Someone with military combat experience told me they couldn’t stand the zombie genre. Zombie fans annoyed him because what the subtext was about was killing people without consequences. Zombies ARE people but sans the soul so killing them is no big dilemma. You’ll notice there is never a courtroom drama where someone didn’t kill a Zombie “by the book”. Sometimes they hesitate to kill a zombie because they knew them when they were alive, but the lesson always ends with them having to get over that and kill them, or be destroyed by their zombie friend. You don’t debate a zombie. It made me think of same attitude in the climate of social justice and the relationship it has with the great Quentin Tarantino.
For the past 10 ten years Tarantino has made a very different kind of movie. 4 films: Death Proof, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, and the Hateful 8 don’t so much have social justice overtones as they have a social justice shovel they beat you over the head with. Quentin Tarantino isn’t very ambiguous about his politics these days and it’s fingerprints are all over his recent work.
If you watch Tarantino’s catalog backwards, you’ll get to see a great filmmaker mature. Looking at the attitudes of SJWs in 2017, it makes me wonder if this is the result of what happens when your average 16-25 year old was exposed to Inglorious Basterds before Pulp Fiction.
Death Proof (2007): (Feels like Quentin is standing over your shoulder saying; “What if all these hot girls sit around talking about classic cars and obscure rock are stalked by some fat creepy dude who gets off by fucking with and hurting girls (like they all do)? Then the girls are all like HELL NO, and beat the shit out of him while he begs to stop and cries like an emasculated bitch, but the girl’s are like fuck no and stomp his ass to death…. Girls can kick just as much ass as guys. See? They’re driving cars! They’re beating the shit out of that creepy dude!! Girls Rule!! Right???”)
Inglorious Basterds (2009): (Feels like Quentin is standing over your shoulder saying; “Yeah! What if the jews were, like, killing Nazis!! Yeah, then they like embarrass them for being Nazis!! Right?? And this Nazi guy likes this hot Jewish chick, but like she all ‘fuck off’. Then she totally blows your mind cause she’s with a black dude. Then they like, kill Hitler. Like literally Hitler. Yeah, I know, I know!! Like, the Jewish guys are all kicking ass and the Nazis are burning and screaming and one of the guys is like machine gunning Hitler’s body with crazy eyes, cause like FUCK HITLER! I don’t like Hitler… at all, I’m a real rebel like that. And in the smoke like that hot Jewish chicks face is like laughing as they die!!!”)
Django Unchained (2012): (Feels like Quentin is standing over your shoulder saying; “What if like, the slave like come back and is like whipping the master!! Ha-Ha! Yeah. Like he’s black, but like a bounty hunter so he’s killing all these white people and they hate him cause he’s black, but like there nothing they can do about it cause he’s, like, the best. And he has sunglasses and like he burning the plantation and frees the slaves, but like not the step’n’ fetch it old house negro!! Yeah he blows him up with the plantation cause, like slavery’s bad and stuff. I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying that. A lot of people who want slavery might be in the audience but I don’t even care.”)
The Hateful 8 (2016): (Feels like Quentin is standing over your shoulder saying; “So like this black guy was a Union soldier and he’s stuck with some old confederate guy. And the guy doesn’t like him cause he’s black. Then like he’s telling a story, and there’s a flashback scene, and it’s all about how he killed all these racists and made the old confederates son suck his black dick!! hahahahahaha!!! Yeah, he like rapes this white dude and cucks him out, and it’s so cool. He says ‘dingus’, and ‘johnson’ and maybe ‘tallywacker’…. hahahahahaha. Yeah. Then he kills the son even though he sucked his dick cause fuck that racist. Then when he’s done telling the story, he kills the old confederate guy too!!! Yeah! Down with the confederacy!! Man, all those confederate war vets in the crowd are gonna be soooo mad at me “)
My main critique of Tarantino’s new style is its lazy. His villains are such cartoonish parodies that they become nothing but “zombies”. He chose villains that we feel nothing about mowing down…. except the pleasure of hurting someone.
Pulp Fiction; we like Butch, but we like Vincent too. When those guys meet someone has to go.
Ringo & Honeybunny were antagonists, but the audience is fucked with because we know Jules & Vince are killers (who we love) but hope things get resolved WITHOUT killing the antagonists.
Reservoir Dogs: Absolutely no one wanted Mr. White or Mr. Orange to die. Didn’t want Joe or Nice Guy Eddie to die either. And shit, as evil as he was, didn’t really want Mr. Blonde to go either…. but choices needed to be make. Difficult choices with interesting characters is what makes films worth watching.
Jackie Brown: You mourn every character that dies, because they are so well rounded. Every last death is basically a twist and the ending with Jackie waiting in the dark in perfect tension.
Both Kill Bill movies; Tarantino spent 2 whole movies making you want the Bride to get her revenge on Bill. He named the fucking movie KILL FUCK BILL. Then after 5 hours of storytelling when they finally meet, he pulls the rug out from under us until we want them to work it out. And everyone the Bride kills along the way has at least one moment where we feel a little bad for them.
So which Nazi did we feel bad for? Which slave owner? Stuntman Mike? He switched his villains from being complex anti-heros to all being “Godzilla“. What’s the goal of Godzilla? Kill Godzilla. That’s fine. I like Godzilla movies. But it’s the difference between a $40 burger cooked perfect medium rare with cave ripened Gruyere cheese, house cured iberical ham, jalapeno dill pickles sliced long ways, on a fresh baked brioche, and a 3 hour old White Castle crave case. You’re allowed to like both, and you may even prefer one, but you need to understand they are nowhere near the same thing. And isn’t it a shame to watch Anthony Bourdain reduced to making Big Macs?
To me, every friend I can’t trust is Mr. Orange, every adorable girl is Fabiana, every business hustle is Jackie Brown and every buddy on a car ride is Jules. To hammer everything is a nail, and to Social Justice Warriors, everyone who doesn’t fall in line is A “Nazi”. Why debate a Nazi?? Why have sympathy with a slave owner? How do you feel bad for a girl hunting creep? Why not antagonize some old confederate trying to mind his business when he’d just as soon watch you die? AntiFa, Salon.com, Gender Studies majors, SJWs, the Raw Story, and just plain “bitches from Portland” see themselves as a Jewish chick burning evil Nazis while blowing minds in the 1940s w/ her black boyfriend, and a freed slave burning down the plantation, and a group of cool chicks talking about 60s mod rock, and will kick some dudes ass together if they’re messed with. Tarantino seems to have his finger firmly on the pulse of how SJWs see themselves.
I can confidently say Quentin Tarantino is NOT the REASON or even part of the reason for any violent social movements like Antifa. Nor is any film, song, band, book, or TV show. What he is, is a great storyteller who somewhere along the way became a fan of the social justice warrior attitude and endorsed it. Now his later work (not earlier work) are the memes, twitter avatars, quoted dialogue and iconography used by violent groups like Antifa.
These groups see themselves as and fantasize about being in THAT Tarantino Universe. They want to be characters in the world with the easy bad guys. In the world they choose, you can do whatever you want to the people you don’t like and not feel bad. There are not complex relationships or heartbreaking decisions. In the world they want to see, everyone they don’t like is a murderous date rapist, or a slave owner, or a Nazi, or racist confederate, or a ZOMBIE. I can’t help but think they’d understand the world better if the just watched Pulp Fiction 1st.