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  As you may remember earlier this year Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez filmed two movies and then put them together as the ‘Grindhouse’, a sort of tribute to the old double bills that used to be a stable of cinema. Rodriguez’s flick was ‘Planet Terror’ a zombie flick and Tarantino’s was Death Proof. Unfortunately the US audience didn’t get it and it failed to make the money they hoped, and so thinking that us in the UK wouldn’t get it either Miramax decided to split up the movies. Now on it’s own we get part one with Death Proof.

   Death Proof stars Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike a serial killer who rather than gets his hand dirty uses his ‘death proof’ car to cause accidents that he will be the only to walk away from. The victims of these crashes are always young attractive women that he has been stalking first. In the first act of the film we meet Jungle Julia and her gang of friends having a night out of food and drinks at a local bar where Mike turns up. Of course this being a Tarantino film we don’t go straight into the action, but have his trademark dialogue he sets up the characters ready for the shocks to come. The shocks coming with the horrific and pretty graphic car crash. The film then goes ahead 14 months and we have Stuntman Mike trailing more girls, including Roasrio Dawson and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, though this time he’s in for a surprise.

   For his first film since the Kill Bill’s Tarantino has gone back to some of his earlier work but also tried something new. The film pays tribute to the 70’s style of movies but has all the great dialogue that we have come to expect  from his movies. In fact it is about 45mins before we get any action at all. As in his other films the violence is pretty graphic. The best part of the film though is the Car chase that makes up the second half of the movie, with some brilliant stunts.  As it was gonna be half of the Grindhouse the originbal running time was about 90 minutes whereas this new version is just under 2 hours, but it doesn’t actually ruin the film. You would think the first half would drag but you get dragged in by the characters and their talking, that it flies past, and by the end of the film I was quite surprised that it was the length it was. There is also the usual Tarantino cameo as the Barman as well as fellow director Eli Roth as one of the guys trying it on with the girls.

   If you are a Tarantino fan you will enjoy the film but I think non fans might find the old style of the film, distracting, especially the first act as the filmmakers have put in deliberate scrathes and blotches on the print and bad edit cuts, whereas the second half is a normal print, though like most QT films it does have a great soundtrack. Rating 7/10

Extra note

  With the release of the film delayed in the UK the region 1 dvd is released next week in the US and I was fortunate to get it already which is how I have got this review up before it’s cinema release. If you can’t wait for the cinema it’s worth getting, the dvd has good range of extras with six features about the making of the film and it’s cast. The only missing thing is a Commentary which is surprising considering how much Tarantino likes to talk.

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