Blog of Feminist Activism

The feminist activism of charliegrrl and co

Rapist No 1 Tarantino in Liverpool

Posted by charliegrrl on August 19, 2007

Quentin Tarantino is coming to Liverpool for the opening of his film Death Proof, which has been condemned as a film that eroticises violence against women. In this film, Kurt Russell plays the role of a man who likes to stalk women, run them down in his car and eventually kill them. Along with the film, Tarantino even made an action-man figure of himself entitled Rapist No1.

Tarantino visiting Liverpool is being hailed as a triumph as part of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture. Feminists will be protesting against Tarantino at the opening of this film- making a stand against violence and rape of women as entertainment and against the Rapist No 1 action man doll. Tarantino’s Death Proof will be in cinemas around the country 21st September.

The protest will be held at September 11th 7pm, at FACT 88 Wood Street Liverpool. If you’d like to come, then please email

If you can’t attend, but would like to voice your complaints about Liverpool hosting the Rapist No1 Tarantino, then contact the cinema at


33 Responses to “Rapist No 1 Tarantino in Liverpool”

  1. polly styrene said

    September 11th is a Tuesday, so a lot of people will have work or college on that day. But if you can make it at all to the protest please come along because this is a real chance to show Tarantino his woman hating isn’t welcome in Liverpool. And if you’re in London and would like to protest but can’t make it to Liverpool for fairly obvious reasons, (it’s a long way) you’re in luck, because on the 9th September, Tarantino will also be at Brixton Ritzy at 7.30pm for the UK premiere of Death Proof. See

    It’s worth mentioning as well that the real reason Tarantino is schlepping round regional cinemas promoting his misogynist film isn’t because he really wants to go to Liverpool* but because Grindhouse was a huge flop in the US!

    *This is no slur on Liverpool which otherwise is a city with a lot to recommend it – it has fabulous architecture and is a world heritage site!

  2. polyestergirl said

    Yeah he’s a stupid dickface!!! Hahaha!Ah well,the worst crime is that he makes millions!Fucking capitalist shithole of a world!!!FUCK OFF!!!!!!!

  3. Richie said

    I’m on board with the criticism of the Rapist #1 doll, because it’s a colossally insensitive thing to do, and a lot of the time Tarantino *does* come across as the embodiment of white male privilege , but I have actually heard good things about Death Proof. I’ve said this elsewhere, but it’s interesting to note that when he’s on his own, he makes Jackie Brown and Kill Bill, which feature incredibly strong women. The rapist doll, Sin City, Hostel etc. etc. are all the result of Tarantino working with other men. I get the impression that it’s a self-image thing, and he doesn’t want men to see him backing down.

    Don’t get me wrong, he deserves shit for the rapist doll and for inflicting Eli Roth on us – because he’s both sickeningly misogynistic and an awful director – but I’m not entirely sure that Death Proof is going for the same “torture as entertainment” angle that movies like Captivity, Hostel, Chaos and Wolf Creek are. From what I’ve read, he doesn’t eroticise the violence or linger on it, and it’s supposed to be horrible rather than cool. I mean, Alien is technically “about” a woman being terrorised by a monster that kills people by raping them, but it handles the material in a way that’s not misogynistic, and the end result is actually pretty feminist. So I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion.

    But, yeah, I hope he realises the other boys club shit isn’t cool and that “geeking out” over old movies doesn’t stop them being exploitative crap.

  4. Richie said

    As an addendum, Grindhouse isn’t the only movie that’s bombed; Hostel 2 and Captivity both sank without trace. So the market for torture porn – in mainstream cinema, anyway – seems to be drying up.

  5. Debs said

    It’s a shame I can’t make it to Liverpool for this. I’m definitely going to email the cinema though, at the very least. Gah, the whole thing just makes me want to puke!

  6. April said

    That is pitiful as hell. Typical. He’s not that unique revolutionizing media. He’s merely perpetuating sexism in a new package.

  7. polly styrene said

    Hi Richie – I suppose it depends where you heard good things about Death Proof from. Confession – I have attempted to watch one Tarantino film, Pulp fiction and gave up after about 20 minutes because I found it mind numbingly boring. But as for the ‘Tarantino features strong women’ argument I have this to say.

