Tag Archives: Quentin Jerome Tarantino

What’s In A Name? The Character Connections Between Tarantino Movies

I am a self confessed Quentin Tarantino fanboy. From his first full length movie that was Reservoir Dogs to his most recent picture, The Hateful Eight – I’ve enjoyed all of his films for very different reasons. Hey, I even liked Four Rooms.

Over the years, Tarantino has made films that all seem separate and yet he always throws in little nods, references and connections via his shared universe that he was doing long before Marvel got in on the act. Using his own made up products like Red Apple cigarettes in all of his films as one example of many.

red-apples

He has even extended his shared universe into the works of other directors like Robert Rodriguez, Tony Scott and even Oliver Stone… most of the time because Tarantino has had a hand in there somewhere from a writing/producing perspective. But it is in character names and possible connections where his shared universe really comes to light. From main characters to secondary ones and even off screen characters – all of his films are connected in one way or another via his characters. But there is more than one movie universe going on within his movie universe. Confused? I’ll let Quentin himself explain…

There is actually two separate universes. There is the realer than real universe, alright, and all the characters inhabit that one. But then there’s this movie universe. So From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill, they all take place in this special movie universe. So when all the characters of Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, when they go to the movies, Kill Bill is what they go to see. From Dusk Till Dawn is what they see.

Got it? There is a ‘real’ movie universe and a ‘movie’ movie universe going on within Tarantino’s movie universe and characters from his ‘real’ universe can go to see moives from his ‘movie’ universe within that ‘real’ movie universe. So here, I’d like to make as many of the connections as I think I have found from his moives as a writer, director or producer. I’ll start with what I think is a very interesting connection.

There will be SPOILERS ahead for pretty much every Quentin Tarantino film.


Mia Wallace Played Beatrix Kiddo

You remember that scene in Pulp Fiction where Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) are out enjoying a $5 milkshake? Mia Tells Vincent that she is a struggling actress and shot a pilot for a TV show called Fox Force Five. If you listen to the description of the main characters in that show that Mia gives – they sound pretty familiar. Okay so they are not exact and water tight, but those characters sound a lot like the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad from Kill Bill. The blonde one was the leader – (Elle Driver?), The Japanese fox was a kung-fu master (O-Ren Ishii?), the black girl was a demolition expert (Vernita Green?), the French fox’s speciality was sex (Sofie Fatale?). And what type of character did Mia play in Fox Force Five… the deadliest woman in the world with a knife… or possibly a sword?

As Tarantino said that the characters from Pulp Fiction could go to the movies and watch Kill Bill, what if that Fox Force Five TV pilot got picked up but adapted and turned into a movie instead and that movie was called Kill Bill? And what if struggling actress, Mia Wallace was the one who played Beatrix Kiddo A.K.A The Bride? Sounds reasonable right? I mean you have to admit that they do look a lot a like too…

The Vega Brothers

Now this one is already pretty well known as Tarantino himself has spoken about this several times and even said he wanted to make a Vega brothers movie prequel a while back. But for those not in the know, Mr Blonde A.K.A Vic Vega (Michael Madsen) and Vincent Vega from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction respectively are in fact brothers.

Yes, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are officially and canologicaly connected and even if he never made his proposed Vega Brothers flick, Tarantino still says these two films are directly connected. He never revealed much about his Vega Brothers picture, but he did say this…

I did think about the idea of the Vega brothers, taking place before the movies when like Vin was in Amsterdam and his brother Vic/Mr Blonde comes and visits him, and their adventures.

Its a very sketchy idea at best but it was enough to get me thinking – if the film was to be a prequel that would have been set in Amsterdam and involved the Vega brothers, aside from drugs, what else is Amsterdam famous for? Diamonds. What were they stealing in Reservoir Dogs? And what exactly was in that damn briefcase in Pulp Fiction? Its a rough idea but I’m sure Tarantino must have been thinking about linking everything together. What if Vic and Vincent stole diamonds in Amsterdam, brought them back to America where they were sold and Vic then got involved in a heist to steal them back once more? Then what if those diamonds that were taken by Mr Pink at the end of Reservoir Dogs ended up in a briefcase in Pulp Fiction?

The Dimmicks

Its possible that the Vega brothers may not be the only siblings sharing the Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction canon, what about Jimmie (Quentin Tarantino) and Lawrence Dimmick (Harvey Keitel) A.K.A Mr White? Now – as far as I have researched, Tarantino has neither confirmed nor denied that these two are related, but within this shared universe, why not? Bothers, cousins or other. Its possible right?

You remember Jimmie from Pulp Fiction right? He’s the fella that was not too happy about deceased gentlemen of colour being stockpiled within his vehicle shelter – who clearly has connections to the criminal underworld if he is friendly with hitman Jules (Samuel L. Jackson). Jimmie’s last name is Dimmick. Mr White from Reservoir Dogs reveals his real name is Lawrence Dimmick to a dying Mr Pink. But if they are related then I have one question. Why doesn’t Jimmie mention there is an uncanny resemblance between his sibling Lawrence and the guy that has been sent to help clean things up Winston Wolf?

