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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cool Ass Cinema Presents: A Screenplay Not By Quentin Tarantino Part 2


"...All of a sudden, Quentin decided he wanted the full credit on PULP FICTION--he's really into full authorship. I said, 'No, I won't give up the script credit.' But I needed money...He said, 'I'll give you that money now, if you sign this paper.' And I did."--Roger Avary talking about financial woes in trying to finish KILLING ZOE (1994) and sacrificing his original script and co-writing credit to Tarantino to solve them.

PULP FICTION was also the movie where Our Man Quent' and his way with word came under staunch scrutiny for his use of foul language and his burgeoning usage of the 'taboo for whites' word, 'nigger'.

His scripts were frequently praised for their unusually random qualities and melodic writing style, but for every Seinfeldian convo about French fast food you have a dozen or so meaningless 'nigga' this, 'nigga' that, or the word 'muthafucka' five times per sentence. Aside from former 'fuck' movie champion, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985), I think the Q King is the reigning title holder of profound profanity postulations.

"I don't need you to tell me how fuckin' good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it. I know how good it is."--That's a line of dialog spoken by Q acting as Jimmie from PULP FICTION during 'The Bonnie Situation' segment. This line is actually code for something else. This is what Q was REEEAAALLLYYY saying: "I don't need you to tell me how fuckin' good my writing is, okay? I'm the one who writes it. I know how good it is."

 This is also where Jimmie asks Jules and Vinnie if they saw a sign that said Dead Nigger Storage before pulling up in his driveway as they arrived with the brain splattered remains of Marvin lying in the back seat.

If I'm not mistaken I'd say this was the first time the word had been used so profusely since the 1970s; during a time when such films would air on television, have expletives censored, but no problem with the N word getting a pass.

Tarantino seems to have a field day with the word whether it ends up in one of his movies, or out in public (reportedly he elucidated this colorful word to a NYC waitress some years ago). He seems to simply like throwing it around, most likely because he knows it annoys people. And annoy some folks he did with his next movie when he had some of his cast rabidly speaketh this epithet in JACKIE BROWN in 1997. With his upcoming slavery flick DJANGO UNCHAINED, it remains to be seen just how creative QT gets with this oft repeated addition to his vocabulary.

Personally, I don't think he uses this word because it makes sense in the context of his scripts, or necessarily that of the characters he has concocted, I think he does it because it sounds KOOL. He's probably the only director in Hollywood who could get away with just about anything because we've been programmed to believe it's good because his name is on the credits. Let's face it, everything QT does, it's because he thinks it's KOOL. Let's be reasonable, the man could shoot an entire movie built around close ups of female feet accompanied by a rambl-icious narration from Morgan Freeman and the critics would herald it cutting edge and T Bone's new breakthrough.

Since the N word was frequently tossed around in 70s movies, and T-Bone is a devout worshipper at the altar of 70s sinema, it only makes sense his movies would reflect that; not to mention his scripts (both the ones he wrote and the ones he pushed someone into signing over to him) are built around a patchwork quilt of assorted scenes from any number of big Hollywood flicks, or Drive In/42nd Street trash that played, or co-billed with other similar fare throughout that decade. Still, I can't help but feel his fervent use of 'nigger' is little more than Vocabularic Exploitation.

After the wild success of PULP FICTION, the Summer of QT Love was officially in full swing and was only gonna get worse and spread like a venereal disease at Woodstock by the early years of the new millennium. Before that, there was one more crime flick left in him and it was one that would bring him even more critical acclaim, if slightly less US box office appeal. And it's the only film I think he's done that's brimming with originality and focus as opposed to some immature problem child you keep having to make stand in the corner.


 The jaws of QT were flappin' wackily in the wind during the making and promotional jaunts of JACKIE BROWN (1997), a picture where he proudly boasted of bringing back the careers of Pam Grier and Robert Forster. It wasn't like they weren't making movies, just not necessarily mainstream ones. It wasn't unusual to see either star on a TV show, or on the video store shelf in some new DTV release. This was just more masturbational ego stroking that would grow and throb eventually exploding in a volcanic miasma of celluloid jism. Sadly, post JACKIE BROWN, QT failed to pull out in time and fathered some mongoloid movies of his own.