    It’s true that in the plot of Death Proof after ‘Stuntman Mike’ has killed one group of women a second group turn the tables on him. But this is hardly a realistic option for women facing male violence is it? Women who strike back against men who exploit them tend to end up in prison/executed – e.g Monster, or the numerous women in the UK in prison for killing violent partners. And that doesn’t get past the basic problem that Tarantino seems to think rape is a huge joke, and that these films feature extreme violence against women.

    FACT is an ‘arthouse’ trendy liberal type cinema that wouldn’t in a million years show a film about a white racist stalking and running down black people in a car. But a film about a man running down women is Ok because hey, it’s ironic and all one big joke!

    Here’s a link to an excellent Guardian article on Grindhouse:,,2069286,00.html

    So assuming I get anywhere near Mr Tarantino it will be him and his whole ‘If I make nasty, exploitative films that’s ok because I’m an artist and sooo clever doncha know’ I shall be violently objecting (ironically of course) to. As a friend of mine and Charliegrrl’s likes to say, slap a trendy liberal for peace!

  8. polly styrene said

    PS Debs – can you let me know what FACT say back?

  9. Richie said


    I heard it from a feminist blog, which is why I pointed it out. I just have issues with conflating Grindhouse with the present batch of torture porn movies, since Grindhouse is supposed to be a tribute to B-Movies rather than the “video nasties” which inspired things like Hostel and Captivity.

  10. polly styrene said

    Hmm I take your point, Richie, but it is a distinction so fine as to be lost on the vast majority of the population I suspect. Just to clarify the point of the action against Tarantino isn’t that ‘Grindhouse is a rubbish film’. I thought Pulp Fiction was a rubbish film (the 20 minutes I watched) but I didn’t feel moved to demonstrate outside cinemas showing it. It’s against Tarantino, his misogyny in producing the rapist doll, in co producing films like hostel and more than anything the presentation of violence against women as entertainment. The fact that he claims it’s all ‘ironic’ doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse in my opinion. Because he knows what he’s doing is exploitative and nasty but he still does it. Retro misogyny is still misogyny.

    I think that there are big problems with the idea that something showing women killing/taking revenge against violent men, particularly in the mode of Grindhouse, is feminist because it shows ‘strong’ women. I suspect that the argument comes from the same people who think stripping is feminist because it’s ’empowering’. The aim of feminism, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t for women to go round mirroring male violence. And as I say I haven’t seen Death Proof but from the description in the Guardian article linked to above describing it as feminist is a very big stretch.

    Just to clarify Grindhouse in its original format included mock ‘trailers’ that showed a bare breasted woman being tortured by female ‘SS’ officers and a cheerleader bouncing on a trampoline before being impaled on a knife in her vagina. Tarantino is reponsible for these, even if he didn’t make them himself. I don’t care what he’s spoofing and I don’t care if he just did it to impress the other boys. It’s misogynist however you slice it (pardon the pun).

    You cite ‘Alien’ but that’s a film about space monsters. Space monsters don’t exist. Men who kill, rape and torture women for pleasure do unfortunately. And that’s the distinction. Rap music doesn’t lead to people being shot on the streets in itself. But it glamourises and normalises the violence and gang culture which does. And even if Tarantino’s films are being watched by people with square glasses and trendy haircuts who ooh and aah over the cinematic references, they’re still misogynist. They still glamourise, normalise and trivialise sexual violence. They still say violence against women is a joke. But that joke isn’t funny any more – it’s too close to home and it’s too near the bone.

  11. Richie said

    The reason I’m giving Death Proof the benefit of the doubt is that Tarantino, while he works with self-consciously “retro” genres, doesn’t just recreate them exactly and often turns the cliches back in on themselves. If he was using exploitation movies as a template, I wouldn’t bother arguing about him, but – so far, anyway – he’s used them as a jumping off point to tell his own stories. I think *that’s* the distinction that gets lost on his fans, because, for all their cinephile posturing, the average Tarantino fan hasn’t actually seen much (or any) exploitation cinema, so they don’t notice the difference. For example, if you look at the jumping off point of Kill Bill – “a bunch of women fighting each other” – that’s a pretty big opportunity to engage in all kind of misogynist tropes. You know, treating it like a “catfight”, or having them tear each other’s clothes off, or eroticising the violence or whatever. But he didn’t do any of those things, even though the genre gave him a mandate to. So that’s why I’m reluctant to judge Death Proof before I’ve seen it.

