After declaring Manila his second home, there’s little to doubt that Quentin Tarantino, or QT in the world of movie fandom, pretty much enjoyed his ride in a lowly padyak on his way to Malacañan last week to receive a lifetime achievement award from la Gloria. Hooray for Pinoy hospitality.
Tarantino was clearly in high spirits when he introduced his most recent project, Deathproof, to a throng of cheering fanboys and cinephiles. The most urgent objective, as he explained, was to film the most spectacular car chase in film history sans CGI. Whether he achieved this or not is the icing on the cake, because the movie’s suspenseful highlight car chase is indeed spectacular and a whole lotta fun.
In the movie, a former movie stuntman (Stuntman Mike, gamely played by erstwhile action star Kurt Russel) hunts, stalks and murders groups of seductive women using his “deathproof” muscle stunt car.
The first group of victims lists upcoming poster girl Jungle Julia (Sydney Tamiia Poitier), Arlene/Butterfly (Vanessa Ferlito) and Pam (Rosie McGowan) in a gory head-on collision with Stuntman Mike’s killer car. While none of the girls survive, the deranged stuntman manages to survive and lives to stalk again six months after.
He next stalks a group that includes Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Kim (Tracie Thoms) and Zoe (newcomer and real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell as herself). Unaware that the adventurous group is composed of movie workers themselves, Stuntman Mike gets a dose of his own medicine when stuntwoman Zoe and the rest decide to fight back.
Deathproof, rated R-18 for the festival but would have otherwise seen a harsher rating from the MTRCB, is according to the filmmaker himself a throwback and reference to grindhouse movies or those popular exploitation B-movies made in the 70s and shown in theaters of ill repute in the States. It’s a modern grindhouse movie made by a grindhouse fan who simply wanted to show to a new audience what made them popular back then.
Complete with wrong splices, double cuts, bad acting, bad dialogue, fake discoloration, extreme close-ups of female curves and a thorough lap-dance by Vanessa Ferlito, Deathproof is a roaring, testosterone-induced wild ride most enjoyed by the group of QT fans in Gateway.
The movie’s death-defying car chase points a new star in Zoe Bell, who combines charisma and physical strength which makes her Zoe a real winner. If there’s anything new to this grindhouse movie, it’s making its women their own heroes. And that makes it so Pinoy.