Whoa! 'Inglourious Basterds' Also Fits into Tarantino's Film Universe?!
It's common knowledge among film geeks that the films of Quentin Tarantino share certain elements and have connections between them. Harvey Keitel's Mr. White from Reservoir Dogs worked with Alabama from True Romance (which Tarantino wrote). Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, and Vic Vega, played by Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs, are brothers, and years ago there was even talk of a Vega Brothers prequel movie being made. Now a Reddit user (via Collider) has made a cool connection between Inglourious Basterds that proves almost all of Tarantino's films inhabit the same movie universe.
Are you wearing a helmet? Because your mind is about to be blown. Spoilers for Inglourious Basterds, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and True Romance ahead:
As it turns out, Donny Donowitz, ‘The Bear Jew’, is the father of movie producer Lee Donowitz from True Romance – which means that, in Tarantino’s universe, everybody grew up learning about how a bunch of commando Jews machine gunned Hitler to death in a burning movie theater, as opposed to quietly killing himself in a bunker.
Because World War 2 ended in a movie theater, everybody lends greater significance to pop culture, hence why seemingly everybody has Abed-level knowledge of movies and TV. Likewise, because America won World War 2 in one concentrated act of hyperviolent slaughter, Americans as a whole are more desensitized to that sort of thing. Hence why Butch is unfazed by killing two people, Mr. White and Mr. Pink take a pragmatic approach to killing in their line of work, Esmerelda the cab driver is obsessed with death, etc.
You can extrapolate this further when you realize that Tarantino’s movies are technically two universes – he’s gone on record as saying that Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn take place in a ‘movie movie universe’; that is, they’re movies that characters from the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, and Death Proof universe would go to see in theaters. (Kill Bill, after all, is basically Fox Force Five, right on down to Mia Wallace playing the title role.)
What immediately springs to mind about Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn? That they’re crazy violent, even by Tarantino standards. These are the movies produced in a world where America’s crowning victory was locking a bunch of people in a movie theater and blowing it to bits – and keep in mind, Lee Donowitz, son of one of the people on the suicide mission to kill Hitler, is a very successful movie producer.
Basically, it turns every Tarantino movie into alternate reality sci fi. I love it so hard.
This theory makes a lot of sense, especially providing insight as to why most of Tarantino's characters speak with a heightened dialogue tinged with pop culture references. That writing style has been one of the writer/director's greatest criticisms during his career (haters will often say "people don't talk like that!"), and by connecting his characters and subsequently his film universe with a seminal event held in a movie theater, it's a great way to retroactively explain why all of these characters are so pop culture savvy.
Now the question becomes how does Django Unchained fit into all of this? Will we see another relative stretch the timeline even further back in time, or will Django be so hyper-violent that it exists in the "movie movie universe"? We'll have to wait until Christmas to find out, but sound off in the comments if you have any theories you'd like to share. For more information about the specifics of Tarantino's movie universes, visit here and get a quick education on being a real Tarantino fan. Thoughts?