Clips from Double Dare (2004), dir. by Amanda Micheli
Stuntwomen are so cool.
While I found the film to be a little slow and meandering - would’ve loved the entire backstories of Epper and Bell, would’ve loved for more stuntwomen to have been formally interviewed, would’ve loved for some critical discussion of the Hollywood politics of and about women who do stuntwork, etc. - Epper and Bell are absolutely delightful to watch. It is interesting to hear them talk about the almost dual life of being a woman and a stuntperson. As stuntwork is extremely physical and often involving bodily risk, it is considered “masculine”, and thus it is still not possible to be both “feminine”/”ladylike” and a stuntworker. This is particularly true in Epper’s experience, who struggles to keep up appearances in not only a sexist industry, but also an ageist one. Bell, the newcomer, faces her own challenges: nerves, injury, and leaving her home in New Zealand to find work in the States. Despite such odds, though, Bell excels in the craft that Epper helped pave for women the world over, and it’s so heartwarming and inspirational to see Epper share in Bell’s enthusiasm. We also get to see how Bell got her first big break as Uma Thurman’s stunt double in Kill Bill. I’m not an emotive moviewatcher, but this film had me smiling with every success (and sassy candid moment). Highly recommended, especially to feminist filmgoers! Watch it now on Netflix.