Totally in love with the history of cinema, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has long made it his mission to pay tribute to the pioneers of the medium, doffing his cap to the likes of Sergio Leone, Akira Kurosawa and Martin Scorsese among many others. Such is reflected in the director’s filmography, embracing luscious gore and violence in the context of multiple genres, from the wild west in The Hateful Eight to samurai action in Kill Bill.
Critical of his own films as well as the plethora of movies that come to the big screen each and every year, Tarantino is a self-confessed student of cinema, often borrowing from the history of the medium to elevate his own work. Having worked in a video store through his teenage years, the director was able to hone his knowledge and build an impressive foundation of cinematic techniques that would be invaluable to his later career.
Lovingly taking creative license from all around the history of film, Tarantino revealed in an interview with The Talks: “[My] head is a sponge. I listen to what everyone says”. Explaining how he absorbs cultural influences and injects such careful nuances into his films, he adds: “I watch little idiosyncratic behaviour, people tell me a joke and I remember it. People tell me an interesting story in their life and I remember it”.
As a result of such knowledge, Quentin Tarantino has gone on to make some of the most dynamic and visceral cinematic stories ever made, with each film adding to the increasingly intriguing character of the director himself. Though, whilst each of these releases has merit, there is one film in particular that even Tarantino himself admits to being his very “worst movie”.
This extraordinary revelation came during an interview Tarantino carried out with The Hollywood Reporter, during the annual round table chat that also included the likes of Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, and Gus Van Sant. Speaking about his eventual retirement, Tarantino declared “to me, it’s all about my filmography, and I want to go out with a terrific filmography,” before going on to state, “Death Proof has got to be the worst movie I ever make”.
Released as part of the 2007 double-feature film Grindhouse that he put together with Robert Rodriguez, Death Proof starring Kurt Russell and Rosario Dawson paled in comparison to Rodriguez’s pulp horror Planet Terror. Whilst Tarantino admits the faults of the project he also adds, “for a left-handed movie, that wasn’t so bad, all right? So if that’s the worst I ever get, I’m good. But I do think one of those out-of-touch, old, limp, flaccid-dick movies costs you three good movies as far as your rating is concerned”.
Carrying a 65% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, we’d have to agree with Tarantino’s critical analysis, with the limp thriller offering little other than futile gore and a threadbare story. Still, if you’re interested in watching Quentin Tarantino’s self-proclaimed “worst movie,” take a look at the trailer below, but don’t say he didn’t warn you.