Posted on Friday, June 1st, 2012 by Germain Lussier
Quentin Tarantino has been pretty vocal that many of his films are set in the same universe. Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction is the documented brother of Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs. Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs possibly worked with Alabama from True Romance. Brands such as Big Kahuna Burger and Red Apple Cigarettes appear in multiple films, the list goes on an on. A more recent development was when Tarantino said that Sgt. Donny Donowitz, the Bear Jew of Inglourious Basterds, was the father of Lee Donowitz, the sleazy movie producer of True Romance.
And that got one person thinking. If all these movies take place in the same universe, that means World War II ended how it ended in Inglourious Basterds and everyone would know about it. Which opens up a huge can of worms. Read the very entertaining theory below.
As it turns out, Donny Donowitz, ‘The Bear Jew’, is the father of movie producer Lee Donowitz from True Romance – which means that, in Tarantino’s universe, everybody grew up learning about how a bunch of commando Jews machine gunned Hitler to death in a burning movie theater, as opposed to quietly killing himself in a bunker.
Because World War 2 ended in a movie theater, everybody lends greater significance to pop culture, hence why seemingly everybody has Abed-level knowledge of movies and TV. Likewise, because America won World War 2 in one concentrated act of hyperviolent slaughter, Americans as a whole are more desensitized to that sort of thing. Hence why Butch is unfazed by killing two people, Mr. White and Mr. Pink take a pragmatic approach to killing in their line of work, Esmerelda the cab driver is obsessed with death, etc.
You can extrapolate this further when you realize that Tarantino’s movies are technically two universes – he’s gone on record as saying that Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn take place in a ‘movie movie universe’; that is, they’re movies that characters from the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, and Death Proof universe would go to see in theaters. (Kill Bill, after all, is basically Fox Force Five, right on down to Mia Wallace playing the title role.)
What immediately springs to mind about Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn? That they’re crazy violent, even by Tarantino standards. These are the movies produced in a world where America’s crowning victory was locking a bunch of people in a movie theater and blowing it to bits – and keep in mind, Lee Donowitz, son of one of the people on the suicide mission to kill Hitler, is a very successful movie producer.
Basically, it turns every Tarantino movie into alternate reality sci fi. I love it so hard.
Do you buy that? I think it makes sense though I doubt Tarantino ever really thought it out and mapped it that way. Still, it’s a very cool idea and I’m curious to see where Django Unchained fits in. It reportedly fits in the ‘realer than real’ universe alongside most of his other films. Since Django is set in an earlier time frame than Tarantino’s other movies, it might not have many ties or much effect on the grand timeline. Then again, we once thought that about Inglourious Basterds, too.