    Onto the Guardian article… I actually have issues with a lot of it; it’s written by somebody who doesn’t understand how horror movies work. The way they talk about the “final girl” trope being a way of excusing the preceding misogyny is too simplistic a reading; the “final girl” exists because audience (and scriptwriters, and producers, and directors) don’t like the idea of men being scared, because it threatens their masculinity. Casting a woman as the lead, and having a woman survive through the final act – when the tension is at its highest – lets everybody off the hook, because women are supposed/allowed to be frightened. But the male audience members are also reticent to identify with a female character, which is why the “final girl” is usually depicted as asexual (doesn’t wear feminine clothing, has a gender-neutral name like “Alex” or “Sam” etc.). The female characters who *are* sexually active are the ones who get killed after we see them naked / sexualised (because male audience members get off on seeing women punished for being whores). That’s the real misogyny of the horror genre, not “women get killed a lot”.

    Yeah, sorry, I’m coming off like a “concern troll” here. I don’t mean to.

  12. Polyestergirl said

    Perhaps when he comes you should point him in direction to the Phemisaurus site. That’s seriously funny shit, those fantastic Fems deserve a meddle.

  13. I can exclusively reveal polyestergirl that professor Phemi herself has given me permission to ‘borrow’ some images for placards. So Mr Tarantino will see them hopefully.

  14. Oh and sorry Richie but I just have to direct you to this fab Ian Hislop quote – No I don’t think he understands horror movies either- about ‘Kill Bill’

    ‘It’s an entirely witless and babyish film in which he tries to kill and chop up lots of people. One of the worst things about the film is that it seems to be a rather pervy film in which Tarantino gets the girls to fight a lot. In the old days Michael Winner used to… he’d set up a really unpleasant act against a woman and spend the rest of the film with someone killing people. And that was supposed to be a moral justification and in those days we all said ‘Oh Michael Winner isn’t he awful? Now Tarantino does something equally pathetic and we all say ‘What a genius’! It is rubbish”

    Like I said Tarantino is the emperor’s new director as far as I’m concerned. His films are boring tripe, but now they’re boring misogynist tripe as well.

  15. Sorry for the serial posting but in case anyone doubts that Tarantino really is a misogynistic little nerd – 2 recent news stories.

    Sounding not unlike Harry Enfield’s self righteous brothers (Oi Paltrow, No!) he has said that he wouldn’t cast Gwyneth Paltrow in a porn movie, despite the fact that she hasn’t – um – asked to be in his porn movie.

    And probably a bit worse, because Gwyneth Paltrow is probably just having a bit of a laugh at his self absorbed arrogance, he reduced airline staff to tears by his extreme aggression.

    What a great guy……

  16. stefon said

    hmmm… I’m just curious… has somebody of you seen the film (death proof) actually?
    I saw it.. and… don’t kill me.. I think it SUPPORTS feminsm… I think it shows that there ARE strong women and that men often hide behind a macho facade…
    I have posted a small article there:
    I would be happy if you would read it and post your opinions…
    Thx Stefon

  17. Debs said

    Polly, re: those 2 links you gave – I wish I hadn’t looked but you know, it’s like a car crash, you can’t not. What an absolute wanker.

    I’ve still not heard back from the cinema, despite sending another email 2 days ago. I’m going to try again tomorrow, maybe find the number and ring them.

  18. poly styrene said

    Hi Stefon

    If you see the posts above there’s already been a discussion of this, but just to reiterate. No I haven’t seen the film Death Proof – because it hasn’t been released in this country yet (and I wouldn’t want to because I think Tarantino’s films, what I’ve seen of them, are Deadly Dull and overrated pretentious nonsense). But as I have already stated, but will restate, I think it’s a red herring to say that films where women take revenge are feminist. Firstly because this is hardly a realistic option for women faced with real life violence.

