Pulp Fiction: 20 Interesting Facts You Might Not Have Known

Today I’m giving you facts about Pulp Fiction, which is still one of my favourite movies of all time. The 1994 film was my introduction to Quentin Tarantino. It’s also one of the most quotable films thanks to the witty lines in the script. I am speaking under correction, but I think I’ve watched this film at least 15 times since I first watched it on VHS when I was in my final year of high school (in 1995).

Here are 20 Pulp Fiction facts that you might not have known

1. Pulp Fiction was released in a few countries before it reached the USA. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1994. It was shown at other festivals around the world and only reached America.  The film was released in South Korea, Japan, and Slovakia before it officially opened in the USA in October 1994.

2. Tarantino wanted to use the song My Sharona by The Knack during the torture sequence, but the rights had already been sold to the film, Reality Bites. One of the band’s members became a Born Again Christian, and did not want the song to be featured in a sex scene.

Pulp Fiction
American actors John Travolta (left) as Vincent Vega and Samuel L Jackson as Jules Winnfield in a scene from ‘Pulp Fiction’, directed by Quentin Tarantino, 1994. (Photo by Miramax Films/Getty Images)

3. Honey Bunny was named after an actual rabbit. The rabbit belonged to Linda Chen (who typed up Tarantino’s handwritten script). She asked Tarantino to watch her rabbit when she went on location; but he wouldn’t do it. When the rabbit later died, he named Amanda Plummer’s character after Chen’s pet.

4. Jules’ famous Bible passage was actually made up by Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson.  It only features two lines from the actual Ezekiel 25:17 passage.

5. The F word is said 265 times in the film. It has 4 less F words than Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino’s first film which was released in 1992).

6. The “Bad Mother Fucker” wallet that Samuel L. Jackson uses in the film was owned by Tarantino. It references the Shaft theme song. Ironically Jackson later played the role of Shaft (in two films).

7. Pulp Fiction had a budget of only $8.5 million. $5 million went to the actors. It made that all back in its first week at the US box office (pulling in $9.3 million the first weekend of release). It reached $100 million in 178 days. It went on to gross over $200 million at the box office.

Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction

8. Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules was originally meant to have a massive afro, but a crew member purchased a ‘jheri curl’ wig instead. Jackson and Tarantino liked it, so it became part of his character.

9. Michael Madsen (who had a major role in Reservoir Dogs) was the original choice for the role of Vincent Vega. Tarantino wrote the script with him in mind, but Vega dropped out two weeks before the script was finished.

10. Butch’s Honda Civic is exact same one used in both Jackie Brown and Kill Bill: Volume 2.

11. It’s widely believed that Christopher Walken’s Captain Koons is a descendent of the Django Unchained character Crazy Craig Koons (who is only mentioned by name in a Wanted poster).

12. The shot of Marcellus stopping and seeing Butch in the middle of the road is copied directly from the 1960 film Psycho.

13. Robert Rodriguez directed parts of Pulp Fiction. He directed the scenes in which Tarantino appeared as his character Jimmy.

14. The 1964 Chevelle Malibu convertible Vincent drives in the film actually belonged to Quentin Tarantino, and was stolen during production of Pulp Fiction. It was eventually recovered 2 decades later. The owner was not aware that it was a stolen car.

15. John Travolta didn’t really inject Uma Thurman in the scene where her character Mia receives an adrenaline shot. The needle was inserted, and then Travolta pulled it out. The scene was reversed in post-production so it looks as if Vincent Vega really is plunging that syringe into her.

16. Bruce Willis worked on the film for only eighteen days.

Pulp Fiction - 1994 film

17. Chronologically,  the first scene in the movie has Vincent and Jules chatting in their car while on their way to do a job and the last scene in the movie is Butch and Fabienne riding away on a chopper. The first sound you can hear in the movie is of the same chopper’s engine.

18. Pulp Fiction was one of the first movies to use the Internet for advertising.

19. The various weapons that Butch considers for carrying out his revenge in the pawn shop are nods to other films. The hammer (Friday The 13th Part 2), the bat (Walking Tall), the chainsaw (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and finally, the Samurai sword (Lightning Swords of Death).

20. When the ‘Buddy Holly’ waiter (Steve Buscemi) asks Mia her if she wants her $5 shake “Martin and Lewis or Amos and Andy?”, he’s asking if she wants it vanilla or chocolate flavoured. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are white entertainers (vanilla), whereas Amos and Andy are black comedians (chocolate).

Well, there you have it, 20 facts you might not have known about Pulp Fiction. I hope that you learned something today that you didn’t know before. If you’re a film buff, check out my post featuring some interesting 1990s movies facts.

Watch this space for updates in the Movies category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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