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It’s better than safe…It’s death proof!

December 15, 2013

Death Proof (2007)

Wednesday, December 18th

Film starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s, 633 Grand St between Leonard & Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Free Popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes, PRIZES!

This week’s film is dedicated to Team Tailpipes, who (including myself) recently traversed this great country from NY to Redondo Beach, California at high speeds for the annual The 2904 endurance challenge (because a race would be illegal).

1461073_10151817581729608_329188636_nThe Tailpipes, NYC (from left: Corinna, Valerie & Lori)

Our car started it’s humble life as a blue and some green 1992 Chevy Cavalier Sport Coupe. It was immediately matte blacked and painted in homage to the Death Proof 1971 Chevy Nova, and finished with a Rubber Duck hood ornament, which in itself was a homage in Death Proof to the Sam Peckinpah trucker film Convoy (1978), where the “Rubber Duck” icon hood ornament which was first used on Rubber Duck’s (Kris Kristofferson) truck.

1455901_10151817971204608_1404095374_nA mile from the PA border, in NJ

In a The 2904 first (we’ve been at this for 7 years…shhh), Team Tailpipes had a little incident just miles from the starting line. Without missing a beat however, and only 49 minutes later, we were back in the race in a rental. We promise to take ‘um…good care of this fine Hyundai of yours. Full coverage. check.

1395281_10151819491439608_1200142223_nTeam Tailpipes and a happy, slightly confused fellow in Omaha

For inquiring minds…it is possible to cross the country and 2,904 miles or so in 2 days by rental, and it’s quite affordable. You just have to swap out cars every 1500 miles. So, finding ourselves in Omaha and not impressed with the Hyundai’s aesthetics, we decided to see what else they had. And we got just about the best present a girl could ask for.

1395435_10151820237429608_2048661489_nA girl, a dodge, a duck, and a cb radio

If ever there was a way to finish off this mad dash for California in Cine Meccanica style, after trashing a Death Proof Chevy, it has to be by chasing ourselves in a white Dodge Charger. It is a perfect homage to both Stuntman Mike’s second Death proof car, a 1969 Dodge Charger, as well as the Stunt Ladies white 1970 Dodge Challenger, which is itself an homage in Tarantino’s film to Kowalski’s iconic Vanishing Point Challenger.

1452438_10151820256724608_28129805_nNebraska shenanigans: ship’s mast. It had to be done.

1390502_10151820299814608_1571641106_nDrive it like you…rented it. California here we come!

1392072_10151821737044608_644517660_nTeam Tailpipes and a car and a half at the finish line

So, three cars, 50 hours (the worst time in The 2904 history), and countless vehicular film references later, we found ourselves happily brunching at the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California with the rest of the teams, tired, disheveled and smelly. This fine establishment is the original finish line for the actual Cannonball Run Race as well as the film made about the race, Cannonball Run (1981). There is a Cannonball omelet on the menu, but the current staff did not seem to know the reference, nor were they amused or impressed by us or our rag tag budget vehicles. And so ended the 7th annual The 2904. Bloody Marys never tasted so good.

– Corinna Mantlo

Death proof posterWell damn, if you ‘aint so sweet, you make sugar taste like salt


Three friends: Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito), Shanna (Jordan Ladd), and radio DJ “Jungle” Julia Lucai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) drive down Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, on their way to celebrate Jungle Julia’s birthday. While bar-crawling, Julia reveals that she made a radio announcement earlier that morning, offering a free lap dance from Arlene in return for addressing her as “Butterfly,” buying her a drink, and reciting a segment of the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. They are unaware they are being stalked by an aging and sadistic Hollywood stunt double, “Stuntman” Mike (Kurt Russell). After trailing them to a bar, Mike follows the instructions from the radio announcement to get the lap-dance. Despite some initial trepidation, due to having seen Mike’s car earlier in the day, and asking if he has been following them, Mike puts her at ease (partly by saying she’s chicken), impresses her with his smooth talk, and Arlene agrees to the dance (not seen in the theatrical version due to a “missing reel”).

3829e-grindhouse-death-proof-sydney-poitier1Before CGI. Back in the Vanishing Point days, The Dirty Mary Crazy Larry days…

The three women prepare to depart with their friend Lanna, whom they met at the bar. Meanwhile, Pam (Rose McGowan), another intoxicated female bar patron, has been impressed by the teetotaler Mike and accepts a ride home from him, considering him to be a safe ride. Mike takes Pam to his matte black 1971 Chevy Nova SS 396, which is a stunt car rigged with a safety cage inside, confirming that his car is “death proof”.