Scagnetti And Scagnetti

This is an unusual one as only one of these characters are actually shown on screen – the other is only quickly mentioned in passing and many people miss it. Detective Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore) from Natural Born Killers sports an impressive quiff and an unstable personality. He may be a lawman, but he’s not exactly on the right side of the law either. A good guy with bad tendencies. When Mr Blonde is catching up with old friends in Reservoir Dogs – he mentions his parole officer is someone called Seymour Scagnetti, who apparently is not a nice guy either. Does being a bad-good guy run in the family?

Paula And The Dentist

Dentist, Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) was born in Düsseldorf, Germany but moved to America where he took up the rather profitable career of being a bounty hunter. It has been theorised that sometime in the 1850s, Schultz married a younger woman who outlived him as Dr. King Schultz is killed during the events of Django Unchained. Then later in Kill Bill, Beatrix Kiddo is burred alive in grave – and the name on the grave? Paula Schultz. Even more so, the chapter from the film it titled; ‘The Lonely Grave Of Paula Schultz’ and she would have been lonely if she died a widow. Maybe Dr King Schultz and the unseen Paula were married within this universe? Plus, the dates on the grave seem to add up too…

The War Hero And The Bandit

Back in Pulp Fiction and Captain Koons (Christopher Walken) tells a young Butch Coolidge (Chandler Lindauer) a little about the Koons heroic family history and a lovely story about a very important watch. Yet it seems that not everyone in the Koons bloodline may have been quite as upstanding as their family think. In Django Unchained while Dr King Schultz is training Django (Jamie Foxx), a wanted poster is shown for the Smitty Bacall Gang and one of the gang members is called; Crazy Craig Koons. I wonder if this Koons family member also placed timepieces in hard to reach places?

The Cops And The Bandit

That very same wanted poster from Django Unchained reveals yet another name, Gerald Nash who is wanted for murder. It seems that Gerald must have had children at some point because during Natural Born Killers a re-enactment of a murder of a police officer is shown and the name of the dead cop? Gerald Nash. But that is not all, doesn’t the name Nash sound familiar? What if I said this other Nash was also a cop? Still unsure, then lend me your ear. The kidnapped cop from Reservoir Dogs that Mr Blonde plans on torturing while listening to Steeler’s Wheel is named Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz) and Tarantino has confirmed that Natural Born Killers Nash and Reservoir Dogs Nash are in fact cousins.

Maynard The Bigoted Family

Maynard (Duane Whitaker) from Pulp Fiction is the owner of a pawn shop… and has a perverse hobby that involves a gimp, a corrupt security guard and underworld crime boss being… well just watch the film. He seriously seems to have several problems, but if you have a racist/bigot bloodline then what do you expect? But what bloodline is this? Well during the awesome Candyland shootout in Django Unchained – an unnamed, rifle toting racist screams out “Ain’t no (insert racial slur towards black people here) gonna kill Maynard!”. After which, said self-proclaimed Maynard is brutally shot to death by Django in a satisfying orgy of blood and bullets.

Clarence And Lawrence’s Shared Love

True Romance is a great love story flick. A love story full of drugs, vengeance, guns and plenty of dead bodies…but a love story none the less. Aside from having one of my all time favourite movie scenes ever where Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper) and Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken) engage in an intense game of cat and mouse. The film also features another possible Tarantino connection. The hooker with a heart of gold, Alabama Whitman/Worley (Patricia Arquette) seems to have had a life before True Romance where she teamed up with Lawrence Dimmick from Reservoir Dogs as Mr White reveals that Alabama was his ex-partner. So if she was his ex-partner, after the break up – did she fall into prostitution to make ends meet and finally find love with Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) later?

The Nazi Killer And The Film Director

Sticking with True Romance, Clarence tries to sell the cocaine he acquired to a film director called Lee Donowitz (Saul Rubinek). During the events of the film, Lee is putting the finishing touches to his latest in-movie flick; Coming Home In A Body Bag 2, a sequel to his hit Vietnam film that Clarence is a big fan of. But what if Lee got inspiration for his war movies from members of his own family? Maybe Sgt. Donny ‘The Bear Jew’ Donowitz (Eli Roth) from Inglourious Basterds and his Nazi brain-bashing ways played a hand in Lee’s film career?

Another Nazi Killer And His Great, Great Grandfather

Inglourious Basterds featured a lot of Nazi killing… a hell of a lot. One of the best and most intense scenes in the flick took place in an underground tavern where English Army officer Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) goes undercover as a German officer and things go badly. It seems that bloodshed and gunfights in enclosed places is a family trait as Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) from The Hateful Eight can attest to. But how are these two characters linked? Well Oswaldo Mobray is just an alias as his real name is actually ‘English’ Pete Hicox and he is the great, great grandfather of Archie.