    Secondly, I think that most men don’t realise the way in which women are conditioned to live their lives in fear of the threat of male violence, and the way in which this is used to limit women’s lives. For instance women are told that they should never walk home alone at night, but if I didn’t do this I wouldn’t go to work, let alone have a social life. This is despite the fact of course that most women who are the subject of male violence and rape are attacked by men they know. Films like Death Proof, even if they’re cartoonish, contribute to this kind of fear which is a way of stopping women leading independent lives.

    Making a film in which women are menaced is so commonplace that we don’t see it as unusual at all. But think what would happen, as I said earlier, if instead of a man trying to kill women, this film was about a white racist trying to kill black people. Would it be being promoted as a major cultural event by a publicly funded cinema?

    You also have to bear in mind that Tarantino intended Death Proof to be seen as part of Grindhouse with the misogynistic imagery already described. It has been split up because of its commercial failure and for no other reason.

    You say in your review that the film features short skirts and lap dances but you think it’s feminist because the women are in control of their lives and have the right to talk sexually and decide what they want from men.

    For me feminism is about more than individual women being in control of their lives, because certain wealthy and powerful women have always been able to do that throughout history. It’s about all women being able to live their lives meaningfully, with equal rights, without sexual objectification and without fear of male violence, a fear that is ever present for most women.

    I have seen some clips of Death Proof on you tube and it seems to be shot in a way which is very sexually objectifying – in the clip I saw for example the camera panned up from the floor behind a woman wearing a very short skirt. But over that I think films of this type contribute to a climate in which male violence against women is seen as a natural part of existence rather than something that society should be trying to get rid of.

  19. Gary Orford said

    I don’t understand just how someone can have such a strong opinion on someones work when they have seen “about 20 minutes because I found it mind numbingly boring”. Or base their argument on quotes and articles from newspapers (funny thing papers, they can be biased, I prefer to make my own mind up.

    As I’m pretty sure somebody has already mentioned earlier if Tarantino was the Mysoginist you claim he is then why in Jackie Brown and Kill Bill are the strongest characters female? A simple point I agree but still worthy of attention.

    I am a firm beleiver that you should stand for something (or you’ll fall for anything) but I’m also of the mind that to truly despise something enough to protest its existence then I need to know it inside and out and form my opinion based on my findings. But hey, thats just me.


  20. Debs said

    I got a response today from FACT. I eventually emailed them on, as I was getting no response from Laura Finn:

    Thank you for emails. These have been passed on to me for reply. I know that the film programmer for City Screen, the company that operates the cinemas here at FACT, had originally intended to respond directly, but has been unable to due to personal circumstances.

    I enclose FACT’s news release about the event and subsequent protest below:

    FACT is delighted Quentin Tarantino is coming to FACT. This event is a huge coup for Liverpool. As a multi art venue with a strong programme and cultural identity, FACT regularly attracts international stars, like artist Pipilotti Rist in 2008, and now an Oscar winning Hollywood Director like Quentin Tarantino.

    In response to the protest about his appearance, it is important to clear up certain inaccuracies in the complaints made. Firstly, the film being previewed at FACT on 11 September 2007 is Tarantino’s Death Proof, not Planet Terror, which is directed by Robert Roderiguez. Secondly, the double bill, Grindhouse, is not being released in this form in the UK at this stage, so will not be showing at FACT.

    Quentin Tarantino has a strong reputation for devising and depicting strong, independent female characters, The Bride (Kill Bill) for example, or Jackie Brown (Jackie Brown). Those who instigate violence against them ultimately receive their comeuppance – Bill, in Kill Bill for example. Tarantino’s character in Planet Terror, Rapist No 1, experiences a rather painful and unpleasant consequence from his actions, which can be taken as a deterrent against being violent towards women. Death Proof depicts eight women turning the tables on a man who attacks women with his turbo charged car.

    This event is an opportunity for fans and filmgoers who are over 18 to watch a new film and quiz the director on his feelings, motivations and opinions afterwards. It is a fantastic opportunity for filmgoers to discuss a movie with its director and FACT is delighted Quentin Tarantino is giving so much of his time to do so here.

    I would also like to stress that FACT takes all comments made by the public and our visitors seriously. All comments relating to this event will be logged and discussed at the regular review we make of events at FACT.

