10 Random Facts: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino

His genres may range from World War II westerns to martial-arts, revenge epics to Grindhouse, exploitation-inspired, slasher flicks, but Quentin Tarantino’s signature directing style is like a blinking, whooping, neon sign. From the first scene, he transports us to another world that is very much his own. From the dialogue to his personal tastes in movies, music, comics and random stuff like cars and outfits to the teeniest props, not one of the meticulous details is an accident. There always seems to be a story behind something as seemingly trivial as a strategically placed styrofoam cup or the hairstyle a minor character might be sporting or even the color of a car. That is why his movies are so captivating; once the initial shock and awe dies down, the minute attention to detail has only just started to register. And we can’t help but keep coming back to try take it all in. Here are some random facts for your viewing pleasure. So ramblers, let’s get ramblin’!

1. Tarantino was thanked in the liner notes of Nirvana’s final studio album In Utero, though his name was spelled differently. In response, he thanked Nirvana on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack and added RIP Kurt. There’s a rumor Kurt & Courtney turned down an offer to act in Pulp Fiction as Lance & Jody. QT says this isn’t true, Kurt just really loved Reservoir Dogs.

2. His movies are known to always contain at least one scene that focus on women’s feet. He is, as Jules boasts in Pulp Fiction, “the foot fucking master”. He admitted that he does have an appreciation for feet in an interview. Check out this post on RopeOfSilicon.com that talks about his fetish with clips of the scenes in question.

3. He has acted in TV shows and movies. On the small screen, he has been on The Golden Girls as an Elvis impersonator, All American Girl, and Alias. He has had several roles in his own and other directors such as his BFF Robert Rodriquez projects. Sometimes he gives himself tiny sneaky cameos like the electronic voice on Jackie Browne’s answering machine, the very first scalping shown in Inglourious Basterds on a dead Nazi is a dummy made in his likeness and when Uma Thurman’s Bride stands over the remains of the Crazy 88s, a masked Quentin Tarantino is among them.

4. He hates product placement and makes up his own brands instead, which adds to his movies’ surreal feel. On a different note, has anybody else ever craved a Kahuna Burger?? I do everytime it pops up on screen – and yes I know how crazy that sounds. Oo and maybe I could wash away my Kahuna burger with a nice refreshing glass of butterbeer from The Three Broomsticks. Yum.

Fictional product placement:
Kahuna burger
Red apple cigarettes
Fruit Brute and Kabooom! (both cereal brands really existed in the seventies)
G.O. Juice
Teriyaki Donuts
Jack Rabbit Slims

5. Quentin Tarantino wrote the character Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs for himself and told Steve Buscemi the only way he would give away the role was if he blew him away in the audition. And the rest is history.

6. Some movies Quentin Tarantino will supposedly be working on:
Kill Bill 3 is said will be ready for the public in 2014.
Remakes of cult hits:
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Come Drink With Me

7. QT movie stats:
Reservoir Dogs:
How many times did the word “fuck” feature in the film – 272
Body count – 16

From Dusk Till Dawn:
Body count – 122

Kill Bill:
Body count – 95
At a measly 17, this is the first movie that features less than a 100 “fucks”.
Over 450 gallons of fake blood were used on the two movies.

Fucks – 144
Body count – (gasp) only 6!

Inglourious Basterds:
Body Count – 76

OK, so I don’t have all the stats from all his movies, but the powers that be (movie dorks/accountants) have not revealed the stats of the other movies and I sure as hell am not going to count them …

8. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is not fond of red blood. It’s OK if it’s grey though, which is supposedly why the big Crazy 88 fight scene is shot in black and white. And also why the blood stains on Uma’s clothes in the trailer are poopie brown (much better) or black. In fact, Kill Bill was the first movie to be subjected to the MPAA’s no blood policy for trailers – a policy they came up with after watching the original Kill Bill trailer …

9. Tarantino’s movies are often linked together in the oddest ways. Sometimes by a certain line, sometimes through a specific outfit (the suit that Jackie Brown buys is the same that Mia Wallace wears in Pulp Fiction). In Deathproof one of the characters’ ringtone is the whisteled tune from Twisted Nerve, also used in Kill Bill. I really love it when he links the different worlds through family bonds. Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs real name is Vic Vega. This is the same surname as Vince from Pulp Fiction. Tarantino has revealed that Vic and Vince are brothers. He also had plans to do a prequel to both films called Double V Vega, which would have starred the Michael Madsen and John Travolta, but last we heard he has abandoned the project altogether.

