ByCharlie Reed, writer at
Diverse Enthusiast; anything from Crime Thrillers to Fantasy Epics, Films to Video Games
Charlie Reed

Nowadays, the idea of a shared cinematic universe is one that almost anyone can comprehend. Both Marvel Studios and DC/Warner Bros. have plans for ones that will continue for years to come and with Universal taking steps to introduce one to collect together all their 'Classic Monster' properties, it could soon become a industry standard.

However there was one man, years ago, who slowly built up a collection of references and shared family names that laid the foundation for a cinematic universe, some may not have even known existed. The 'Tarantino-verse' or TCU for short.

Most people know Quentin Tarantino has a tendency to sprinkle references to other films in his work, but it turns out that when it comes to referencing his own films. Those are not simply Easter eggs, they are actual connecting points that allow fans as avid about movies as himself to link together almost every film he's ever directed, as well as some he didn't.

Let's start off at the beginning with his directing debut.

Reservoir Dogs

Essentially the Iron Man of this universe, this film introduced us to Big Kahuna Burger — a fast-food chain mentioned in multiple films — as well as the psychopathic Mr Blonde (real name Vic Vega) and Mr White.

Vic is of course the lesser known brother of Vincent Vega, gangster and partner of Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. Connecting two of his most famous films.

The Vega Brothers
The Vega Brothers

Mr Blonde also mentions that his parole officer was called Scagnetti, providing a link to Natural Born Killers — a film not directed by, but originally written by Tarantino — as this is the officer who searches for Mickey and Mallory.

Mr White also presents a link to True Romance when he mentions about how he used to work with a girl called Alabama. One of the main characters of the film.

Next up...

Pulp Fiction

This collection of nonlinear stories centered around a group of Los Angeles mobsters is the first film to establish a smaller Movie Universe, that exists within the larger Tarantino-verse.

This is during the dinner scene between Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace, when she talks about the 'Fox Force Five', a show she starred in once. The show featured a team of women whom Mia's descriptions of match up closely with members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad from Kill Bill:

  • "There was a blonde one, she was the leader" - a.k.a. Elle Driver
  • "The Japanese Fox was a Kung Fu master" - a.k.a. O-Ren Ishii
  • "The black girl was a demolition expert" - a.k.a. Vernita Green
  • "The French Fox's specialty was sex" - a.k.a. Sofie Fatale
  • "The character I played was the deadliest women in the world with a knife" - a.k.a. Beatrix Kiddo (Both portrayed by Uma Thurman)

We also get introduced to another brand that appears across multiple Tarantino films in the form of 'Red Apple Cigarettes' as well as the same type of gasoline can used by Mr Blonde being shown briefly in Vincent and Jule's car.

Now it's time to step into the cinematic universe within the cinematic universe...

Kill Bill

The first link this film presents is a character who spans most of the Movie Universe Films. This is the of character Sheriff Earl Mcgraw a character who also appears in Planet Terror, DeathProof and From Dusk Till Dawn; where he is killed by the Gecko Brothers.

The film can also be linked to Django Unchained as the grave that The Bride is buried alive in has a headstone etched with the name Paula Schultz, possibly the former wife or relative of Dr King Schultz, Django's mentor.

Sidenote: The Gecko Brothers also appeared on TV in Curdled, another Tarantino produced film, also placing this film into the Movie Universe.

Time to start going back in the timeline to World War 2...

Inglourious Basterds

This film links all the way back to True Romance in the form of the Donowitz family.

In Inglourious Basterds Sergeant Donny Donowitz was part of the Lt. Aldo Raine's Nazi Hunters, although he was better known as the 'Bear Jew'. In True Romance his son Lee Donowitz is the producer that Alabama and Clarence sell the bag of cocaine to. Now linking between different generations.

Another character present in WW2 is Archie Hicox, a British Army Officer, who is killed during a bar stand-off. This character has proven to be the link between Tarantino's latest film The Hateful Eight and the rest of the Universe.

His relative English Pete Hicox — or Oswaldo Mobray depending on who's asking — was a member of Jody Domingray's gang aiming to free Daisy Domergue.

The only Tarantino directed film that does not directly tie-in with any others is Jackie Brown, as it is technically based on the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard and does not have an actual place in the shared universe.

So there you have it, a rundown of how almost every Tarantino film (and some others for good measure) are part of a cinematic universe that charts from all the way back to the times of slavery in the America to modern day.

What other films do you think are part of a larger cinematic universe?


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