Thursday, September 15, 2005

Of Tarantino and Zombie

White Zombie (and, by extension, Rob Zombie) only ever did one worthwhile thing -- recording More Human Than Human. (I emphasize recording because I once saw them do an awful live rendition of it, as if they'd never bothered to learn their own song.)

That may be true of Quentin Tarantino as well. I saw the end of Kill Bill Vol. 2, and no, my opinion didn't improve. But soon after that, I saw the first half hour or so of Pulp Fiction, which I did see back in the days that I left the house and saw movies.

Is Pulp Fiction Tarantino's More Human Than Human -- the only worthwhile thing he'll ever do?

Perhaps. In the studio, White Zombie got the mix just right -- good slashing guitar, pulsing rhythm, strong vocals. And in Pulp Fiction, Tarantino got it right.

The biggest difference between Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill is that you can enjoy the humor without guilt. In Kill Bill, the ending is so disturbing that it made me sick -- at the very least, I'd have to think this kid is going to have a massive therapy bill down the road explaining how she instantly dropped her attachment to the guy who raised her because, of course, the Mommy she just met had to kill him because he had left her for dead all those years ago. (And you think your parents had issues.)

In Pulp Fiction, you don't really have to care about any of these people. It's probably a safe bet that Vincent Vega's funeral was a sparsely attended affair. You can't even feel too sorry for the kid who makes Jules yell, "SAY 'WHAT' AGAIN," even though they're just toying with him. Really, we're making fun of all these people who play silly games with their lives.

And for the record, I think Vincent is right about the foot massage. I'd be a little jealous. Not enough to throw someone out a window, but it would cause some friction.


Michael said...

Thunder Kiss '65, their first single, was the only White Zombie song I had any affection for, and was way better than More Human than Human. I would actually argue it gets to fight with Soundgarden's stuff and Cut of Personality for "Best Riff of the 90s" honors. This is as opposed to More Human Than Human with its "slide up to various frets in standard tuning with lots of distortion" technique, which still irritates me to this day. Thunder Kiss also had the dialog sample from Faster Pussycat in the middle which added to the vibe of the song rather than the sample from the porno up front in MHTH which was there purely because its porn.

bdure said...

I think Soundgarden was basically the Led Zeppelin of its era -- heavy riffs doubled on guitar and bass, a shrieking but tuneful vocalist and a powerful drummer.

I always wondered if the sample at the beginning of MHTH was the bassist, who looked like she wasn't a fan of regular bathing, eating or other things normal people would consider good hygiene.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

"Pulp Fiction" may be the best thing Tarantino ever did, but it's not the only worthwhile thing he did. Exhibit A: "Reservoir Dogs."