‘Inglourious Basterds’ and the Tarantino Universe

Published 6 years ago by

inglourious basterds quentin tarantino Inglourious Basterds and the Tarantino Universe

Whether it’s his razor sharp dialogue, his impeccable use of popular music, or his ever-stylish cinematography, Quentin Tarantino is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s most exciting and talented directors. And judging by the buzz surrounding his latest film, the WWII epic Inglourious Basterds, that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

One of the things I like best about Quentin Tarantino is how he always works in sly references to his previous films. Not only does it give us fans something to look for, it also makes his films that much richer and more complex. Take, for example, the Vega Brothers.

In Pulp Fiction, John Travolta plays Vincent Vega. In Reservoir Dogs, Michael Madsen plays Mr. Blonde a.k.a Vic Vega. While there is no dialogue linking the two as brothers, as viewers, we make the connection. Suddenly, their brotherhood adds a new dimension to each of their characters. It makes them more interesting, and, in a weird sort of way, more real.

Naturally, Inglourious Basterds will also feature some clever Easter eggs. But what will they be? Recently, the MTV Movies Blog caught up with Eli Roth (director of Hostel and one of the stars of Inglourious Basterds) to talk about the film and some of the special Tarantino details which would be included:

“We have the ‘40’s version of Red Apple cigarettes…If you had cigarettes [in ‘Basterds’] they were Red Apple. They were the same ones that you see in ‘Death Proof,’ but the lettering, the style, the drawing, was the 1940’s version of it.”

While that might not sound like such a big deal to casual fans, to Tarantino fanboys like myself, it means a lot (Hint: Bruce Willis orders a pack of Red Apple cigarettes Pulp Fiction). Besides the Vega Brothers and Red Apple Cigarettes, can you name some of the other easter eggs hidden throughout the Tarantino Universe?

Big Kahuna Burger

“Mmmhmm. This is a tasty burger.”

So says Samuel L. Jackson as Jules in Pulp Fiction just a few minutes before he shoots poor Brad to death. While Pulp Fiction may have the most famous Big Kahuna Burger scene, the fictional Hawaiian fast food restaurant made its first appearance in Reservoir Dogs. Big Kahuna Burger was also referenced in the Robert Rodriguez-directed vampire flick, From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, which starred and was written by Tarantino; it was also mentioned in Death Proof.

Fruit Brute Cereal

Fruit Brute cereal, which was a brother to such other famous monster-themed cereals as Frankenberry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry, has made an appearance in two different Tarantino films. In Pulp Fiction, the character of Lance (played by Eric Stoltz) is enjoying a bowl of the cereal right before Vincent Vega (John Travolta) brings an overdosed Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) to his front door. Fruit Brute cereal is also seen in passing at the apartment of Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) in Reservoir Dogs.

Jack Rabbit Slim’s

Seen extensively in Pulp Fiction, Jack Rabbit Slim’s is a 1950s-themed restaurant with servers dressed as famous celebrities of the era. While the restaurant plays host to John Travolta and Uma Thurman’s famous dance scene in Pulp Fiction, Jack Rabbit Slim’s was first mentioned in Reservoir Dogs through a radio commercial.

There you have it, a few choice staples of the Tarantino universe. Do you have any others to add to the list?

Inglourious Basterds hits theaters on August 21, 2009.

Source: MTV News

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  1. Wow, I never all knew all of this, besides the Vega name that is. That is actually quit nice he puts the effort in these details, I will definitely watch out for these starting from now! 😀

  2. Just btw, Red Apple Cigarets are featured in every Tarantino Film (almost a Directors Trademark like his “Trunk”-Shot). In Jackie Brown and Killl Bill the Ladies walk by a big commercial poster in the Airport advertising Red Apple cigaretes.

  3. Oh I could go on all day about Tarantino’s film universe! More references:

    Red Apple cigarettes is also what “Pumpkin” is smoking in the diner at the start of Pulp Fiction before he and “Honey Bunny” start to rob it.

