Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

He said that Sicilians are spawned by niggers so Don Vincenzo killed him

I am very fond of Quentin Tarantino's movies, for the most part. While I do not think he reaches the heights of a Charlie Kaufman (mostly because Tarantino is oft immitated if never equaled while Kaufman can't be immitated would you immitate Being John Malkovitch? Being Steve Buscemi? How would you imitate his adaptation of The Orchard Thief? Adapt a thesauras to the big screen?) he is an impressive filmmaker. One of the things I like best about Tarantino is his willingness to drench any story in his patented combination of witty dialogue and buckets of blood. Take True Romance (the film quoted in my subject line) and From Dusk Till Dawn. Both of these films have chick flick premesis. In the first one a lowly, lonely, comic book store clerk meets a hooker with a heart of gold and they manage to scheme together some money and live happily ever after in Mexico. That could easily be a weepy melodrama. Tarantino turns it into a series of bloodbaths with all sorts of fun twists on the genre he seems to be gently proding. For example after the clerk and his new bride go visit his estranged father and manage to rebuild old bridges before heading out to LA, Christopher Walken appears to torture and kill the older Whorly. When the hit-man meets the hooker in the hotel room she manages to escape him, but only after one of the most brutal scenes in film history where she stabs him multiple times with a cork screw, bashes him over the head with both a plaster bust and a toilet tank top, smears his eyes with shampoo, sets his head on fire, blasts him multiple times with his own shotgun and finally beats his corpse with said shotgun. In many ways she gets the worst of the encounter too. It's a movie that revels in its excesses made even more amusing by the fact that Tarantino was a movie store clerk when he wrote it so it's quite possible that this was his personal fantasy of what would happen to him. Instead he became a famous and rich filmaker.

From Dusk Till Dawn is in many ways just a great B movie but the plot is also poignent. Convict coping with the loss of his brother and a family dealing with the loss of their matriarch must cope with adversity until, in the end, some level of closure is reached. Tarantino, of course, adds vampires, strippers, buckets of gore and a guy named Sex Machine with 12 shooter in his codpiece to the mix.

I'm not overly excited to see Kill Bill since I'm rather upset that it was chopped up into what by many accounts is an incoherent mess but I still really do like Tarantino and hope that it can be released as originally intended on a DVD or even in theatres. While he can be held responsible for the horde of bad imitators he unleashed (heck he put his name on From Dusk Till Dawn 2 which is one of the worst movies ever made) you gotta give him his respect. And I haven't even talked about his biggest movies, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir dogs yet, but that's cause they need no introduction.

Or epilogue.
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