    This event is an opportunity for people to meet a major figure in the film world and put questions directly to him. It could be that these objections will be raised on the evening itself and Mr Tarantino given a chance to reply to his critics which is his right. I for one see that as a positive thing.

    If you have any further comments to make or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    best wishes

    Joan Burnett

    Visitor Services Manager

    Those who are going to the protest: Do you think you will be asking questions at the Q&A session, or is it just a protest outside the cinema? It would be could to have someone inside to ask some awkward questions!

  21. polly styrene said

    (attempts to break record for serial posting on own topic, though I think I may have a way to go). There’s now a (slightly inaccurate) report on this in the Liverpool Echo at

    NB the protest isn’t women only – as on our other actions people of any gender are welcome if they agree with the aims of the action.

    And it’s been picked up by the people on the fact website in the forum.

    Hope Quentin’s bad back doesn’t stop him turning up after I’ve made the placards…….

  22. poly styrene said

    Hi Debs

    Though I would be delighted to put my questions to Mr Tarantino in person (assuming he’s compos mentis enough to answer, given his recent odd behaviour) the event is sold out. So I won’t be able to. And I wouldn’t pay £10 to see him anyway.

    However full information will be available for those going into the cinema to take or leave, along with a sample Rapist Doll (bought in Forbidden Planet on the next street to FACT and I have the receipt to prove it). So maybe a member of the press will ask the hard questions because I suspect otherwise it will just be ‘I loved pulp fiction’.

    Yeah strong women, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah, please see above for the response to that ad infinitum. As I say, I fear falling into an irreversible coma if I were to try to watch Death Proof. (I have also tried to watch Reservoir Dogs but only lasted 5 minutes). I do not believe Kira Cochrane tells lies, (and I would trust Ian Hislop with my life) so their words are good enough for me. This protest is against Quentin Tarantino, not only for being possibly the most overrated and MONUMENTALLY BORING film director in history but for this:

    Please note this is tagged as ‘humour’. Have I not taken the proper drugs? Can Mr Tarantino get me some maybe?

    Incidentally Ms Burnett appears not to have watched the films:

    Four women ‘turn the tables’ on ‘stuntman mike’ after he has killed four women. This sequence is repeated four times. Does Ms Burnett think this is a solution to male violence?

    ‘The Bride’ in kill bill as I understand it kills quite a few innocent people and I don’t think she HAS killed Bill yet because Vol 3 is coming up. Does Ms Burnett think this is an appropriate response to violence? Perhaps she would like to see vigilante killing on the streets of Liverpool? Because I don’t think many other people would….

    I am thinking of instituting a ‘most predictable response’ award (as well as the serial posting one I’ve already give to me, me, me) because I could have written that myself…….

  23. Debs said

    I did reply, letting her know I was already aware of most of the points she raised, but I appreciated that comments were being taken on board. A fairly lame response, I know, but like you I was slightly losing the will to live from the predictability of her response.

    Thanks for that YouTube clip. He’s actually laughing at rape. He thinks it’s funny. And so do the audience and that sycophantic interviewer.

    I wish I could be there at the protest!

  24. polly styrene said

    Can I also ask everyone to remember if they are contacting FACT to be polite – though I’m sure you all anyway! Our problem isn’t with the individual staff at FACT, but with Tarantino and his misogynistic films/doll, so please remember they’re just people doing their job…..

  25. Mr X said

    This is nothing but sheer ignorance. Firstly, you idiots are protesting against the wrong film, and secondly against a director well known for his empowerment of women!

    I have seen all of Tarantino’s films to date. They depict just as much, if not more, violence towards men. I am in no way offended by this, nor do I see it as an attack on my gender. If I did feel that way, I simply wouldn’t watch it!

    Furthermore, the man is holding a Q and A session in order to hear people’s reservations about his work and respond to them. When is the last time a Hollywood A-lister did that?

  26. Mr Pink said

    Well I don’t know where to start… Statements like “I believe ‘The Bride’ kills innocent people” (Of course it all depends on what you would call innocent) but she kills people who try/tried to kill her and her unborn baby. Also, she does actually ‘Kill Bill’ in volume 2 (your lack of knowledge of his work is ludicrous for someone protesting it.)

