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"Hey, Pam, remember when I said this car was death proof? Well, that wasn't a lie. This car is 100% death proof. Only to get the benefit of it, honey, you REALLY need to be sitting in my seat."
Stuntman Mike to Pam just before killing her[source]

Stuntman Mike McKay was the main antagonist in Quentin Tarantino's 5th film, Death Proof. He is a sociopathic serial killer who stalks young women and kills them by crashing his personal Hollywood stunt car in which only his seat is "death proof."

He was portrayed by Kurt Russell, who also played John Ruth in The Hateful Eight and Randy Miller in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.


Little is known about the serial killer known as Stuntman Mike beyond his history as an aging stunt driver and his preference in victim: young, unsuspecting women who he stalks from a distance before striking.

Stuntman Mike is first seen in a bar in Austin, Texas, approaching three young women - Arlene Butterfly Machiallie, DJ Jungle Julia Lucai and Shanna Bannana - and following DJ Jungle's instructions from the radio announcement to get a lap-dance from "Butterfly". Despite some initial trepidation, due to having seen Mike's car earlier in the day, and asking if he has been following them, Mike puts her at ease (partly by saying she's chicken), and Arlene agrees to the dance. The three women prepare to depart, while Pam, another intoxicated female bar patron, has been impressed by Mike and accepts a ride home from him, considering him to be teetotaler and a safe ride. Mike takes Pam to his matte black 1971 Chevy Nova, which is a stunt car rigged with a safety cage inside. As Mike drives Pam off, it becomes clear he is trying to kill her, reminding her that his car is "death proof", but only to the driver. Since the passenger side has no safety restraints at all, he kills her by driving recklessly and then slamming on the brakes, which smashes her skull into the dashboard. Mike speeds off, leaving behind photos he took earlier of the three other women, so as not to get caught with any evidence. He eventually comes on their car on an empty road, and drives at full speed directly into it. The force of the impact kills all four women. (There was an older lady driver in the car known as Lanna Frank, who they met up with earlier at the bar.)

The local hospital finds Mike with only minor injuries, and asserts that since Mike was sober while the four women were intoxicated, he cannot be charged. This concerns Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, who is convinced Mike is guilty but cannot investigate without evidence. McGraw warns Mike that should this happen again, he'd "make damn sure" it wasn't in Texas.

14 months later, three women, Abernathy Ross, Kim Mathis and Lee Montgomery are stopping by a convenience store where Stuntman Mike (whose car is as good as new) is intrigued by the women. The 3 women picks up another friend, a stuntwoman named Zoë Bell), so they can perform a stunt called "Ship's Mast".

The girls (except Lee Montgomery) enjoy the stunt, until Mike shows up and rear ends their car at high speed. The two cars engage in a harrowing high-speed chase for a distance before they both spin out on opposite sides of the roads, and Zoe is finally thrown from the car's hood. Mike gets out to brag to the girls but Kim fires a gun, wounding him in the left arm. As Mike gets back in the car and flees, Zoe shows that she is ok, and the three women agree to get revenge on Mike. Wounded, Mike drives away, panicked and in pain, and tries to extract the bullet himself, to no avail. Moments later, the women pursue him in a car chase that ends with them forcing him off the road. They then drag him out of the car over his blubbered apologies, and beat him savagely in the head until he falls unconscious. After a short credits sequence, Abernathy delivers a final axe kick to Mike's head, crushing his skull and killing him.


Stuntman Mike is charming, loquacious and rugged, quick to impress people (particularly attractive women) with his stories about working as a stuntman in the glory days of racing movies like Vanishing Point and The Cannonball Run. Once they are in his power, however, he reveals his true self: a sadistic psychopath who derives excitement and warped sexual pleasure from killing women with his specially made, "death proof" car - either by running them over, crashing into them, or purposely getting into accidents that are fatal to his passengers, but leave him without a scratch.