In the year between "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction", Quentin Tarantino wrote the deliciously mad crime caper/love story TRUE ROMANCE.
Loaded with the unique patter and eccentric characters that would soon become a QT trademark, it's crammed with stars.
Christian Slater is Clarence Worley, a movie buff with a Cadillac and a loner's life, heading off to a Sonny Chiba movie festival alone on his birthday.
Gorgeous young Alabama (Patricia Arquette) walks into the theatre and Clarence's life.
After a whirlwind night or two, they decide to get married. Clarence heads out to tell her pimp (yep) that she is done with her 4-day stint as a hooker.
And that's when things go totally QT in all the right ways. Stolen cocaine, the mob and Hollywood producers wrap around a solid love story in a whole new way.
Gary Oldman plays her pimp Drexl Spivey, a dread-locked, Rastafarian wild man that is so interesting and offensive that I wish he would get his own sequel.
But it would have to be a prequel, because like many of the superb characters in this adventure, their lives are short! It's a tribute to Tarantino that you want to learn more about nearly all of them.
Samuel L. Jackson is Big Don, Dennis Hopper is Clarence's retired Dad, whose face off with Christopher Walken's mob boss is a profane classic.
James Gandolfini is a brutal mob enforcer before he became Tony Soprano in "The Sopranos". He's terrifying.
Michael Rapaport is hilarious as Clarence's dim-witted amateur actor friend Dick Ritchie, Brad Pitt is laugh out loud funny as his young stoner roommate.
Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore are two LA detectives on the trail of all that cocaine and Val Kilmer shows up in the shadows as Clarence's conscious, who greatly resembles a certain King from Memphis.
The finale in a Posh LA hotel is blisteringly taut, funny and violent as Director Tony Scott (Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Beverly Hills Cop II) brings QT's writing to life in a hail of bullets.
Some favorite lines fit for all audiences:
Clarence Worley: [to Alabama, who's apprehensive about his gun] "If there's one thing this last week has taught me, it's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it."
"We're gonna have a little Q&A, and at the risk of sounding redundant, please... make your answers genuine."
"Hi. How are you? My name's Elliot, and I'm with the Cub Scouts of America. We're... we're selling uncut cocaine to get to the jamboree."
Loaded from start to finish with profanity, explosive violence and jaw dropping people you've never seen in the movies before, TRUE ROMANCE was a sign of the brilliance to come from Tarantino.
Who else would wrap a love story in this much blood and conflict?! Love it.
Slater is the best I've ever seen him in anything and Arquette is perfection as Alabama.
TRUE ROMANCE gets an A.
And how great is Oldman....!!!