    I’d imagine you were all for the censorship of heavy metel music because thats what kids who shot and killed people and columbine were listening to aswell.

    I wish people would stop blaming TV, Film, Computer games and music for the worlds ailes. Rape,murder misogyny, violence against women happened a lot before (probably more than now) Tarantino made films so instead of focussing on slating ‘artists’ who will carry on creating their work regardless why not channel your energy in changing the structure of society by lobbying as a pressure group and affecting policy changes in politics? See thats where the real changes happen. In Parliament affecting laws and policing, education and such. Not on the silver screen.

    You can just throw this in the pile marked ‘predictable responses’ if you like but, to me,you’re the predictable one.

  27. Robert Paulson said

    Hi there people,

    I’ve been reading this forum thread with interest, because I’m going to be doing a face to face interview with Quentin Tarantino at the event you mention for a national newspaper.

    I’m very interested in asking him a couple of questions on this very topic, and was wondering if you guys would care to add your own thoughts on the matter? I can pose a couple of them to him – only got 15 minutes or so with him, but I’d be interested as to his defence.


  28. Yes violence and rape of women happened before films came into existence- nowadays violence and rape of women are used as entertainment and titillation in films. That’s kinda the point..? We’re not saying that men seeing the films will asa result commit violence to women- the principle is that rape and violence against women should not be eroticised and used purely for titillation factor. If a film depicted rape and violence against women as part of a genuine storyline, this would be different. Tarantino going on TV and joking about how he is Rapist No1, is completely inexcusable, and I hope you can appreciate this.

  29. […] I surfed the net for a while and found another entry about the film on the blog of feminist activism. I left a link to this blog entry in the comment and some of them took the chance to discuss a little […]

  30. Bama said

    I’d like to make it clear that I’m a feminist and have been for years. I’m overtly aware that Hollywood is at a helm of trivialising violence against women, rape, and in portraying women as being weak / submissive and generally stupid, vapid beings only creditable for their bodies.

    Firstly, I think it’s ridiculous that you can protest against something which you haven’t actually seen or even researched properly (the doll of rapist no. 1 is actually taken from the robert rodriguez film planet terror, not death proof which you were protesting against – Tarantino had little to do with planet terror except for that his friend made it and that he starred in it – the film’s were released in the US as a double bill called ‘Grinhouse’). Secondly, I was at the screening of death proof last night, and have to say that it was pleasantly surprising in its strong and empowering portrayal of women. Tarantino, when questioned about the protest, was apologetic, intelligent and quite rightfully fought his ground in saying that he supported the fact you guys were protesting (as he made it clear that did actually fully regret the whole rapist no. 1 character / doll thing) but was also offended at the fact that Death Proof was a film made for women – in particular to show a group of women against the tiresome cliche’s of Hollywood and to show them getting their own back on the arseholes of this World, instead of just taking it. I really do think that there are more important issues to be protesting against at the moment.

  31. James Mcfadden said

    Well done to this website for highlighting the ignorance and viciousness of this nasty little charlatan and for having the courage to protest when all the corporate media muppets are lauding him. The management of the FACT should collectively hang their heads in shame.

  32. Rammer Jammer said

    So Bama thinks that Tarantino does feminism a favor by depicting women who take revenge by killing men – hmmm… wonder what the criminal justice would make of that if real strong women took their lead from Tarantino and started killing all the trolls who annoyed them?

  33. Bama said

    Sorry if that message seem to imply that I thought Tarantino was doing ‘feminism a favor’ – he, and the film, had nothing to do with feminism – for or against it – it simply celebrates women. The violence in the film is not pornographic and in no way advocates that every strong woman go out and start ‘killing all the trolls who annoy() them’ – the characters don’t blatantly kill the male character in the film, they simply taunt him and make him feel small by chasing him. The scene in the end credits in which they finally catch and pummel hell out of him, is quite cearly tongue in cheek and is so ridiculously and O.T.T violent that it is more Tom and Jerry than being anywhere near the snuff material people seem to be implying. Come on now, the ‘Bratz’ movie was more offensive than this – and that was for kids.

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