Death Proof Trivia

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives

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  • Zoë Bell does all her own stunts (she was the stunt double for Uma Thurman in the "Kill Bill" series, which was also directed by Quentin Tarantino).
  • Stuntman Mike's two "death proof" cars are a 1970 Chevy Nova and a 1969 Dodge Charger.
  • The film was physically scratched to achieve its dirty look, rather than digitally scratch the film footage.
  • The only Quentin Tarantino movie that takes place completely in chronological order, but still has its usual Tarantino style, with the exception of Django Unchained.
  • The jukebox (named AMi, pronounced "Amy"), is Quentin Tarantino's own. It was trucked to Austin to be used in the film in its very own rig. The list of songs on it was also hand-written by Tarantino. One of the songs is "You Never Can Tell" by Chuck Berry, the song that Mia (Uma Thurman) and Vince (John Travolta) dance to in Pulp Fiction.
  • In an interview, Quentin Tarantino said that the version of "Down in Mexico" heard in 'Death Proof' was likely the rarest recording in his entire collection. When he was working at a stag theater in his teens, he showed the record to the projectionist, another record collector, who immediately pointed out the words "Newly Recorded" on the record's label. Tarantino said this version soon became one of his favorite tracks of all time.
  • Kurt Russell can be seen in the background, eating through the diner scene.
  • The 1970 Dodge Challenger driven by the girls has door frames. The original 1970 model Challenger did not have door frames. The crew most likely added the door frames for the "ship's mast" stunt to be possible.
  • In the car scene with Abernathy, Kim, Lee, and Zoe, the girls are discussing men they have had relationships with on a movie set they work on. In the scene, Kim (Tracie Thoms) mentions that Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a relationship with a man known as "The Rock" on the crew of the film set. When Zoë Bell asks if it's the actual actor Dwayne Johnson, Lee explains that it's actually just an electrician named Bruce who looks like "The Rock". In the closing credits of Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), in the grips section, one of the names of the grips is Bruce Del Castillo, nicknamed "The Rock" in the credits.
  • Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Ving Rhames, Kurt Russell, and Australian actor John Jarratt were all considered for the role of Stuntman Mike, with Tarantino, upon the urging of Grindhouse (2007) co-director Robert Rodriguez, finally settling with Russell.
  • At Warren's bar, there is a sign that says "CASH ONLY" with the famous photo of Johnny Cash giving the finger.
  • Rosario Dawson convinced Quentin Tarantino to cut her hair like pin-up icon Bettie Page for her role.
  • The original name for this film, which pops up for about a frame, is "Quentin Tarantino's Thunder Bolt".
  • Quentin Tarantino admitted later in an interview that he believed he "over-tweaked" Death Proof (2007), but was still very proud of it.
  • Jack Burton's tank top (white tank top with a Japanese Rising Sun and a Samurai) from Big Trouble in Little China (1986) can be seen hung up on the wall of the bar where the first segment of the film takes place. It is right above Jungle Julie,slightly to the right of the AMi Jukebox.
  • According to Tarantino Universe aficionados, this is the 3rd appearance of "Jungle" Julia. First, was as Unruly Julie in My Best Friend's Birthday (1987), mentioned as a rival DJ to Clarence. Second as Wayne Gale's assistant in Natural Born Killers (1994). 3rd, as a DJ in Death Proof.
  • Quentin Tarantino considered John Travolta, Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich, Mickey Rourke, Ron Perlman, Bruce Willis, Kal Penn, Ving Rhames and Sylvester Stallone for the role of Stuntman Mike. Willis did star in Planet Terror (2007), the other half of Grindhouse (2007).
