The director nevertheless cites it as his “worse” film.
Arte will rebroadcast this Sunday Boulevard of Deathhalf of the diptych Grindhouse designed with planet terrorby Eli Roth in 2007. If Quentin Tarantino considers him the weakest of his filmography (he said in 2015: “My worst film is clearly Boulevard of Death. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that it’s the worst.”), First recommend it anyway.
When it was released, the editorial staff had already appreciated this story of revenge of a gang of girls against a sadistic and misogynistic serial killer. Kurt Russell plays a former stuntman who kills women because they are women, offering to drive them somewhere in his car, before driving his racing car. He then intentionally has accidents, fatal for his victims, but not for him. By discovering this explosion of violence interspersed with long dialogues, Nicolas Schaller recognized the filmmaker’s talent for constructing a few scenes of “pure pleasure”especially the end of the film, enjoyable, when the girls finally take their revenge and the film switches from a fantasy world to cruel reality: “A minor work of a freewheeling genius, Boulevard of Death is a sadomasochistic film. Sado in his first part where Stuntman Mike (initials SM!!!), the killer-stuntman played by Kurt Russell, manhandles then rapes a gang of bimbos, hot as hell, using his Chevy Nova customized “death proof”. Maso in his second when SM, confronted with other tougher babes, is having a hard time. Sado-maso because you have to suffer through endless scenes of girls’ chatter and endure a binary, daring but redundant dramaturgical construction, to enjoy the few moments of pure pleasure the film offers. Among them, the orgasmic collision of two cars launched at top speed and a daunting chase with a striking sequence, emblematic of Tarantino’s cinema, where the two vintage cars land in the middle of the highway traffic, illustrating the shift of a universe 70’s fantasy to the real world.”
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As Kill Bill, Boulevard of Death has become even more interesting to (re)see a few years later, so much does it implicitly evoke the perversity of Harvey Weinstein, the historical producer of the directoraccused of rape and sexual assault by multiple women, in 2017. Quentin Tarantino also gave a clever wink to his “small” film in his last realization, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywoodoffering Zoë Bell and Kurt Russell the roles of a couple of stuntmen, whose relationship echoes their characters from Grindhouse. Boulevard of Death more generally inspired the filmmaker the character of Brad Pitt in this rich work on American life at the turn of the 1970s.
After a few years, the film has thus risen to a good place in our top of the best achievements of Tarantino : “As soon as we forget the irritating specifications of the project Grindhouse (scratched pelloche, vintage titling, clumsy references) of the first part and the dialogues lazily stretched to infinity on the best car movies ad nauseam (QT is never worse than in self-quotation mode), we have a real good exploitation film, terribly sexy, with perhaps the best playlist ever mixed by Tarantino (“The Love You Save” by Joe Tex: most beautiful song in the world) hyper feminist – the prey rebel against the predator. Boulevard of Death also gives a brilliant role to Zoë Bell, Uma Thurman’s stunt double in Kill Bill. Good sign: failure in theaters, Tarantino – like Spielberg with The cursed temple– hate the movie. And yet at the end Boulevard of Death is the best B-side of Quentin’s filmo.”
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