There’s no other occasion that represents a good excuse to run this list other than Pulp Fiction has been running on cable a lot lately. Most of the time I see it in the cable guide, I click on it. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the middle of the movie. Scenes I must have seen a couple hundred times in the nearly two decades since the film came out are still engaging, funny, and cool.
Back in 2008, in my final days at the Los Angeles Daily News before heading to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain News, I was invited by a friend at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to crash a screening they were having in a series that honored films nominated for Best Picture — but didn’t win. I was a bit late, having dashed over from the newsroom, and slipped into a row near the back of the plush theater. The rest of the row was empty, and viewers were scattered around the theater. But this guy sitting behind me kept cackling louder than anyone at all the right scenes. And after the final credits rolled and the house lights came up, an emcee for the screening invited Quentin Tarantino — the guy behind me — to come up to the stage and talk about the film. Joining him from the audience for the panel were The Gimp (Stephen Hibbert) and Raquel (Julia Sweeney).
Tarantino confessed that night that he’d slipped into the theater for the screening because he wanted to see if people still found the film funny and entertaining after all these years. What I loved was that as much as the Pulpers still quote the movie endlessly and click over every time it’s on, the director and scribe still loves his film more.
Here are 10 good reasons — in no ranked order — why Pulpistas still keep loving it. (NOTE: The movie’s R-rated, and so are the clips)
1. The five-dollar milkshake
Thanks to this and There Will be Blood, the milkshake has had it pretty good in movie lore in recent years. But even though this exchange is dated — as milkshakes are now five bucks at sit-down restaurants — it’s still funny because, yes, it’s still just milk and ice cream. (And do you recognize Buddy Holly the waiter? Think Reservoir Dogs — or Boardwalk Empire.)