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We Sit Passenger with Quentin Tarantino in Death Proof

Published March 30, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Dimension Films.
Death Proof Poster Death Proof
Quentin Tarantino made his half of Grindhouse after Robert Rodriguez finished Planet Terror. To go with the zombie movie, he made Death Proof, a slasher killer road movie. Kurt Russell terrorizes lovely ladies with his reinforced Hollywood stunt car. Naturally, the women ultimately rise up.

Quentin Tarantino Talks Grindhouse


“It's actually not foreign to the genres that we're dealing with,” said Tarantino. “These type of B movies and especially if you go to the kung fu movies of the '70s in Hong Kong or even in Japan, the female avenger has always been a staple there. Those were the movies that allowed women to do that. Not the Hollywood movies. But even my film is using the slasher film structure and that is the third act of every slasher film is the final girl going on and vanquishing the boogey man because she is the one with the moral fortitude that can wipe them out.”

Perhaps the strongest of the babes is Zoe Bell, a stunt woman Tarantino discovered on Kill Bill. “She was Uma’s double and she was also Xena’s double for the last three years on that show and just one ass-kicking chick but also sweet and effervescent and I got to know her really well. Like, literally, she’s like my sister. I’d run into a burning building to save Zoe. So she was in a documentary about stunt people. It was about her called Double Dare and so I went to see it. I saw it a few times in theatres with audiences and what was so fascinating was the personality that Zoe has, her own bubbliness was there in the documentary and it just kind of came out in the audience. There’s this moment where she actually gets a job that she really wanted to get and the whole audience burst into tears. You’re so happy for her and you want her to do well, and I thought, gosh, darn man, that quality that Zoe has in real life is completely there on screen. If I could cast Zoe as an actress and get that wonderful quality out of her, audiences would love her and then I could just do a balls-to-the-wall chase and always show that it’s her and never have to cut away and I just thought that would add up to a very thrilling experience.”


Russell’s villainous turn is also in line with Tarantino’s fandom. “The thing about Kurt is that I’ve always been a huge fan of Kurt’s and there is that aspect, if you’re men of mine and Robert’s generation, Kurt Russell is this incredible iconic figure. He’s Snake Pliskin, he’s McCreedy in The Thing, he’s Rudy Russo in Used Cars. Jack Burton. And he’s this incredible figure and I’ve always loved him as an actor and particularly the fact that he would do the John Wayne voice because he wasn’t so serious an actor that he couldn’t have fun. He has a sense of play like really good actors do so it was a dream to work with him.”

With Tarantino still referencing old movies, many of which nobody can find today, he has no worries that his love letter to the Grindhouse will work. “People say, ‘Do you think younger people who have never experienced this before are going to get it?’ Well, you don't have to get it. If you have to get it, then it doesn't almost work. You've got to be able to just sit down and enjoy it. We actually think that if you've never seen any of this stuff before then it's going to make this all the more original. You're going to like it all the more because it truly is something new. But what is nice and it definitely happened with Robert and his El Mariachi movies as far as their connection with spaghetti westerns and my Kill Bill movies in connection to the kung fu movies, is fans might discover them through us and then they want to see more. We have the titles and we explain them. They get to go on and educate themselves.”

Grindhouse opens to theatres on April 6th.

For posters, trailers, movie stills and more movie info, go to the Grindhouse Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Dimension Films.
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