Of all the guilty pleasures at Cannes this year -- and there were guilty pleasures at Cannes this year, for all of the art and drama -- surely the most tempting had to be the extended cut of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Originally part of the vast and sprawling Grindhouse experiment, now QT's car-crashin', smack-talkin' carnival of mayhem was going to show on its own. Which, to be honest, it always kinda did; Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, for all it's sins, nonetheless felt like a '70s trash-gasm; Death Proof, with all the yakkety-yak and funny bits, felt too modern. If I were smarter, I'd say something like I wanted to see Death Proof liberated from the cage of the Grindhouse conceit; really, though, I just wanted a nice snack of all-American cheese in-between the thoughtful, contemplative dramas; a little re-tox, if you will.

And Death Proof does have all the nutrition of a narcotic compound -- and making it bigger didn't mean making it any classier. Death Proof is a misshapen hybrid of early DePalma and '70s car-counterculture epics as a woman-watching killer who executes with his sweet-ass ride plays cat-and-mouse at full throttle. One set of sexy, leggy mice gets killed in what may be the best-shot high-speed car-wreck mass-murder sequence of all time -- a singular, if grisly honor. The next time our high-octane homicide artist goes after a car full of girls, though, the new set of mice are a bit better prepared ...
categories Reviews, Cinematical