April 26th, 2007
Pulp Fiction changed cinema — but then the internet changed Pulp Fiction. Web pranksters have kicked down the door for a surprise attack on the 1994 film, re-imagining its dialogue in a series of surprising parodies.
Of course, Quentin Tarantino's own films have always included homages to his favorite movies, so maybe these parodies are just homages to favorite Tarantino scenes, celebrating the excitement of his violent, dialogue-filled originals. Jules and Vincent still roll to a hit while discussing what the French call their quarter pounders.
But after passing through the minds of a million internet wise guys — the scenes look a little different.
1. Muppet Pulp Fiction
Promising "a new film directed post-humously by Jim Henson," this trailer warns that "You won't know the facts until you seen it done with puppets." Kermit, Fozzie, and Beaker fulfill the whims of a muppet crimelord and his sultry temptress girlfriend — who looks less like Uma Thurman than she does Miss Piggy. The trailer promises grandly to explore the themes of loyalty, stuffing, and googly eyes...
But somewhere there's a breakfast diner that's about to be knocked over by Gonzo.
2. English, Motherfucker
The most original video has no characters at all — just an amazing animation of the words used in the scene. One by one they appear — "What ain't no country I ever heard of!" — in a hand-writing font synchronized perfectly to the dialogue.
"English" becomes an angry red-white-and blue British flag, and when you hear Brad start to reply, those nervous ellipses in "What...?" spell trouble.
3. I've Got Rhythm
Honey Bunny is ready — but then the jukebox kicks in.
This amazing music video demonstrates "video scratching" — Pulp Fiction dialogue samples matched perfectly to the music's rhythm. Using a trippy home-brewed version of the soundtrack, its echoey guitars compliment a suggestive series of clips showing a lighter, a spoon, a syringe...and then dancing.
Yes, there's the sound of squealing tires — but they're squealing in rhythm.
The drum beats even sync with Samuel L. Jackson's famous "Ezekiel" speech, as he lays down vengeance...and a righteous rhythm.
4. Royale With Cheese — and Robots
"Okay, tell me again about the hash bars," the scene begins — but it's read entirely by robots.
Samuel L. Jackson is a black metal robot with red flashing eyes and a fierce grill mouth, his fists cocked angrily to his side. But in this video it's a friendly silver robot which explains to him what to do if you get stopped by a cop in Amsterdam. ("Oh man. I'm going. That's all there is to it. I'm fucking going.") As his yellow eyes twinkle with joy, the silver robot's mechanized speech centers share the little differences — just one robot to another.
"You know what they put on French fries in Holland...?"
5. Walt Disney Presents...
John Travolta is a Disney Lion, and Samuel L. Jackson is Pumbaa the warthog. But he's got his hands full with a sleek female lion insisting "My husband your boss told you to take me out and do whatever I wanted," while it's the conniving Disney lion Scar who warns "in the fifth, your ass goes down."
This re-dubbed version of the heart-warming classic The Lion King is called — what else — Pulp Lions.
But I'm guessing Elton John wouldn't get anywhere near its soundtrack...
6. Every Motherfucking Last One Of You
Here's a handy cheat sheet for this video. "Any of you fucking pricks move, and I'll execute every motherfucking last one of ya!" just becomes "motherfucking."
"Do you speak English, motherfucker" just becomes "motherfucker."
And "Whose chopper is this?" isn't even in the movie.
It's the "Fuckin' Short Version" of Pulp Fiction, in which every shot is deleted unless it contains a character saying "fuck." Or "fucking". Or "motherfucker." Or, of course, "fucking motherfuckers."
And it's over two minutes long.
By the end it will seem strange if the characters don't say fuck.
7. What Planet Are You From?
A giant green alien shouts "English, motherfucker, do you speak it?" He's grilling anime charaters from Dragonball Z — who double-crossed the wrong alien.
"What country are you from?" he demands, with glaring alien eyes. "Say 'what' again. I double dare you!" (Though the new movie Grindhouse features Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, imagine what he could have done with an alien who sounded like Samuel L. Jackson.)
8. The Phantom Marcellus
Samuel L. Jackson counsels his partner to "take care of" the big man's wife — though in this version she's played by Natalie Portman. Thanks to footage from the Star Wars movies, her Pulp Fiction escort becomes Jedi Ewan McGregor, and her husband — the crimelord Marcellus — is actually Jabba the Hutt.
With appearances by Han Solo and Princess Leia, this mashup supplies new footage for classic lines like "You got a corpse in a car minus a head in a garage..." and "Die! You muther—" — all courtesy of unauthorized swipes from LucasArts films.
It also includes the one actor you'd never expect to see in a Tarantino film. Yoda.
9. Brick Fiction
Pulp Fiction passed through the web and came out as Legos. Two different people have attempted the Honey Bunny "execution" speech with Legos.
It's difficult to convey menace with a pistol-waving mini-fig — but that's ultimately the point. Longer versions show Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta as...mini-figs in leather jackets. With drawn-on facial hair, they recite the "Royale with cheese" dialogue and anticipate their next hit while looking in a laughably tiny car trunk. ("We should have shotguns for this...")
Even Brad faces his ultimate reckoning with a painted-on Lego smile.
10. Pulp Ficturama
"Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!" As the diner scene's dialogue segues into fast electric guitar, there's a perfect Tarantino montage. It's got over-the-top action and adrenaline — but it's showing a giant mechanical crab attacking the city.
Pulp Fiction mixes its DNA with characters from Futurama — Leela, Dr. Zoidberg, Fry, and Bender. Only this time the hapless victims aren't terrorized by Samuel L. Jackson. They're attacked by rockets.
Every last motherfucking one of them.
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