ann hale is death proof…
Two weeks ago today, I watched Kurt Russell play the protagonist in the alien horror film, The Thing. He is well known for his tough guy hero roles in Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York but tonight, I watch Kurt the villain. Tonight, I watch Death Proof.
Four women, Arlene, Julia, and Shanna stop at this honky tonk bar in Texas before heading to a lake house for the weekend. Here, they meet Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell). Julia is a radio DJ who had made an announcement earlier that if any guy called Arlene “Butterfly,” bought her a drink and recited a certain Robert Frost poem, they would get a lap dance from her. Mike follows these instructions and Arlene must perform the lap dance.
When the girls are about to leave the bar, Mike decides to head out, offering Pam (Rose McGowan), a drunken bar patron, a ride home. When she sees his car, which is equipped with a cage inside and a lack of seatbelt, she is immediately nervous but Mike assures her that his car is “death proof.” Quickly, Mike proves to be a reckless driver, set on killing Pam. He reveals to her that the car is only death proof to the driver before slamming on the brakes and smashing her skull. He then seeks out the car with the girls from the bar, which he slams head first into, killing all of the women inside and covering up the murder of Pam. Since he was sober and the women were drunk, he is cleared of charges.
About a year later, Mike comes upon a car with four women inside, Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Zoe, Kim and Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Zoe, a stuntwoman who has just flown in from New Zealand, is desperate to test drive a 1970 Dodge Challenger, the car from Vanishing Point, and there just happens to be one for sale nearby. They put Lee up as collateral and take the car out for a spin. Zoe hops on the hood of the car and Kim drives at insane speeds while Zoe holds on in a game called Ship’s Mast. Unfortunately for them, Mike has been paying attention and he wants to play.
In typical Tarantino fashion, there is a lot of talking before any action but the action is always worth waiting for. He lets you get to know each character and get attached to them before Mike either kills or attempts to kill them. This makes the death scenes have a greater impact.
There is also no lack of pretty women. The lap dance scene in the bar is pretty hot and there is a scene where Lee is in the car listening to her iPod and singing and that’s pretty fantastic. Plus, there is Rose McGowan, Rosario Dawson, Jordan Ladd and Sydney Tamiia Poitier.
Death Proof will make you think twice about trusting that nice guy in the bar and maybe you will finally heed your mother’s words about talking to strangers.