  • The complete list of songs contained in the jukebox is as follows: 01. Isaac Hayes - "Theme from Shaft" / "Ellie's Love Theme" (from Shaft (1971)); 02. Barry White - "You're My First, My Last, My Everything" / "Can't Get Enough"; 03. Bob Dylan - "George Jackson (Acoustic)" / "George Jackson (Big Band)"; 04. Stevie Wonder - "Lately" / "If It's Magic"; 05. The Chi-Lites - "Have You Seen Her" / "Oh Girl"; 06. The THP Orchestra - "Theme from S.W.A.T., Pt. 1" / "Oh Girl"; 07. Stevie Wonder - "I Ain't Gonna Stand for It" / "Knocks Me off My Feet"; 08. Bloodstone - "Natural High" / "This Thing is Heavy" ("Natural High" is heard in Jackie Brown (1997)); 09. Don McLean - "American Pie, Pt. 1" / "American Pie, Pt. 2"; 10. Sweet - "Little Willy" / "Man from Mecca"; 11. The Isley Brothers - "Take Me to the Next Phase, Pt. 1" / "Take Me to the Next Phase, Pt. 2"; 12. The Miracles - "Love Machine, Pt. 1" / "Love Machine, Pt. 2"; 13. Bob Dylan - "Subterranean Homesick Blues" / "She Belongs to Me"; 14. Honey Cone - "Stick Up" / "V.I.P."; 15. Earth Wind & Fire - "Shining Star" / "Yearning, Learning"; 16. Amii Stewart - "Knock on Wood" / "When You Are Beautiful"; 17. Honey Cone - "Want Ads" / "We Belong Together"; 18. Kool & The Gang - "Hollywood Swinging" / "Jungle Boogie" ("Jungle Boogie" is heard in Pulp Fiction (1994)); 19. Bob Dylan - "Band of the Hand" / "Theme from Joe's Death" (from Band of the Hand (1986)); 20. Sweet - "Wig-Wam-Bam" / "New York Connection"; 21. Friends of Distinction - "Grazing in the Grass" / "I Really Hope You Do"; 22. Marvin Gaye - ":Trouble Man" / "Don't Mess With Mr. T "(from Trouble Man (1972)); 23. Bob Dylan - "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" / "Rita May"; 24. Pacific Gas & Electric - "Are You Ready?" / "Staggolee"; 25. Donna Summer - "Love to Love you Baby" / "Need-A-Man Blues"; 26. Michael Zager Band - "Let's All Chant" / "Love Express"; 27. Santa Esmeralda - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" / "You're My Everything" ("Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is heard in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)); 28. Jigsaw - "Sky High" / "Brand New Love Affair"; 29. George Baker Selection - "Little Green Bag" / "Pretty Little Dreamer" ("Little Green Bag" is heard in Reservoir Dogs (1992)); 30. Sweet - "Blockbuster" / "Need a Lot of Lovin'"; 31. Eddie Floyd - "Good Love, Bad Love" / "Things Get Better"; 32. Joe Tex - "The Love You Save" / "If Sugar Was as Sweet as You"; 33. Bob Dylan - "Gotta Serve Somebody (Long Version)" / "Gotta Serve Somebody (Short Version)"; 34. Dick Dale - "Misirlou" / "Eight Till Midnight" ("Miserlou" is heard in Pulp Fiction (1994)); 35. Lee Williams - "They Told a Lie" / "I'm Tore Up"; 36. William Bell - "Formula of Love" / "You Don't Miss Your Water"; 37. Dinah Washington - "Mad About the Boy" / "Stormy Weather"; 38. The Box Tops - "Cry Like a Baby" / "The Door You Closed to Me"; 39. The Checkmates Ltd. - "Black Pearl" / "Lazy Susan"; 40. Sweet - "Fox on the Run" / "Miss Demeanor"; 41. The Delfonics - "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" / "La-La Means I Love You" ("Didn't I" is heard in Jackie Brown (1997)); 42. Brothers Johnson - "Get the Funk Outta Ma Face" / "Tomorrow"; 43. Bob Dylan - "Hurricane, Pt. 1" / "Hurricane, Pt. 2"; 44. ABBA - "Waterloo" / "Watch Out"; 45. 'T. Rex (I)' - "Jeepster" / "Life's a Gas"; 46. Melanie - "What Have They Done to My Song Ma?" / "Ruby Tuesday"; 47. George Frayne - "Hot Rod Lincoln" / "Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar"; 48. Robert Mitchum - "The Ballad of Thunder Road" / "The Tip of My Fingers" ("Ballad" is the theme from Thunder Road (1958)); 49. Dean Martin - "Rio Bravo" / "My Rifle My Pony and Me" (From Rio Bravo (1959)); 50. Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich - "Hold Tight" / "You Know What I Want".
