but there is visual or audio chintz hiding around most corners. It's incredibly well done.

So, I've run out of things to say. You know I loved this film. On the Triple-B I'll finish by letting you lick 8 of my gnarly old toes. I promise I won't tell if you don't. And by the way... did I ever mention that my underpants are deathproof? ;-)





2 comments:

  1. Hey King,
    Two of my sync-head friends
    (Andras Jones and Will Morgan)
    made this film

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zeXnCELToQ

    about Rose McGowan,linking her film/TV career to sync,including her appearances in 'Deathproof' and 'Planet Terror'.
    Andras himself is the star of
    'Nightmare on Elm Street 4'.
    They presented this film to Rose at a Comic Con and she was really impressed by it.
    My kids have the DVDs of all Quentin's movies,so I'll have to watch his 'Grindhouse' movies now,as I haven't watched them yet.

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  2. Great video - loved the intro to it. I'm glad you stuck this comment up Daz, because I got one of the names of the actresses wrong up above. I said the lady in the top picture was Jordan Ladd, calling her out later on, and really she is Rose McGowan. I thought her performance was great. I hadn't realised that she is also in Planet Terror. She has quite a distinctive look in that film!

    FIXED!

    ReplyDelete