Quentin Tarantino Says DEATH PROOF Is the “Worst” Film He’s Ever Made; Watch Full Directors Roundtable Interview

     November 28, 2012


If you hadn’t already noticed, we’re knee-deep in Oscar season now.  Though many are put off by the awards race in general, one of the highlights of the year is always THR’s roundtable interviews with “the contenders.”  This year’s directors roundtable is really something, as the one-hour conversation involves Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, David O. Russell, and Gus Van Sant.  Though the entire interview is well worth watching, we figured our readers would be interested in a particular nugget from Tarantino in which he describes Death Proof as the “worst” film he’s ever made.

Hit the jump for more on that comment and to watch the full roundtable interview.

quentin-tarantino-death-proofDuring the course of the wide-ranging THR conversation, Tarantino began talking a bit about his long-planned “retirement” from making films.  When defending his decision to stop making movies before he gets to old age, Tarantino singled out what he sees as the one blemish on his oeuvre:

“I’m really well versed on a lot of directors’ careers, you know, and when you look at those last five films when they were past it, when they were too old, and they’re really out of touch with the times, whether it be William Wyler and The Liberation of L.B. Jones or Billy Wilder with Fedora and then Buddy Buddy or whatever the hell. To me, it’s all about my filmography, and I want to go out with a terrific filmography. Death Proof has got to be the worst movie I ever make. And 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.”

Tarantino’s assessment of Death Proof seems apt, and he’s by no means calling the film bad.  It’s not a terrible movie, but when lined up with the rest of the director’s filmography it does land at the bottom of the totem pole.

You can watch a portion of the interview in which Tarantino expresses his disgust with the use of digital projectors in movie theaters below, followed by the full one-hour roundtable conversation.  Both are well worth your time.


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  • Steve

    Can’t argue with that.

  • Stibbs

    Not a bad movie? No, it’s a terrible movie. Tarantinos ouvre is supremely overrated. There may be two maybe three decent films in the entire bunch.

    • Jim


      • tmlalways

        Resevoir dogs, Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, and hopefully Django Unchained. He was also a writer for Natural Born Killers, which is kinda iffy cause I know a lot of people dont like it but I think its a really cool movie. Special guest director for Sin City. He seems like a solid writer/director to me.

      • Stibbs

        No Jim, I am correct.

      • Hyingdutchguy

        No, you are absolutely wrong. I’m pretty sure about that.

        You are more a Michael Bay person? Nothing wrong with that. Some people dine in class, others go to McDonalds.

      • Harry hartounian

        No you’re not Stibbs.

  • ScaredForMovies

    Death Proof was the worst. But it was suppose to be. It’s an homage to Grind House films.

  • Andi

    hahaha the awkward silence from david o russel during the temper tantrum part is priceless

  • tarek

    No it is not the worst. The worst is Kill Bill. And Kill Bill 2. Ah I forgot to name Inglorious Basterd.
    Someone to stop me ? I can go on.

    • dodoriz

      Agreed. In my opinion, it is one of his better films beaten only by Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

    • steve

      Tarek probably wears a helmet when he eats and enjoys movies like Takers and Armored

      • tarek

        Maybe… and maybe not. ^^

        I am pretty sure you are a hard core fan of the Expendables movies. aren’t ya steve ? ^^

      • Tarek’s Special Education Teacher

        No it’s true. Tarek cannot eat his food independently and is also frequently incontinent.

      • Tarek

        and how about you mom ? ^^

        If the silliness was lethal, many people ( including you) would have had a grave house.

  • Nerdgasm

    Sure when looking at his movies he has had some missteps at least for me i should say. Kill Bill IMO was not engaging, very dull and overrated in every sense. I was a fan of Death Proof though it goes into Caricature territory with him and his dialogue. i def. love his dialogue in that movie and anything that came out of Kurt Russell’s mouth. But it def wasn’t a bad film but i do wanna say at least for me when you put him aside other Directors his movies except a few (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown.) don’t really hold up to the praise he normally gets and his writing ventures out weigh many of his own movies also IMO.

  • JIM


  • Norris

    Tarantino has finally gotten too cool, so now everyone has to say he’s over rated to sound cool.

    • TotesMcGotes

      Exactly. And then those people will say that they “always thought that”. Oh,the Internet.

  • jk

    I liked Death Proof. Maybe it isn’t his most artistic venture, but I liked the premise, complete with Zoe Bell and her no-talent acting. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • TotesMcGotes

    I like Death Proof,but I completly understand if someone thinks it’s terrible. Kurt Russell was awesome,though.

  • Tim

    That was a GREAT interview.

    WOW, so much to digest!

  • b4u1234

    I rather enjoyed death proof, it didn’t have any plot or dialogue, but it was pretty funny

  • henrikoez

    great interview with great directors. I hope Tarantino will not retire quickly too!

  • Junierizzle

    Sure not his best but still good as a part of Grindhouse. The extended version by itself can drag. Grindhouse uncut with all the trailers is still really fun.