10. He is known for making oddball agreements with his friends in da biz: Robert Rodriguez scored Kill Bill for one dollar. Quentin Tarantino repaid him by directing a scene in Rodriguez’s movie Sin City for one dollar. Robert Kurtzman did the special make-up effects for Reservoir Dogs, on the condition that Quentin Tarantino write a script for From Dusk Till Dawn based on a story by Kurtzman.

The Coasters – Down In Mexico (as featured in the super hot lapdance scene in Deathproof)

10 Random Facts: Fictional Bands

From The Flinstones’ Way Outs to High Fidelity‘s Barry Jive and the Uptown Five, fictional bands are always good for a giggle and sometimes even become cult hits in their own right. Here’s ten random facts about some of music history’s most memorable fake bands.

1.) Cult 1950s comedian Ernie Kovaks supposedly formed the image of The Nairobi Trio (above) immediately upon hearing Robert Maxwell’s “Solfeggio”. The Trio consisted of three gorillas in quite dapper attire, moving as if they were mechanical toys. Kovaks himself was always the main gorilla when this skit was performed, his wife usually the female gorilla, and a guest would often sit in as the third. Known guests (according to the Wikipedia, at least) include Frank Sinatra and Jack Lemmon.

2.) Is it possible that Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree is the world’s longest-running fake band? The basic idea of the Jamboree dates back as far as the 1960s, but they made their first public performance in Orlando in 1971. Sadly, Walt Disney never got to see them completed and the Bears were removed from Disneyworld in 2001, but they had a good 29-year run. If you were never lucky enough to see the Jamboree for yourself, check out photos at the Flickr Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree group.

3.) There’s a handful of fake bands from the genius that was Arrested Development, but did you know that the show (or FOX anyway) was sued by the real band Arrested Development? Despite the fact that ‘arrested development’ is a commonly used phrase (and has been for a long long time), they objected to anyone else using it. The show did a couple of jokes that poke fun at the lawsuit, the most direct one definitely being the flute-rockin’ heavy metal band Motherboy. For clarity, the narrator states that he is “legally required to make a distinction” between it and the Motherboy event the characters attend.

4.) Regular Curb Your Enthusiasm viewers will never forget fake rapper Krazee-Eyez Killa, played by Chris Williams. Apparently, Larry David’s literary commentary on Krazee-Eyez’s rap (season 3, episode 8 ) was his real reaction. Williams made up the Krazee-Eyez Killa lyrics on his own, and David had no idea what was coming during filming.

5.) Perhaps the most famous fake band of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was led by the fictional Billy Shears. However, believers of the ‘Paul is dead’ rumors (started in 1969 and, apparently, still believed by some people today) see Billy Shears as evidence that the story is true. If you do a little Googlin’, you’ll find all kinds of crazy explanations for Billy Shears, but the most common story goes like so: Paul McCartney was killed in a car crash after leaving a recording session angry, died instantly, I guess there was a massive cover-up, and a new Paul was found at a Paul McCartney lookalike contest in Scotland. The winner’s name was – you guessed it – Billy Shears, and the use of his ‘real’ name as leader of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was the Beatles’ way of introducing their new member to the public.

6.) Speaking of The Beatles, have you ever heard of The Beagles? The Beagles was a Saturday morning cartoon featuring a cheeky musical dog duo, which aired on CBS for just one year and competed with The Beatles’ own cartoon show on ABC in the same timeslot. They even released an album, Here Come The Beagles, though the show was cancelled after just the one season and – other than one rerun airing the following year – has never been seen again. Read more about The Beagles mysterious existence at Toon Tracker, or watch Beagles clips for yourself.

7.) My very very favorite random fact: did you know that Ted’s band from Scrubs is real?! This is excellent news, as their appearances are always my favorite on the show. They’re called The Blanks! and are pretty much exactly at they appear on the show – they do a cappella versions of TV theme songs and commercial jingles, perform live, and have compiled a CD of their music (available via their website).

8.) Who knew that Lost‘s very own one-hit wonder, DriveSHAFT, have both a blog and an ‘official’ website (not really so official though) devoted to them?! They both seem abandoned now, but I might be a little impressed that there are people who care enough to have made the effort. Other random facts about DriveSHAFT: the band’s big hit “You All Everybody” can be heard during a party scene in J.J. Abrams’ Alias and a DriveSHAFT t-shirt is worn by a character in comic book “Ultimate X-Men”, issue #90.

