|First||Directed by Quentin Tarantino|
|Second||Produced by Quentin Tarantino|
|Third||Written by Quentin Tarantino|
Death Proof is a 2007 American action–exploitation horror film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film centers on a psychopathic stunt man, Stuntman Mike played by Kurt Russell, who stalks young women before murdering them in staged car accidents using his "death-proof" stunt car.
Death Proof was released theatrically in the United States as part of a double feature with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror under the collective title Grindhouse.
Three friends, Arlene, Shanna and radio DJ "Jungle" Julia Lucai, drive down Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas on their way to celebrate Julia's birthday. In the bar, Julia reveals that she made a radio announcement 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". Aging Hollywood stunt double "Stuntman" Mike (Kurt Russell) trails the women to a bar and claims the lap dance. Arlene is suspicious, having seen Mike's car earlier that day, but Mike puts her at ease.
The three women prepare to depart with their friend Lanna. Pam, an old classmate of Julia with whom she did not get along, accepts a ride home from Mike. Mike takes Pam to his 1971 Chevrolet Nova SS 396, a stunt car rigged with a roll cage over the driver's seat and the metal passenger's seat; Mike tells her the car is "death proof", but only to the driver. He drives recklessly and slams on the brakes, smashing Pam's skull on the dashboard, killing her. He catches up with the women's car and drives into it at speed, killing them.
The hospital finds Mike with no life-threatening injuries and asserts that since Mike was sober while the four women were intoxicated, he cannot be charged. This concerns Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, who is convinced Mike is guilty.
Fourteen months later, three young women, Abernathy Ross, Kim Mathis and Lee Montgomery, are driving through Lebanon, Tennessee in their customized 1972 Ford Mustang. They stop at a convenience store where Mike is resting in his new car, a 1969 Dodge Charger, and is intrigued by the women.
Unaware of Mike, the women pick up their friend, stuntwoman Zoë Bell, from the airport. Zoë tells them she wants to test-drive a 1970 Dodge Challenger, the same type of car from the 1971 film Vanishing Point, for sale nearby. Abernathy tries to convince the owner, Jasper, to let them test drive it alone. He agrees after Abernathy tells him Lee is a porn star and will stay behind.
Zoë reveals to Abernathy and Kim that she has an ulterior motive: she wants to play a game called "Ship's Mast", whereby she rides the hood holding leather belts while Kim drives at high speeds. Kim is hesitant, but agrees. The three enjoy the stunt unaware that Mike is watching them. He rear-ends them in his car, causing Zoë to drop one of the belts. After several collisions, he T-bones them, throwing Zoë from the car. Kim shoots him and he escapes. Abernathy and Kim cry over the loss of their friend, but Zoë, a stuntwoman, is uninjured. The three agree to catch Mike and beat him.
Mike has stopped in a narrow road to treat his wound with whiskey. The women rear-end him at speed. Zoë gets out and beats him with a pipe; he drives away, pleading with them, and they pursue. Mike crashes and the women beat him mercilessly.
- Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike McKay
- Rosario Dawson as Abernathy Ross
- Vanessa Ferlito as Arlene/ Butterfly
- Jordan Ladd as Shanna
- Rose McGowan as Pam
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lee Montgomery
- Zöe Bell as Herslef
- Michael Parks as Texas Ranger Earl McGraw
- James Parks as Ranger Edgar McGraw
- Quentin Tarantino as Warren