Grind HouseWhat about kinda cute, kinda sexy, kinda funny but not hysterically funny, that you could fuck, did you not understand?

As Mike drives Pam off, it becomes clear he is trying to kill her, reminding her that his car is “death proof”, but only to the driver. Since the passenger seat has no safety restraints at all, he kills her by driving recklessly and then slamming on the brakes, which smashes her skull into the dashboard. Mike speeds off, leaving behind photos he took earlier of the three other women, so as not to get caught with any evidence. He eventually comes on their red 1997 Honda Civic Hatchback on an empty road, and drives at full speed directly into it. The force of the impact kills all four women in the Honda, and also covers up the real reason of Pam’s death.

20070708_220004death-proof-You know what happens to motherfuckers that carry knives? They get shot!

The local hospital finds Mike with only minor injuries (broken collar bone and smashed index finger), and asserts that since Mike was sober while the four women were intoxicated, he cannot be charged. This concerns Texas Ranger Earl McGraw (Michael Parks), who is convinced Mike is guilty but cannot investigate without evidence. Though he chooses not to pursue a long, drawn out investigation, McGraw tells his son (who also happens to be his deputy) that should Stuntman Mike try this again, McGraw will ‘make damn sure he don’t do it in Texas’.

girls-of-death-proofNot just that. It has to be a 1970 dodge challenger with a 440 engine

Fourteen months later, three young women, Abernathy Ross (Rosario Dawson), Kim Mathis (Tracie Thoms), and Lee Montgomery (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), are traveling through Lebanon, Tennessee in their customized yellow 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1. They stop briefly at a convenience store, where Mike is resting in his new ride, a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 500, and is intrigued by the women. The women, unaware of Mike, pick up their friend, stuntwoman Zoë Bell (who is playing herself), from the airport. Zoe informs them she wants to test-drive a white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, exactly the same type of car from the 1971 film, Vanishing Point, which just happens to be nearby. After they get to the car’s location, Abernathy tries to convince the owner, Jasper, to let them “test drive” it alone. He refuses at first, but after Abernathy tells him Lee will stay behind (under the false pretense that they are in town to film a porno, of which Lee is the star), he agrees.

stuntman_mikescars_deathproof_132130706893___CC___685x385-560x314Do I frighten you, is it my scar?

In the process of all this, Zoe reveals to Abernathy and Kim that she has an ulterior motive in taking the car; she wants to play a game called “Ship’s Mast”, where she rides on the car’s hood using only leather belts to hold onto, while Kim drives it at high speeds. Kim is hesitant, but then agrees to do the stunt. As Kim drives, Zoe goes on the top of the car, while Kim accelerates. The trio enjoys the stunt, unaware that Mike is watching them from the hood of his car. While they are driving, Abernathy notices him too late, and he rear-ends them, causing Zoe to drop one of their belts. He continues to ram the car, intending to kill Zoe. After few collisions, he T-bones them, causing Zoe to drop. He leaves the car, smiling about the events, but Kim shoots him. He escapes. Abernathy and Kim cry over the loss of their friend, but Zoe shows up, not injured at all (she is a professional stuntwoman). They agree to catch Mike and beat him. Zoe takes a piece of pipe and rides shotgun.

death-proof-end-title-stillWell, what we have here is a case of vehicular homicide

Meanwhile, Mike has stopped in a small narrow road to treat his wound with whiskey. The girls drive up from behind his car quickly and rear end him at high speed. Zoe gets out and beats him with the pipe and the girls pursue him while he attempts to escape and plead with them by apologizing. They ultimately cause him to crash, and beat him mercilessly. As the end credits roll, stills and short film clips of China Girls play over the song “Chick Habit” by April March. – Wikipedia

Wonder if BJ brought the bear with him?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2013 5:01 PM

    Reblogged this on The Tailpipes MC.


  2. January 5, 2014 10:46 AM

    I would have liked to heard more about the destruction of the cavalier!!
    I imagine those jumpsuits were stinky after 50 hours…
    Awesome trip!


  3. January 5, 2014 2:02 PM

    yea…it’s always a good, classy victory line lunch on the california side…at least we didn’t smell as bad as the diesel ambulance team that had to pour open containers into the tank from inside the van using a funnel and hose. RIP cavalier.



  1. Death Proof: Vehicular Trivia | Cine Meccanica

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