By James Calemine
Quentin Tarantino always gives a nod to the south in his films. Most folks are aware of Knoxville-native Tarantino films such as True Romance, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill 1 & 2, and Grindhouse as well as his onscreen and television work.
Part one of Death Proof takes place in Austin, Texas. Part two transpires in Lebanon, Tennessee. Kurt Russell plays (brilliantly) a psychotic stuntman who preys on young ladies until he crosses the wrong bunch of gals.
Death Proof upholds Tarantino's style with underlying winks to B-movies, graphic images and pop culture. Death Proof emerges as Tarantino's bad-ass chick movie. The women in this film prove inspiring. Martial artist and stuntwoman Zoe Bell plays herself. The other actresses Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Traci Thomas, Sydney Poitier and Mary Elizabeth Winstead all earned themselves careers sure to blossom after these performances. Even a tip of the hat to STAX records appears...
The 18-minute car chase--one of the most remarkable ever preserved on film--comes to a crashing, but glorious end. Death Proof ranks as another Tarantino classic.