  • Quentin Tarantino named the character "Jungle Julia Lucai" after his personal assistant, Victoria Lucai.
  • The jukebox (named AMi, pronounced "Amy"), is the same one as in the opening diner scene of Natural Born Killers (1994) (written by Quentin Tarantino).
  • In a 2012 directors round-table conducted by The Hollywood Reporter, Quentin Tarantino said "Death Proof has got to be the worst movie I ever did."
  • The poster of Brigitte Bardot in Jungle Julia's house above the sofa was made especially for the movie.
  • A conversation takes place among Abby, Zoe, Kim and Lee in which it's revealed that Abby's last boyfriend, a film director, cheated on her with a stunt double for Daryl Hannah. Monica Staggs, who plays Lanna Frank in the first half of Death Proof (2007), was the stunt double for Hannah in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004).
  • According to Zoë Bell, when her friend Quentin Tarantino told her she would be starring in the movie she thought she would be just a featured extra. She copped on when she saw her name on the poster.
  • In the uncut European version, there is a scene where Stuntman Mike fondles Abernathy's feet while she is asleep in the car and Lee isn't paying attention. When she wakes up from it, he pretends he just touched them by accident as he was walking by going to his car. Later when he attacks the girls driving the challenger, this explains how Abernathy is the only person who recognizes him from earlier.
  • "The poem that Jungle Julia has her listeners recite to Butterfly is an excerpt of the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost. It's also a reference to the '70s thriller Telefon (1977), in which the poem was used as a posthypnotic signal to activate Russian sleeper agents.
  • The two waitresses that do shots with the group in The Texas Chili Parlor are Lonestar Roller Derby girls "Venis Envy" from the "Putas del Fuego", and "Punky Bruiser" from the "Holy Rollers".
  • The Crazy Babysitter Twins from Planet Terror (2007) can be seen in Warren's Bar during the lap dance sequence. They are standing by the door when Butterfly starts crawling on the floor.
  • In the extended cut of the film, the word 'fuck' is used 148 times.
  • All of the posters for the film are inaccurate. The car is depicted without its rubber duck hood ornament.
  • When Kim, Zoe and Abby are in the Challenger, ready to go on their "test drive", they pull up by Lee and Kim says, "Hey good looking, we'll be back to pick YOU up later!" This was a line in a commercial for a cheesy Ronco product, Mr. Microphone, in the '70s. It was used again in a 1990's episode of The Simpsons (1989).
  • When one of the girls gets a phone call before buying a magazine in the store, her ring tone is the same as the famous whistling tune from Kill Bill.
  • The first Quentin Tarantino-directed film not to be produced by Lawrence Bender.
  • Pam's hair, make up and clothing were designed to contrast heavily with Rose McGowan's appearance as Cherry Darling in Planet Terror (2007).
  • The posters and DVD cover feature a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, though this car never actually appears in the movie.
  • At the beginning, Vanessa Ferlito's character is drinking from a soda cup. The restaurant on the cup is the same Mexican restaurant (Acuna Boys) that is advertised during the transition between Planet Terror (2007) and Death Proof (2007) in the original Grindhouse (2007). The Acuna boys are also mentioned in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), said to be a gang made up of the children of 'Esteban Vihaio (Character)' , a pimp's whore's children.
  • In the second segment of Death Proof (2007), the yellow car with the black stripes the girls drive has a license plate that reads "Brand X", this is a reference to Brand X Action Specialists, the stunt company of Quentin Tarantino's stunt coordinator Jeffrey J. Dashnaw.
  • Australian actor John Jarratt was nearly selected to play Stuntman Mike until Quentin Tarantino decided to settle with Kurt Russell.
  • In the end credits under special thanks "AMI the jukebox" is the first listed.
  • The opening production company logo used is from Dimension Pictures which was a theatrical distributor of grind house and exploitation films of the 1970's. Dimension Pictures is not associated with Dimension Films however, which actually distributed Death Proof.
  • Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2007 (#02, tied with Inland Empire (2006) and "Still life")
  • There was originally going to be a scene near the beginning, where Julia and her friends hang out in her apartment. In the scene, which ended up being drastically cut from the film, Julia dances on her coffee table while holding the jacket for The Cars album "Candy-O".