Q also stated this was his ode to blaxploitation flicks, despite it never really feeling like one; at least not in the traditional 70s sense of the word. Nor does JACKIE BROWN resort to the extreme violence of those movies. Hell, the cast o' crackas' in this thing defies its blax flick origins. It does frequently indulge in the ferociously un-PC language those films lovingly wallowed in. That Q took blaxploitation conventions and made them into his own vision was arguably the only time in his career post JB where he doesn't go apeshit with referencing other movies in the most mentally handicapped way imaginable.

The great Quen-tazmo worked his magic and helped get an Oscar nod for Forster and Golden Globe noms for both Grier and Jackson.

Incidentally, it did put them back in the public eye, but it wasn't like they were sitting at home waiting desperately for a phone call from their agent.

We all know how Q likes to take credit for reviving an allegedly dead career, but they were working the entire time. It's motion picture class warfare. A lot of folks will make derogatory remarks because so and so was relegated to B pictures as opposed to big scale Hollywood B pictures. "Oh, you make THOSE movie?!" Furthermore, I have no explanation for Forster's involvement in DRAGON WARS (2007). A lot of actors often claim their reason for appearing in foreign films was because they'd "never been there, but always wanted to go."

What was so goddamn scenic about Korea that Forster felt the need to appear in this horrendous movie whose only points of interest are some Cool Ass Creature Attack sequences?

"I've always liked afros--if I were black, I'd wear an afro..."

 Anyway, so Q came through again, but it was here where he really began to grate on my nerves. If he wasn't stirring the ire of Spike Lee in regards to T-Bone's free flying use of the N word, he was showing his African American roots on talk shows while promoting JACKIE BROWN.

Suddenly, his verbage involved a lot of "know what I'm sayin'"s and waving his hands around before said appendages were magnetically drawn to his crotch.

Once the hoopla of the film had passed, the QTmeister miraculously was his old self-centered self once more. But his drunk and disorderly behavior would pretty much re-surface every time a new flick of his was in the making.


"I have an idea for a Godzilla movie that I've always wanted to do. The whole idea of Godzilla's role in Tokyo, where he's always battling these other monsters, saving humanity time and again- wouldn't Godzilla become God? It would be called "Living Under the Rule of Godzilla". This is what society is like when a big fucking green lizard rules your world."--Tarantino makes a threat that he may ruin the Godzilla series further beyond the damage Ryuhei Kitamura did in 2004.

Over the years, Q Man has talked about his desire to make certain types of movies, including a Godzilla film. Thankfully, Toho had enough sense to whip out their bud nippers on this idea since Quentin T-Bone Thunderbolt envisioned the Big G as God of all things; likely something akin to the stone monstrosity of DAIMAJIN (1966), only with long, drawn out round table conversations about lesser known Japana-ploitation movies while Tokyo falls apart around the characters. However, the Toho execs ultimately failed to keep those bud nippers handy and suffered a brain-eurism when they gave slop artist Ryuhei Kitamura the keys to the kaiju kingdom for GODZILLA FINAL WARS.

Speaking of QT doing the Big G, can you imagine what such a movie would look like? Most likely the script would be too enormous to be contained in a single feature so it would be about 4 hours long and split into two halves. Naturally, the first half would contain all the monster action. Of course it would suspiciously focus more attention on a woman's vendetta against an elite faction of the Yakuza who prayed Godzilla into existence in an effort to topple Japan's thriving economic system; it heavily rebounding despite numerous natural disasters.

What's the reason behind this Yakuza factions desire to annihilate their own countries economic vibrancy? What's the reason behind this lone female assassins vendetta? Well that's where part two comes in. Yes. Lots and lots of lip flapping accentuated by cues lifted randomly from all manner of sources. A couple of jive talkin' Japanese hitmen named Fukasaku and Honda, a trip to an island allegedly ravaged by Godzilla and inhabited only by the "MALFORMED MEN" aka the Ainu people and at least two gratuitous close ups of Nipponese female feet.

