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Death Proof


Stars: Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Rose McGowan, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Jordan Ladd, Monica Staggs

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino's uber-roadkill movie was originally part of a 'Grindhouse' double-bill that sought to evoke drive-in movies of the 1950s and beyond. Apart from the torrent of four-letter words, this certainly looks as though it was made around the mid 1960s (complete with the appropriate credit titles), but the director's original 89-minute cut was probably more dynamic than this 25-minute longer version, in which we're treated to lots of heavy-cursing girl talk before the movie gets down to business in the last half-hour.

A scarred and sweaty Kurt Russell plays an ex-stuntman who now prowls the backroads of mid-west America in his 'death-proof' car, battening on to partying groups of girls and smashing them and their car to smithereens. Five die bloodily when he rams them head-on.

But, in another state, he bites off more than he can spit out when he takes on two film stunt-girls and their friend. As he eventually gets a taste of his own medicine, we discover that Stuntman Mike is the one who can't stand pain. But then judging by his references to TV shows of the early and mid 1960s, he'd be around 70 - so perhaps he wasn't a stuntman after all.

It's well worth sticking around for the sensational car chase sequence at the end - featuring Bell, who's a real-life stuntwoman - although in truth it has a lot to make up for, being preceded by 90 minutes of heavy-duty, high-decibel yakity-yak.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Momentum. Colour by deluxe.
114 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 18 Sep 2007