Now, Stuntman Mike is clearly supposed to be Tarantino’s avatar in this B-movie universe. We’re very sorry, but we’re gonna have to talk about QT’s well-documented foot fetish again. His films are full of close-ups of women’s feet, but Death Proof took it to the next level. This movie has more dirty naked feet than your local farmer’s market. There’s even a deleted scene wherein Stuntman Mike creeps on Rosario Dawson’s exposed legs while she’s sleeping, and … well, let’s hope for his sake that she didn’t have athlete’s foot.
This scene is still in the European cut, because European cut.
But there’s another level of creepiness at work here. One of the main characters in the movie is a professional stuntwoman named Zoe Bell, played by professional stuntwoman Zoe Bell. She’s the one who ends up sunbathing on the hood of a speeding car in the insanely dangerous final chase scene (a scene Tarantino talked the stunt driver into doing, despite her reservations). As amazing as Bell was in this movie, she had never acted before. But she had worked with Tarantino. On Kill Bill. Where Bell was Thurman’s stuntwoman.
To recap, after talking Thurman into a terrible car crash for a movie stunt, Tarantino chose to not only make a film about a throwback Hollywood guy who purposefully kills women with his stunt car, but he then cast the most Uma-Thurman-looking person he knew to star in it.
This wouldn’t be the first time Tarantino put his own real-life experiences into his movies. For instance, he wrote Pulp Fiction while he was in Amsterdam, where he apparently spent a long time staring at the McDonald’s menu in disbelief. Tarantino also likes to volunteer to hurt actresses for real in his movies. Like the time he straight up bit Fergie while filming Planet Terror, or when he convinced Diane Kruger to let him choke her for Inglorious Basterds:
If it seems like we’re building the case that Tarantino was obsessed with Thurman, it’s because according to people who knew and/or worked with him, he was. Ethan Hawke was once asked if he’d ever appear in a Tarantino film, and replied: “I think he’s so obsessed with my wife [Thurman] that I don’t think I ever will.” David Carradine told Rolling Stone that Thurman had once asked him, “Why does Quentin do these things to me? He’s always cutting me up, and getting me covered with mud, and having me tied up and shot in the face with a shotgun. What the hell is this shit? I mean, he says he loves me, but what kind of love is that?”
That statement gets even more troubling when you learn that Tarantino was the one who spat on her face in Kill Bill, because he thought Michael Madsen (or anyone else) was incapable of doing such “intricate work.”
Tarantino is also the one who chokes her out during the Gogo Yubari fight scene:
On a brighter note, perhaps the weirdest thing about Death Proof is how Stuntman Mike’s fate seems to have predicted Tarantino’s. Like the character, Tarantino has now been exposed, and his reputation is currently being symbolically hammered to death by the same strong women whose feet he so admired.
Aaron is a freelancer who lives in Edinburgh. Until a short while ago, he was really looking forward to Tarantino’s next film. You can follow him on Twitter here.
This is the footer of the article, and so perhaps as good a place as any to suggest a foot massage.
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