There will be very little monster action and far more monster pontification. However, the ending would have both the Yakuza gang and the lone lady assassin suddenly transforming into Tokusatsu characters for no apparent reason other than it looks KOOL. Also, T Bone will claim he's going to make Meiko Kaji and Etsuko Shihomi stars and give them nothing to do all at the same time. Naturally this garbage would bomb, critics would no doubt fawn all over it and Q Baby would go national stating how proud of his B movie bomb he is, because nobody puts Q Baby in a corner.

Which brings us to the film T Bone did make that slightly resembles that made up shit above. This is also where my feelings and opinion of Quentin Tarantino greatly changed.



DrunkethWizerd said...

This is one nice read. Pretty fucked up and funny too.

R.A.M.'67 said...

Like Ric Meyers, another guy who can pull the wool over the eyes of mainstream audiences and (most) mainstream critics.

The fact he played a '50s Elvis impersonator (surrounded by several '70s ones) on a Golden Girls episode is the earliest example of "QTip" trying to be "hep" I can think of. (He's not worthy of the word "hip," even when used derisively.) If only Hollywood paid attention to this warning sign sooner....

Great two parts! Looking forward to part three!

venoms5 said...

@ DrunkethWizerd: Thanks for stopping by and yes, it is a bit fucked up!

@ Russ: For some reason I keep thinking he played an Elvis impersonator on MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, lol. Haha @ QTip!

Scott Strout said...

please please please, if you need help decimating Death Proof drop me an email,my god I've never been so pissed at watching a movie. Ugly characters I could care less about. Some I'm glad that died they were useless and the treatment of Kurt Rusell, the way that movie ended, it just makes me mad that I watched it

venoms5 said...

Yeah, DEATH PROOF was HORRIFIC. After about 90 minutes of nonsense I pretty much forgot Kurt Russell was in the damn thing, lol.

Franco Macabro said...

Cool article, though to me Jackie Brown was a great homage to blaxploitation movies, even if a lot of the cast where white actors, the film was centered on Grier's character, no doubt she was the star of the show. The catchy 70's soul, I just loved that song they play through out the whole movie. Also, I like the fact that its not an all black cast, I like how he integrates both races that way.

I wasn't aware of that whole Pulp Fiction situation...I didn't know Roger Avery had partially written it and then given all the credit to Tarantino, that's something I would have never done. Sucks that Avery agreed to it too, but what the hell does it matter now, the word is out and people know Avery had a hand in it and it's not all Quentin.

Still, I wonder just how much was Avery's and how much was Tarantino. I don't mind the use of the words nigger or motherfucker, truth be told, thats the way a lot of people talk in the real world. But of course, he probably exaggerates it a bit too much...or does he? I dont know. Also, you're right, it just sounds funny, and cool.

Looking forward to your future articles on QT, I might not entirely agree with them, (yeah I'm a QT fan) but they are funny and informative.

venoms5 said...

You mean the 'Across 110th Street' song, Fran? That's an awesome movie, too, in its own right and one of the films QT riffs off of. It's reviewed here, too, as well as another good one, the similar DETROIT 9000.

Michael said...

The whole storyline with Bruce Willis in Fiction was written by Avery .
Allegedly QT was so pissed about Avery coming out and revealing what parts he wrote and what parts T Bone wrote that he tried to destroy the mans career .
Consider Avery worked with him in that video store and was his creative and writing partner all the way until Fiction than the two fell out because of QT claiming credit for Avery's work .
I hope Cool Ass Cinema covers some of QT's lies like claiming he filmed a scene with Etsuko Shihomi in KB Vol 1 and bragging how he coaxed her out of retirement ..turns out that was complete BS .He also claimed the same about Maggie Cheung for Basterd's ,Than we have his drunken groping of Meiko Kaji on a Japanese TV Show while claiming she was going to be the star of his next film ..but i will leave such tales to our author to follow up on in this fine debunking of the most over rated director of our time .

venoms5 said...

Hello, Michael. Yes, I have pretty much finished this article. Just touching it up and doing photos for it. I did see the Kaji thing once, but that was some time back. I was hoping to time the remainder of the articles up to around the time his newest comes out, lol.

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