9 Advertising’s most successful fictional band was definitely the R&B-singing claymation California Raisins, 1980s mascots for the California Raisin Advisory Board (and still used today). The Raisins’ vocals were led by former Jimi Hendrix collaborator Buddy Miles and spawned – among other things – a cartoon series, merchandise of all kinds, and four studio albums. I actually had the posable raisin figures, but the best Raisin tie-in product has to be the never-released Nintendo game, The California Raisins: The Grape Escape. Watch one of the original “Heard It Through The Grapevine” commercials from 1986 here.

10.) The Blues Brothers, in their own way, were also a real band. Already performing together on Saturday Night Live in bee costumes, Dan Akroyd introduced John Belushi to the blues after work hours. Belushi took to the music immediately and the pair spent time singing with local blues bands before taking their act to SNL and the movies.

The Blues Brothers – Rubber Biscuit

(Thanks to the Rocklopedia Fakebandica for tips on the many great fake bands out there.)

Poptastic Day: How To Stuff A Wild Bikini

How To Stuff A Wild Bikini

In the 1960s a string of romantic comedy musicals came out known as the Beach Party films. They’re aimed at teens (yeah, it’s teen week at 100b) and starred Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Frankie and Dee Dee’s (Annette) adventures were so popular they made seven of these movies! The plot never really changes and, come to think of it, neither do a lot of the characters, but why mess with a winning formula? Recently, I watched the sixth movie in the series called How To Stuff A Wild Bikini. It’s so bizarre I cannot believe somebody dished out the money to make this movie, but I’m glad they did. There’s a cameo by Samantha from Bewitched and they even managed to convince Mickey Rooney and Buster Keaton to join the cast. The songs in the movies define poptastic. They took all the popular genres at the time put em in a big hat, added a pinch of California surf and voila!

I think they must have gotten sick of each other, because Frankie and Annette hardly share any screen time in this movie. Frankie is on naval reserve duty in Tahiti and faithful little Dee is back home waiting for her man. Frankie is frolicking around with the local girls, which makes him wonder whether Dee Dee is staying true to him. The only logical thing to do is seek out a witch doctor (played by Buster Keaton), and have him send a bikini-clad siren to steer off Dee Dee’s potential suitors, while spying on her through a cauldron or something, I dunno – that’s where they lost me.

The witch doctor character is so offensive it’s funny. His accent is incredibly cringeworthy, but at one point he actually says “white man make heap good fire water” … it was a joke, but still … it wasn’t good. I love it when they take fake walks on the fake beach by fake moonlight, but my favorite part has to be the invisible girl in the bikini scene that prompted the title song. Again, it’s a bit offensive to women, but once you get over the ‘times sure have changed’-aspect it’s just a very, very silly, but oh so entertaining movie. So if you get the chance, do check ’em out, they’re so bad they passed good and moved way up to fricking genius.

10 Random Facts: May 19th (A Special Edition)

Happy Birthday, Tamboosh!

Today is a special day here at 100b, because today we celebrate the birth of our own Mighty Tamboosh. It’s tradition ’round these parts to post a little something for each other’s birthdays, but Tamboosh is just too damn good at it. There’s no way on earth I could top the raw power of Saxon.

So instead, my dear Tamboosh, here’s a very special edition of 10 Random Facts just for you.

1.) Cool people who share your birthday: Joey Ramone, Malcolm X, Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca!), and Jenny Berggren of Ace of Base. Nice.

2.) On this day in 1960, just 21 years before Tamboosh (BT), the Drifters recorded their classic “Save The Last Dance For Me”.

3.) The No. 1 single in the UK on the very day you were born was Adam and The Ants’ “Stand And Deliver”.

4.) The No. 1 single in the US was Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes”.

5.) Kim Carnes also topped the overall top spot for 1981. The second highest-selling single of that year was Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’ “Endless Love”. Kenny Rogers’ “Lady” came in third, John Lennon’s “(Just Like) Starting Over” was fourth, and Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” rounded up the top 5.

6.) The top-grossing movie of 1981 was Raiders Of The Lost Ark (coincidentally, a movie that I saw for the first time with you, approximately 25 years after its release).

7.) Sadly, Raiders Of The Lost Ark did not win the Oscar for Best Film in 1981, although it was – surprisingly – nominated. That honor was awarded to Chariots of Fire.

