It's hard for me to admit, but when I first saw PULP FICTION in a theatre in 1994, I walked out. I didn't get it. Like an idiot after 30 minutes, I gave up on the challenges that Tarantino was throwing down. What a fool I was.
It's grown to be one of my favorites since, with its non-linear, profanity-laden madness splattered across the screen from start to finish.
QT's writing is impeccable. He loads the film wall-to-wall with fascinating people and unleashes them on each other in ways I could never anticipate.
Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are verbally sparring hit men, unleashing bible versus on their pending victims one minute and debating the global impact of McDonalds the next.
Uma Thurman is Mia Wallace, wife of crime boss Marsellus (Ving Rhames). When he asks Vincent (Travolta) to keep an eye on Mia one night and take her out on the town, Tarantino turns it into a pulse pounding evening with everything from Ed Sullivan impersonators, Travolta's best dancing since "Saturday Night Fever", Steve Buscemi as a Buddy Holly impersonator to an overdose and a resurrection at the end of a very sharp needle.
Bruce Willis is a boxer told to throw a fight, Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer are low life robbers and Eric Stoltz is a drug dealer with quite a cavalcade of clients.
What I wasn't ready for on my first ill-fated viewing was the fact that Tarantino was creating something wholly new. Like a pulp novel with its chapters scrambled, characters die and then are back chapters later, bringing with them an understanding that the tale is completely out of sequence.
Repeat viewings yield rich rewards as fates are known and you begin to uncover all the smart & clever mechanics of the violent events.
Harvey Kietel shows up in the final act as a cleaner who definitely has his hands full, he's brilliant.
Jackson is always QT's muse, a role that first exploded here as he unleashes long sequences of perfect & profane sentences as only QT can write them. With 265 f-bombs over its 154 minute running time, it's not for the kids or the faint of heart.
With an $8 million budget, $200 million in ticket sales and a massive life on video since, this was the arrival of Tarantino in grand style.
Rebooting Travolta's career and launching many others, PULP FICTION is a rarely equaled film that's shocking, violent, smart and funny as hell.
"Check out the big brain on Brad!"
"They call it a Royale with cheese..."
"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions."
"Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face...."
"I do believe Marsellus Wallace, my husband, your boss, told you to take ME out and do WHATEVER I WANTED. Now I wanna dance, I wanna win. I want that trophy, so dance good."
"I hate to shatter your ego, but this is not the first time I've had a gun pointed at me. "
"You can get a steak here daddy-o."
"You know, walk the earth, meet people... get into adventures. Like Caine from "Kung Fu."
The classic lines abound.
In my all time Top 25, PULP FICTION changed the movies 25 years ago and gets an A+.
Zed's dead, baby.