Grindhouse presents "Death Proof" Quentin Tarantino

Grindhouse presents "Death Proof" Quentin Tarantino

Despite its rather disappointing box-office performance, Grindhouse, the two-film in one, multi-faux trailer throwback spectacle to the brief "grindhouse” sub-era of cinema, artistically succeeded. Directors/co-conspirators Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, along with trailer directors such as Eli Roth and Edgar Wright, crafted an unquestionably ambitious, aesthetically contrasting but enjoyable homage. Sure, it wasn’t boundary pushing or as challenging as the directors’ best work, but it was damn entertaining. Unfortunately, small screen viewers aren’t going to get that experience, at least anytime soon because — undoubtedly in an effort to recoup losses — the two films that comprised Grindhouse are being broken up and released separately, with no sign of the faux-trailers, save Machete, scheduled to be included with Planet Terror. However, fans shouldn’t punish the directors for the sins of the studio, as the DVD version of Death Proof features footage intentionally omitted from the original (i.e., the lap dance scene) and is still unquestionably the better actual "film” of the Grindhouse twosome. Quentin’s slasher/car chase/female revenge flick (where the killer stalks attractive women, using a "death proof” car instead of an axe or knife, eventually messing with the wrong ones) is unquestionably top-heavy with Tarantino dialogue (not a bad thing). However, once the vehicular slaughter and stalking/fleeing occur, it’s the equal action-wise of the chase films Tarantino so lovingly and heavily references throughout: Vanishing Point, the original Gone in Sixty Seconds, etc. As well, Kurt Russell as psycho Stuntman Mike is awesome, charismatic and sad, but able to flip the crazy switch in an instant, while it’s impossible for any geek not to love Rosario Dawson or real-life stuntwoman Zoë Bell. In terms of extras, Quentin still cops out of commentary duties for his own work (surprising, since he never shuts up about everyone else’s), but there are a number of featurettes on the stunts, cars, "gals” and "guys” of Death Proof, as well as Bell and Editor Sally Menke. Still, one can’t help but wonder: "where the hell is the awesome faux-trailer for Don’t?” (Alliance Atlantis)