Rated 3.0

In case you hadn’t heard, the latest tag-teaming of filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino sets out to evoke the garish, gory titillations of their movie-mad upbringings—those tawdry subgenres best characterized by the –xploitation suffix. The better half is Rodriguez’s goofball zombie movie Planet Terror, mostly because it has some perspective and was made by trying to have fun instead of trying to be cool. Also, Death Proof, Tarantino’s clunky paean to vehicular manslaughter, merely reiterates his most aggressive phobias—of women, minorities, intelligent conversation, dramatization. Where Rodriguez achieves a cheaply perfumed valentine to his beloved genre schlock, Tarantino’s picture exudes the stale, loveless air of a stalker’s shrine. Surely it satisfies the certain set of fanboys so aesthetically illiterate that low standards are the only thing for which they have high standards. It also drags his pal Rodriguez down.