8.) On May 19th in 1965, 16 years BT, the FBI (lead by the ever-wise J. Edgar Hoover) visited Wand Records to investigate the lyrics of The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie”. Parents had complained about the lyrical content of the song, and the FBI was tasked with determining whether it violated obscenity laws. The Kingsmen had nothing to worry about though, because the FBI eventually decided that they couldn’t tell what The Kingsman were singing, so couldn’t rule one way or the other.

9.) On the very day of your birth in 1981, Sting was named ‘songwriter of the year’ at the 16th Ivor Novello awards. Oh well – they can’t all be good.

10.) On your birthday in 1962, 19 years BT, the lovely Marilyn Monroe sang her famous rendition of Happy Birthday to President Kennedy in New York. And what better way to wish our Tamboosh the best birthday ever?

Marilyn Monroe – Happy Birthday Mr President

Poptastic Day: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino

Nobody, I mean nobody, does Poptastic like Quentin Tarantino. From Reservoir Dogs to Death Proof, fans of the quirky director look forward to the music providing the sonic supporting cast almost as much as the film itself. And we’re never disappointed.

Some months ago, the Bean and I watched Death Proof, Tarantino’s 2007 homage to the muscle car replete with hot rods and hotter chicks. Among the many fine selections on the Death Proof OST is “Chick Habit” by April March (also known as Elinor Blake). A cover of a 1964 France Gall song, “Chick Habit” is one of those Tarantino selections so catchy you can’t help but stop what you’re doing and listen to it.

Absolutely perfect for the movie and 100% Grade A Poptastic:

   April March – Chick Habit

Poptastic Day: “Singin’ In The Rain” (Not the horrible nonsense version)

I have to make this relatively quick today, so it’s a good thing that this travesty pretty much speaks for itself. From the BBC:

A remix of Singin’ in the Rain that was used by Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson has shot to number one in the UK singles chart. The song, best known as the title track in Gene Kelly’s 1952 film, was reworked by Manchester dance act Mint Royale.

Oh. Dear. God.

No, I will not give them anymore attention by posting that nonsense here. Is this a sign that Poptasticism is going over to the dark side? I’m sure you can find the Mint Royale version if you want to offend your ears badly enough. But come back here when you’re done and listen to the original. You’ll need it to cleanse your soul.

   Gene Kelly – Singin’ In The Rain

100b’s News-ish Round-Up

So what’s going in this wacky world of ours this week? A bunch of absurdity? Yeah, probably – let’s have a look …

Like pretty much everyone else on Earth, I love Indiana Jones. I’m pretty excited about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – I’m a little worried about disappointment, but the posters are pretty cool, right? So I was happy to see some good news on the IMDB yesterday: ” … the film – which sees 65-year-old Harrison Ford return to the role of Indiana Jones after a 19 year gap – was praised by the world’s media, reportedly garnering a three and a half minute standing ovation by the select few who were invited to watch it … ” If that’s true, it’s odd that most of the media mentions I’ve come across are focusing on the poor reviews of the movie – or, to be more accurate – the possibility of poor reviews. Writers seem to be particularly excited about the idea of people hating this movie. (This USA Today article says it’s about “mixed reviews” but is definitely more interested in negative ones.) It’s especially funny to watch since we all know it’s not going to matter – everyone’s going to go see it anyway, including me. So get your moneys out, people – there’s less than a day to go!

In other comeback news, NKOTB are now officially back and performing. Tamboosh mentioned the upcoming reunion a while back, but now they have a new single and everything. Part of me thinks this is hilarious (in a fun, memory lane sort of way) and part of me thinks it’s just kind of painful. I wouldn’t pass up the chance to see them do “Cover Girl” (that was my favorite way back when), but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to bring myself to listen to the new single.

Here’s something you most definitely will want to listen to: Stereogum has the new Beck song, “Chemtrails” available for your listening pleasure. Dude, how excited were you guys when you heard that Beck’s upcoming Modern Guilt album has him working with Danger Mouse? Yeah, me too – I’m thinking Beck + Danger Mouse = totally awesome and unpredictable. I’ve only listened once, mind you, but “Chemtrails” provides an early indication that my formula is accurate.

And now for something completely different, Ireland’s turkey puppet won’t be competing in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, after failing to qualify in the semi-finals. No, that is not a joke to make a point about Eurovision, though I can’t really blame you for thinking so. It’s sadly true that an inanimate turkey didn’t make it to the next round. Here’s a group that knew how to rock Eurovision without dumbass props.

   ABBA – Dancing Queen