One of the conceits of last spring’s Grindhouse was that one reel was missing from each of the “double feature”’s two films. In Death Proof, it was a lap dance performed by Vanessa Ferlito; in Planet Terror, a sex scene involving Rose McGowan. The idea was that those particular reels had been secreted away to the hovel of some pervy projectionist. In each film, the interruption arrived with comic abruptness; at the screening we attended, the audience laughed appreciatively at the appearance of the “Missing Reel” graphic, realizing their own inner pervy-projectionist tendencies had been expertly manipulated. The disappointment was nonetheless palpable; we were, after all, being deprived of sexy scenes featuring bodacious babes.
As was widely reported at the time, though, directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino actually filmed both “missing” segments, which have inevitably made their way to DVD. The Death Proof extended cut comes out September 18, and an advance copy arrived at Official Vulture Headquarters today to widespread celebration. Unfortunately, the Official Vulture Windows Media Player is missing a few screws and we weren’t able to watch the thing. But, of course, the lap-dance scene is already on the Internet anyway, so enjoy another great entry in the Tarantino music-video-within-a-movie canon. And by all means see Death Proof, the most tragically ignored crowd-pleasing thrill-ride adventure of the year, when the DVD comes out. If you don’t, we’ll slam your face into the windshield of our car until you die. —Ben Mathis-Lilley