  • In Mexico this film was exhibited in it's original unrated version on cinemas.
  • At one point, Sheriff McGraw refers to Stuntman Mike as "Frankenstein." This may have been a reference to the Roger Corman film "Death Race 2000," where the protagonist, a racecar driver named Frankenstein, was played by David Carradine, who also starred in Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films.
  • The yellow mustang from the second segment is labled "Lil' Pussy Wagon", a reference to the Pussy Wagon in Kill Bill Vol. 1, which is stolen from Jasper (the same man who sells the white Dodge in Deathproof) by The Bride.
  • The second film Kurt Russell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have appeared in together. The first was Sky High (2005). But they don't share any scenes in this film.
  • The front plate on mikes '70 nova has the same characters as the 68 fastback mustang driven by steve mcqueen in bullitt (JJZ109) as a Texas plate instead of California The wheels on mikes '69 charger are the same American Racing vectors used on th General lee; also a '69 charger
  • When Warren sits down to drink shots with the first group of girls, after downing the shots he says "Now is that a tasty beverage or is that a tasty beverage". A reference to the Sprite that Jules takes from Brett in Pulp Fiction. "You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?".
  • The license plate on Mike 69 Dodge Charger is the same as the 69 Dodge Charger in dirty Mary crazy Larry driven by Peter Fonda (938DAN)
  • Director Trademark: Quentin Tarantino: [Long Take] During the second half of the film, when the four women are talking in the cafeteria, it's all done in a single take that is approximately seven minutes long.
  • [burger] Stuntman Mike asks Jungle Julia about having a billboard "near Big Kahuna Burger", a fictitious brand used by Tarantino in his movies. She then replies, "I got one there, too, Zatoichi". This is a reference to the famous Japanese blind samurai character who has appeared in several films and TV series - Tarantino is a big fan of the franchise.
  • Quentin Tarantino: [Red Apple] One of the characters asks for 'Red Apple' cigarettes, a trademark brand of Tarantino.
  • In an interview with Newsweek, Quentin Tarantino stated he came up with the idea of Death Proof when he was talking to a friend about buying a car. Tarantino wanted to buy a Volvo because he "didn't want to die in some auto accident like the one in Pulp Fiction (1994)". In regards to the safety of the car, his friend had said, "Well, you could take any car and give it to a stunt team, and for $10,000 or $15,000, they can death-proof it for you."
  • The original name for "Death Proof" that pops up for about a frame is "Quentin Tarantino's Thunder Bolt".
  • The poem that Jungle Julia has her listeners recite to Butterfly is an excerpt of the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost." It is also a reference to the 70's thriller Telefon (1977) where the poem was used as a posthypnotic signal to activate Russian sleeper agents.
  • A conversation takes place between Abernathy, Zoe, Kim and Lee in which it is revealed that Abby's last boyfriend, a film director, cheated with on her with a stunt double for Daryl Hannah. Monica Staggs, who plays Lanna Frank in the first half of Death Proof (2007), was the stunt double for Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004).
  • At Warren's bar, there is a sign that says "CASH ONLY" with the famous photo of Johnny Cash giving the finger.
  • In the bar, there is a tank-top nailed to the wall with a samurai-character. This is the tank-top Kurt Russell wears when playing Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China (1986).
  • Michael Parks character refers to his son as "Son number 1", just like in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003).
  • The Acuna Boys Mexican Food logo seen on Arlene's soda cup in the movie is a reference to The Acuna Boys mentioned in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004). An intermission ad for Acuna Boys Mexican Food is also featured in GRINDHOUSE. NOTE: Acuna, Mexico is where Robert Rodriguez's debut film El Mariachi (1992) took place.
  • When the car crashes through the sign for a drive inn, the movies playing are Scary Movie 4 (2006) and Wolf Creek (2005)
  • The hood ornament on Stuntman Mike's car is an homage to the chrome duck ornament used in the 1978 movie Convoy (1978).
  • The license plate on Stuntman Mike's Chevy Nova is JJZ-109. This is the same license plate number that was on the 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback that Steve McQueen's character drove in the movie Bullitt (1968).


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