If Harvey Weinstein puts a longer version of Quentin Tarantino‘s Death Proof (i.e., the second half of Grindhouse) into theatres sometime this month, I’ll pay to see it in a New York minute. (And that’s saying something for a freeloader like myself.) Especially if sex scenes featuring Vanessa Ferlito are added.
I didn’t pay for a second encounter with Grindhouse last weekend because I didn’t want to sit through the Rodriguez zombie film a second time, plus I didn’t feel a great need to go there all over again (especially at the cost of three hours and change). But the Tarantino film is beautiful in a disjointed, half-and-half way (i.e., the two parts of the film don’t jell at all, but they’re great as stand-alone halves), and I love looking at Ferlito from any angle.
I don’t know how Weinstein can afford to throw up a whole new ad campaign as well as do it quickly (the new Death Proof would have to be in theatres by April 20th), but I hope he manages it.
New Yorker critic David Denby wrote this about the presently available version of Death Proof: “Tarantino obviously likes his characters a great deal, but he’s caught in the contradictions of making an hommage a schlock: he has to kill the women in order to set up the rest of the movie. It’s as if he couldn’t decide whether to be a humanist or a nihilist, so he opportunistically becomes both.
“Immediately, he brings on another group of chattering girls, two of whom (Zoe Bell and the fast-talking Tracie Thoms) are movie stuntwomen themselves. Just for fun, Bell straps herself to the hood of a roaring 1970 Dodge Challenger, with nothing more than two belts tied to the window posts. When Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) shows up and starts banging his death car into the Dodge, the women refuse to give in, and a classic battle follows.
“As the cars try to force each other off the road, the struggle rages across backcountry Texas terrain, in (as far as we can tell) real space, at good speed, and without digital enhancement. Nothing quite this exciting has been seen since Steven Spielberg’s 1971 film Duel.”