Light up a Red Apple, grab a Big Kahuna Burger and turn on some K-Billy.
According to Quentin Tarantino himself, his films exist in one of two universes. There’s the “realer than real” universe in which characters are aware of one another – the way Harvey Keitel’s character in Reservoir Dogs mentions “Alabama” from True Romance, the way Dogs’ Vic Vega is brothers with Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega, or how Donnie Donowitz from Inglourious Basterds is grandfather to True Romance’s Lee Donowitz, and earless cop Marvin Nash from Reservoir Dogs is cousins with Gerald Nash, another cop from Natural Born Killers who’s murdered by Mickey and Mallory – and then there’s what QT calls his “movie” universe, where the characters have been more obviously fabricated for narrative purposes, like pretty much everyone in Death Proof or My Best Friend’s Birthday, Tarantino’s short film debut from 1987.
But across both universes there remain narrative and technical commonalities. Big Kahuna Burgers. K-Billy on the radio. Red Apple Cigarettes. Scratching records. The trunk shot. God’s eye view. Highly-choreographed and over-the-top, almost comical violence. Racially-charged, profanity-laden and frenetic dialogue. Pop culture references.
To illustrate where and how these universes intersect, Luis Azevedo has created the following supercut for his Beyond the Frame YouTube channel, and in my humble opinion it’s his best work yet. Not only is the video fascinatingly entertaining, it’s also expertly arranged and cut, so much so there’s no narration needed, the connections speak for themselves. Arranged around two of Tarantino’s most common staples – the radio and the telephone – Azevedo has edited his way through the director’s two universes, linking them together in places both obvious and obscure and forging the meta-verse of the QT’s filmography. Quite frankly, you’re not a complete Tarantino fan until you’ve seen this, so get your eyes on it toot suite. And if you need a little help understanding some of the connections, check out Azevedo’s write-up and still gallery right here.