The Dead Texas Ranger With A Long Life

Texas Ranger Earl McGraw (Michael Parks) first appeared in From Dusk Till Dawn – where he was quickly executed via a bullet to the head. But you just can’t keep a good Texas Ranger down as he resurfaced in Kill Bill where he was joined by his son Edgar McGraw (played by Michael’s real-life son James Parks). The McGraw family kept on growing when Earl popped up again in the Death Proof and Planet Terror combo of Grindhouse. This time around Earl and Edgar were joined by Dr Dakota Block née McGraw (Marley Shelton) the daughter of Earl and sister of Edgar.

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Quentin Tarantino Part I

Today is my Birthday.
So as a Birthday present to myself, I’m going to indulge myself and write about one of the very best, modern writer/directors, Quentin Tarantino.

QT 1

2015 is said to be a huge year for movies.
We have already had Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max has been revived brilliantly in Mad Max: Fury Road.
We have also been taken back to Jurassic Park with Jurassic World. As he promised, Arnie came back as the Terminator in Terminator Genysis.
Later this year, Rocky Balboa will be back training Apollo’s son in Creed. Plus the new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is released this Christmas.

Most of these big name films just bore me if I’m honest.
I mean, the whole world seems to be so looking forward to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But me? I just couldn’t care less.

However there is one film released later this year that I simply can not wait to see.

H8

The Hateful Eight.
Quentin Tarantino’s new flick.
I’m so excited and already looking to see if I can pre-book tickets as soon as I’m able to.
I do love me some Tarantino moving pictures.

So I thought while I patiently wait as the release date for The Hateful Eight slowly draws closer, that I’d look back on the man and his amazing career so far.

From Quentin Tarantino’s early love for films, to his breakthrough films of the early and mid 90s that cemented him as a genuine film-making talent, right up to today.

So please join me on my retrospective look back at one of the very best, modern writer/directors…and mediocre actors.
Or I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance…etc…

Born Quentin Jerome Tarantino on March 27, 1963. Quentin Tarantino had always had a great passion for films and film-making and often describes himself as the ultimate film nerd.
Seriously, this guy’s film knowledge makes him a walking IMDb, only more reliable.

Quentin engaged in his love for films by working the infamous Video Archives a VHS rental store in the late 80s. When he wasn’t working with movies, he was watching them instead.
However, as much as Quentin loved his simple life of working at the VHS store. He always wanted more and always had a passion to make movies…so he did just that.

Tarantino’s “first” film was called, My Best Friend’s Birthday.

MBFB

What, never heard of the film?
Well that is probably due to the fact it was never a theatrically released film and more so just a few friends experimenting by making a movie together.
The film has never officially been released for one reason or another, one being the that it’s been said the last half the film was destroyed in a fire. But there have also been conflicting stories that say the second half was never destroyed in a fire, it was just never filmed at all. Either way, the film is not complete.
However the first half does exist and can be seen if you know where to look…like here.

Did you enjoy that?
Bad acting, below average camera work and direction. Yes, it’s not exactly high quality I know. But you can see Quentin’s style he would eventually become famous for, slowly emerging in this film. The dialogue is there, the characters are there, the homages are there.

But there is something else I wanted to point out about My Best Friend’s Birthday.
Does any of that film seem slightly familiar to you?
How about that scene where the character Clarence talks about how if he had to fuck a man, he’d fuck Elvis?
Maybe you have already seen a film with a similar scene, but with far better production values. Maybe that film was called True Romance?

TR

Yep, True Romance is “technically” a remake of this no budget, friend made film.
Quentin Tarantino took his concept behind his first film, My Best Friend’s Birthday and turned it into his first ever full film script that would become True Romance.
He also wrote another film script Natural Born Killers.

NBK

Quentin Tarantino then sold both of these film scripts and the films were made into proper Hollywood productions with Tony Scott directing True Romance and Oliver Stone directing Natural Born Killers.

Quentin Tarantino was now a bonafide film script writer.
But he still strived for more and decided he wanted to not only write films, but direct them too.
With the money he made from selling his two scripts, he started work on his next script with the full intention of directing this one.

RD

Reservoir Dogs: Tarantino’s first proper film as a writer and director hit the cinemas in 1992…and it hit them hard.

Reservoir Dogs premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1992 and later shown at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals. The film was a huge success when theatrically relased and has gone on to become a firm independent film-making milestone.
Quentin was an unknown and nobody trusted him to direct a full length feature film…but that soon changed after the release of Reservoir Dogs.

Quentin Tarantino went from an unknown to a known name overnight with the success that was Reservoir Dogs and his next film would only be even bigger.

PF

Pulp Fiction: Was released in 1994 and made Quentin Tarantino the hottest name in Hollywood.
Many fans consider Pulp Fiction to be Quentin’s greatest work so far. I, myself have lost count of how many times I have seen the film. I recall a time where myself and friend, Paul would watch this film every Sunday without fail.

Pulp Fiction was a runaway success. A wonderful short story anthology that intertwine with each other leading to one hell of a great story full of amazing characters.

With now 2 successful films under his belt, Quentin Tarantino started to make friends in the film world. One such friend was another low budget and independent film-maker, Robert Rodriguez and they would team up for the next film.

Here ends part I, but coming up in part II we see Quentin and Robert join forces, as well as see Quentin’s career just keep on growing.

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