  • Moe

    I have always thought that Tarantino is one of those directors who is an acquired taste. I happen to love his writing, style and direction. But I can also see why some people would not care for him. He just completely has his own thing, and if you don’t like that thing, you probably never will. Others that come to mind are Woody Allen and David Lynch.

    Also, Ben Affleck is such a terrible actor that I have not yet brought myself to watch his work as a director. To see him in this group is wierd.

  • Vinícius

    Thanks for pointing out this uncensored interview, it was pretty great.

    People tend to say Tarantino is arrogant, but he seemed like a nice guy. I specially liked his story about how Howard Hawks inspired him and he wishes to inspire someone as well.

  • Strong Enough

    I agree. Death Proof is f*cking horrible. I wanted all those girls to die and when they didn’t I screamed at the screen for wasting my life

  • Basil Grant

    I don’t know, Mary Elizabeth Winstead in that cheerleader outfit alone has to put it above at least one of his other movies.

  • LUIS

    Maybe not his best but i dont think is a bad movie, a strange one when you see his resume but not bad at all. I always thought that the good thing about this movie is that this time the “tarantino dialogue” is centered around women a whole set of different kinds of women. so in substance the first act is a great homage to old “in road horror films” you know the ones that always put the girls as the victims screaming and not doing any shit to defend themselves and the second act is the present day situation were women are as perverse and evil like the Bad Guy. so not great but not bad ,but i tell you these i would love to see this girls against RUTGER HAUER’S THE HITCHER cause one thing is certain this girls had 120 times more balls than C.THOMAS HOLLWELL

  • Tim

    I liked the part where Tarantino said he called the 14-year-old girl to say thanks. How awesome!

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  • Sam

    Boy some people are so full of it…

    Tarantino is a genius, and he is saying that even his “worst” movie is a great one, ok? get it ?

    To all the defenders of grind house as a bad movie because “it was supposed to be” that bullshit ok? would you get it through your thick skull?
    ANYONE can make a bad movie, most of them do actually, and it has nothing to do with what intended to be, grind house a b movie or whatever, Hobo with a shotgun and Machete SUCK because they SUCK , not because they were supposed to suck as if they meant to, when you have a piece of shit movie, it’s just that. You DON’T DEFEND ANY ASPECT of that movie to ridiculously answer “LOL you don’t get it ! it’s supposed to be bad!” Ok Numb-nuts???
    You can do bad tongue in cheek-camp-kitsch movies and you can do them well. They will be Bad or Good movies in the field you intended it to be, ok?
    If you still can’t focus and this is like a paradox to you, i’ll give you a practical example ok?
    Remember that bullshit George Clooney Batman movie? Ok, that piece of shit was defended by Clooney and director Joel Schumacher with that bullshit defense “It was supposed to be camp and silly , sort of like the Batman 60′s show”
    Ok now, did that statement turned it as a good accomplished movie to you ? No right? It’s a stinking piece of shit just the same right? See how it works?

    • ScaredForMovies

      No man. Death Proof sucked. It was f*cking boring. Tarantino’s dialogue is known for being slick but I don’t want to listen to people talk for 40 minutes straight. And the ending was retarded. Oh you screwed up big time Stuntman Mike. Two of those girls are stuntwomen. Ahhh yeahhh. And no one was comparing Grindhouse films with Batman. Settle down spazz.

  • bubba

    Yes it was. Wish he would return to his witty dialogue days of Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown… the kung fu stuff doesnt really do anything for me.

  • Daniel

    Thank you for posting this! So enlightening, i wish it was longer then an hour. And Quentin’s awesome, hopefully he doesn’t retire too soon, he’s impacted my life so much!

  • potterboy

    no PTA? fuck. i would’ve wanted to have the two best friends QT and PTA in one roundtable. i’ve never seen them in one interview. they always say they’re best of friends. that would have been too awesome.

  • Dan

    Tarantino is my favorite director of all time. To call a film that he directed the worst film he’s done takes balls. I will admit, Deathproof is my least favorite of his movies, but it is not one of the worst films of all time. It’s the Order of the Phoenix of Tarantino films.

  • Tyler

    tarintino talking shit about digital right in front of ang lee, ouch.

  • jawsnnn

    Why is everyone talking about Tarantino and his slew of films. This interview had a lot more to offer. For instance, David O Russell muttering to himself half of the time, and Ben Affleck making fun of Chinese people before Ang Lee, and Ang Lee stuttering away. Gold stuff.

  • Brian D

    I agree w/ Death Proof being his worst. It was meant to be a cool road chase movie in the vein of Vanishing Point, and Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry. But the car scenes (other than the first horrific crash) weren\’t anything special. Tarantino was clearly enamored with all the girls\’ dialogue, but those scenes went on way, way too long. Though Rosario Dawson and Mary Eliz. Winstead are always appealing. And the great Kurt Russell was terrific as Stuntman Mike, but turning him into a whining, groveling fool at the end was a ridiculous turn of character that came out of left field and made no sense.

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  • Anon

    Tarantino has special needs.
    Don’t listen to him.


  • Hyingdutchguy

    Bla bla bla…

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