    Bare feet are referenced throughout a lot of his work – Jackie Brown when we only see Melanie’s (Bridget Fonda’s) legs and feet when she’s talking to Luis (Robert De Niro) near the start. When The Bride in Kill Bill when she’s in the “Pussy Wagon” trying to get the feeling into her feet. Jungle Julia’s feet hanging out the window in Death Proof. And, of course, there’s the great foot massage dialogue between Vincent Vega and Jules Winfield in Pulp Fiction.

    Mr. White’s real name in Reservoir Dogs is Larry Dimmick (as we find out when Mr. Orange is investigating him before going on the diamond robbery), and Quentin Tarantino’s character in Pulp Fiction’s name is Jimmy Dimmick. Could link to them being related (possibly even father and son).

    In Pulp Fiction, Jimmy’s wife is called Bonnie, and she’s a nurse. In Reservoir Dogs they talk about getting a doctor for Mr. Orange, but in a deleted scene they talk about this nurse they use to help any of their guys who may get injured on the job… and alas they mention her name as Bonnie!

    The name Alabama is mentioned as Mr. White’s former crime partner (“You push that woman/man thing too long.. and it gets to you…”) – Alabama is Patricia Arquette’s character in True Romance (which Tarantino wrote).

    The whistling that Elle Drive does when heading for The Bride’s hospital room dressed as a nurse in Kill Bill Vol. 1(the song is called “Twisted Nerve” I believe) – that same song is Abarnathy’s ringtone in Death Proof.

    The character of Sheriff Earl McGraw, first seen in From Dusk Till Dawn, also makes appearances in Kill Bill Vol. 1 as the Sheriff who finds The Bride in the church (she spits on him) and in Death Proof after Stuntman Mike’s first crash, where he ends up in the hospital (“Why, that’s more than enough, and I wanna’ thank you, Dr. Block…”)

    Can you tell I’m a fan? :)

  4. Haha, Ross. You really are a fan. Let me get your take on this one. A lot of people think that the church organist from Kill Bill is actually Jules from Pulp Fiction after he decided to wander the world. As far as I know, QT has never confirmed this, but it’s definitely a possibility.

  5. Don’t forget the Acuna Boys too! That’s both a Tarantino thing and a Rodriguez thing:

    1)Scenes from Desperado and El Mariachi were filmed in the city of the same name
    2) In KBII, Bill’s pimp friend Esteban runs Acuna with his gang the “Acuna Boys”
    3) Grindhouse has several references to ‘Acuna Boys Tex-Mex restaurant’ including logo placements on soda cups and a commercial in between the features
    4) In Jackie Brown, Sharonda’s soda cup is also from ‘Acuna Boys’

    Tarantino got the name from the 1977 film “Rolling Thunder” starring William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones (and for which Tarantino’s DVD distribution company is named). In the film, there’s a gang called the Acuna Boys that torture Bill Devane’s character. :)

  6. @Rob Frappier,

    I forgot about that one, yeah I noticed that when I first watched Kill Bill – “Is that Jules by any chance?” Like a lot of the references, Tarantino leaves it up to the viewer to make the link :)


    That’s a good one, that I admittedly didn’t notice. Another to add to the list, I guess :)

  7. Everytime I see that picture I just think “pull the trigger quentin, do it, do it!!”

  8. Yet another new trailer is out for the movie… looks pretty good too.

  9. Does Quentin Tarantino pull the trigger?

  10. He also use references to marvel and dc super heroes . for example in reservoir dogs mr orange in the diner with his undercover,talking about the fantastic 4, the thing.and in his apartment you can see a poster of the silver surfer in the backround. in kill bill vol 2 towards the end of the movie, robert caradine makes references to spider man and super man talking about their alter egos. and if i can remember christian slater in true romance makes a little reference to the riddler and batman in the rollercoaster scene.