Monday, March 7, 2011

"You Feel That Sting, Big Boy?": Pulp Fiction Analysis Part XVI

Go to Part XV: "That's how you're gonna beat 'em, Butch. They keep underestimatin' ya."

In an homage to Psycho, Marsellus stops and slowly turns to get a look at Butch in the car.
As Butch pulls up to the intersection, Marsellus crosses in front of the car, stops and, in a direct homage to Psycho[1], turns to see Butch. This is the first time we see Marsellus’s face. We are about to see Marsellus as a character in action as opposed to Marsellus the Myth that we’ve heard about. Butch floors it, running down Marsellus, but then crashes his car. After Marsellus regains consciousness he draws his gun and chases after Butch. Tarantino uses the handheld camera as he follows the chase down the street. Both of them stumble their way into a pawn shop owned by a hillbilly redneck from hell.

Maynard, the owner of the pawn shop, knocks Butch out cold with a shotgun and then telephones Zed. What follows is the “war” that Butch will have to go through to retrieve his watch. Finally, he will have a story to tell his son one day when he passes that gold watch down the line.

Go to Part XVII: "Bring out the gimp."

[1] Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1960 (Universal) – the reference is to an early scene when Marion Crane is on her way out of town with $40000 in cash stolen from her boss’s client. As she waits at an intersection her boss crosses, stops, and looks directly at Marion.

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