I always remember the moment when Pulp Fiction latched itself in my cortex and never let go. It was the scene where Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) mistakenly snorts heroin after some previous signs of heroin abuse, goes into shock, and drools her Martin and Lewis milkshake on the floor. Vincent Vega (John Travolta) was in the bathroom having a ‘deep’ philosophical discussion with himself at the time.
This scene always grabbed me because it was at this moment that it hit me – “I have no #$#$%#@#$% idea where this movie is going!” And I just absolutely loved it. So many films are formulaic, and you know precisely what they are going to do….not that you cannot enjoy a Speed or an Avatar….but it’s fantastic to be completely at the mercy of a director and dying to know what’s going to happen next.
Seeing as how I’ve seen this film about 37 times now, I’d like to share with you a few things you may not know about Pulp Fiction….
#10. Snorting Heroin Is A Smart, Healthy Thing to Do!
Ha ha, no, but Tarantino gives you the impression that snorting heroin is the highway to overdose. Not so. Of course, putting this drug in your body in any way is going to kill you sooner or later. But, snorting heroin actually is one of the slower ways to feel the effects of the drug. This is because most of the powder is drawn into your digestive tract and takes longer to be absorbed by the body. Bottom line – if you want to overdose and probably die, injecting into a vein is the way to go. But it made a great movie scene, didn’t it? Snort….bang, out on the floor.
#9. Uma Thurman Didn’t Like the Song in the Jack Rabbit Slims Twist Contest.
This is the great twist dance scene, and a nice wink at the audience from Tarantino, given Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever history. But the song ‘Never Can Tell’ by Chuck Berry wasn’t really a twist song. Apparently Thurman wasn’t sure that the scene really worked with this song, and told Tarantino this. But Tarantino told her, trust me, it’s perfect. And he was right.
#8. Vincent Vega Was Almost Played by Michael ‘Where Is He Now?’ Madsen.
If you had a choice to appear in Pulp Fiction or Wyatt Earp, which way would you go? Yeah, me too. The word is that Michael Madsen was regretting the decision to do Wyatt Earp with all his heart 10 years later. That is probably because Travolta got a mere $100,000 for the role, and it relaunched his career into the stratosphere. These days, he’s making $10 million a picture and has a small airport built into his home in Ocala, Florida (he is a licensed pilot). And Michael Madsen, where is he now anyway? Sorry, Mike. Sucks, man.
#7. There Was 1 TV Show That Vincent Had Seen.
Vincent claimed early on that he doesn’t watch TV. However, Vince says late in the movie that he saw an episode of Cops where the officers fired a dozen rounds at a suspect and never hit him. This was right before he blew the kid’s head off in the backseat. The latter scene was another of my ‘where the hell is this movie going?’ moments. Awesome stuff.
#6. Tarantino Almost Played the Drug Dealer Lance.
As we all know, the director ended up playing Jimmy and being most upset about the dead….person in his garage. However, Quentin wanted to play Lance the drug dealer initially, but he decided that he really wanted to be behind the camera for the great stab-Mia-in-the-heart-with-a-syringe moment. And we are forever thankful he was. What a scene.
#5. Steve Buscemi Was Buddy Holly the Waiter.
I missed this the first two or three times I saw the movie. The glasses and wig I guess….
#4. Vincent’s Bathroom Reading was the Book ‘Modesty Blaise.’
Unfortunately, he never got to see how the book ended. The life of a mobster.
#3. The Weapons Butch Considers to Kill the Rednecks Was Homage to Some of Tarantino’s Favorite Movies.
The bat represented a 4X4 used in ‘Walking Tall,’ the chainsaw was from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the sword was a homage to various kung-fu films that Tarantino liked.
#2. A Deleted Scene Had Jules Shooting Pumpkin, Honey Bunny and the Hairy Yuppie.
This scene actually happened only in Jules’ mind, and then would have cut back to him just talking to Pumpkin. But it ended up on the cutting room floor, which I think works. We all know what the old Jules would have done.
#1. What Was Really In That Briefcase…..
Nope. We will never know. Tarantino took this scene from the film Paris, Texas. Not only do we never know what was in the briefcase, I’ve read that the writers and director never really knew either. Sorry guys, I just report the facts.