Here’s how all of Quentin Tarantino’s films are interconnected
Quentin Tarantino is often called a mastermind of modern cinema, a film DJ or just a guy who really likes violence. His love for cinema has transformed itself onto the screen as a combination of genres and concepts and all of his films will be seen as iconic for decades to come. Whether you love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny the imprint he has left on the way we see and love movies.
If that’s not enough, however, Tarantino has managed to create an entire cinematic universe within his movies, which may not always be seen with naked eye. But if you look more closely, you’ll soon find that almost all of his movies (apart from Jackie Brown) are connected in most subtle ways, which further confirms his status as a great filmmaker. Tarantino himself has confirmed the existence of this cinematic universe, but has left most of it for us to decipher.
This article will compile every single way that the Tarantino movies are connected – some more subtle, some less. Thank me later – hopefully you will find some references you didn’t know before!
THERE ARE ACTUALLY TWO INTERCONNECTED UNIVERSES
Tarantino’s films basically function on one of the two levels. There is the universe of “reality” that includes the more realism-based films, and then there’s the “movie universe” that is all the films that seem more like movies inspired by certain genres. But that’s way too confusing and is probably better explained in the words of the man himself:
“There is actually two separate universes. There is the realer than real universe, alright, and all the characters inhabit that one. But then there’s this movie universe. So From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill, they all take place in this special movie universe. So when all the characters of Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, when they go to the movies, Kill Bill is what they go to see. From Dusk Till Dawn is what they see.”
Talk about awesome.
THE PLOT FOR MIA WALLACE’S SHOW IS THE PLOT FOR KILL BILL
When Vincent Vega takes Mia Wallace out as requested by his boss and Mia’s husband, Uma Thurman’s character goes on to talk about her past career as an actress and how she starred in a pilot for a TV series called Fox Force Five:
“There was the blonde one, she was the leader. The Japanese fox was a kung fu master. The black girl was a demolition expert. The French fox’s specialty was sex. The character I played was the deadliest woman in the world with a knife.”
If it sounds familiar, that would be because it’s pretty much exactly the plot for Kill Bill and its Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Guess that’s where Tarantino got the idea from. And, connecting it to the previous point, that’s also probably where the creators of Kill Bill WITHIN the movie universe got it from, too.
THE VEGA BROTHERS
In 1992’s Reservoir Dogs we meet the sadistic Mr. Blonde, a man hired into a gang to perform a jewellery heist, who we later learn is actually called Vic Vega and is the only one of the gang who actually reveals his true name. While he is killed in the movie, his brother Vincent appears two years later in Pulp Fiction, drawing a connection between the two films. As we soon learn in Pulp Fiction, Vincent shares quite a few family traits with Vic as well. Tarantino was even planning a movie featuring both of the brothers, but the actors grew too old before this idea could be turned into reality.
THE SCAGNETTI BROTHERS
The Vega brothers aren’t the only siblings that connect movies in the Tarantino verse. Another pair of brothers, called the Scagnettis also draw lines between movies. Seymour Scagnetti is mentioned by Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs as his parole officer, whom Vic hates. It turns out he’s got a brother Jack, whom we meet in Natural Born Killers as the man famous for catching a pair of serial killers. Obviously, the siblings are both hated by criminals, which is bad news for 90% of Tarantino’s characters.
The foul-mouthed Texas ranger is yet another character that connects different movies of Tarantino. Player by Michael Parks, he appears in Kill Bill, From Dusk Till Dawn and Death Proof, as well as Grindhouse‘s Planet Terror. Many of the times he is also accompanied by his son Edgar, played by Michael Parks’ actual son James Parks. Considering the movies he appears in, we can assume that McGraw is actually part of the “movie universe” rather than the “realer than real” universe. If that makes sense.
BONNIE THE NURSE
In Reservoir Dogs Mr. Orange gets shot and is dying at the back of a car, but for obvious reasons can’t go to the hospital for medical attention. The characters have to rely on Eddie to find a discreet doctor, and he mentions a nurse named Bonnie who might be able to help. Coincidentally (or probably not), Pulp Fiction‘s Jimmie, played by Tarantino himself, has a wife named Bonnie who happens to be a nurse too. Considering Jimmie’s line of work, it’s no surprise that his wife would help with criminally inflicted wounds, too.
CRAZY CRAIG KOONS AND CAPTAIN KOONS
In Django Unchained, the title character looks at a wanted poster where a character named Crazy Craig Koons is listed as part of the Smitty Bacall gang. Turns out Craig is an ancestor of Captain Koons, a man met way before in Pulp Fiction as a Vietnam war veteran and a man who had Butch’s father’s watch up his ass for years. Not sure if Crazy Craig would approve of his descendant, but oh well.
ENGLISH PETE HICOX AND LT. ARCHIE HICOX
Another ancestral link, this time between the more recent Tarantino films, connects Inglourious Basterds and The Hateful Eight. In the former, we get Michael Fassbender’s Lt. Archie Hicox, a film critic turned soldier who joins the Basterds for Operation Kino and an attempt to kill Hitler. A few years later, in The Hateful Eight, we meet a character named Oswaldo Mobray, who is a British hangman staying at Minnie’s Haberdashery. Later in the film, however, we find out that his real name is English Pete Hicox. At this point many of the more observant fans drew the connection of him being the great-grandfather of Archie already, and if they haven’t, there’s always the Internet to confirm it.
PAULA SCHULTZ’S GRAVE IN KILL BILL
In Django Unchained, we meet a bounty hunter/dentist named Dr. King Schultz who frees Django and helps him extract revenge on his captors. In Kill Bill, Budd buries Beatrix alive in the grave of a woman called Paula Schultz, who most fans believe to have been the wife of Dr. King. While it’s not ever truly confirmed, it is comforting to think that’s exactly the case here, as it’s an another subtle connection in the Tarantinoverse that we, as the fans, have found.
RESERVOIR DOGS, TRUE ROMANCE AND INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS ARE ALL CONNECTED
Back in Reservoir Dogs, we learn that Mr. White used to mentor a call girl named Alabama, who is later seen in True Romance in a relationship with Christian Slater’s Clarence. While a small connection in itself, it opens the way for a bigger one, as Alabama and Clarence kill her pimp and accidentally take his bag of cocaine that they later sell to a movie producer called Lee Donowitz. Now, Donowitz himself isn’t much of a deal… but his father definitely was, as we have definitely met him in Inglourious Basterds as a brutal, nazi-smashing soldier called the Bear Jew. You might remember that one.
RED APPLE CIGARETTES
First appearing in Pulp Fiction, this fictional brand of cigarettes was created by Quentin as a way to avoid licensing real cigarettes and has later appeared in From Dusk Till Dawn, Four Rooms, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, The Hateful Eight, and even found its way into Grindhouse‘s Planet Terror. Clearly, these cigarettes appear not only in movies he has directed, but even some that he’s only been involved in.
THE BIG KAHUNA BURGERS
Another fictional brand name, most famously heard of in Pulp Fiction (“That is a TASTY burger!”) and also mentioned even earlier in Reservoir Dogs, as well as From Dusk Till Dawn, Death Proof and Four Rooms. If there’s ever been a way of avoiding licensing more subtly, I haven’t seen it.
Is that all of the connections, then? Hell, there might be more. And with any hope, future Tarantino films will only stack up this already large pile. Have you noticed anything that might be missing in this list? Let us know!
Image credits: Dimension Films, Miramax Films, The Weinstein Company.