Death Proof ★★★★

Viewed the truncated Grindhouse cut.

Is there a better shot in Tarantino's oeuvre than Kurt Russell's fourth-wall break when he smiles at the camera and flicks his heater, before meting out heavy dollops of vehicular carnage? Chef's kiss. The patina of sloppiness foisted on this thing felt more forced this time around, as Tarantino can't help but fucking Tarantino his movie in the end. The decision to have two completely different ensembles of female characters? Still bold, and somehow it works. Occasionally overwritten, there's just too many pearls in here to put up a fuss:

Earl McGraw: Shit. Two tons of metal, 200 miles an hour, flesh and bone and plain old Newton... they all princess died.

I prefer the full length version, as the Grindhouse cut really needs the lap-dance scene. Not just for its low-rent grandiosity, but as a greasy primer leading into Rose McGowan's dance with the devil. Whenever I see a Dodge Challenger now, I can't help but read it in Zoë Bell's distinctly Kiwi cadence - "A fuckin' Vanishing Point Challenga". You just did it too, don't lie. Fourteen years on Death Proof is still a hot blast, and when guided into the credits with "Chick Habit" and Rodriguez's rollicking title lick, sure to bake you out higher than a Jungle Julia board meeting.

Clayton liked this review