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The curious link between Quentin Tarantino films 'Django Unchained' and 'Pulp Fiction'

The concept of a movie ‘universe’ is one that is ubiquitous with modern blockbuster moviemaking. A project is no longer seen as worthy of investment if it is not joined by a string of spin-offs, sequels and an ‘ultimate climax’ akin to Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. Though without the necessary foresight, this can often lead to substantial creative disasters, case in point being Universal’s attempt to put its horror properties into an interconnected ‘Dark Universe’ before the idea was hastily disbanded. Though, even before Marvel could state their authority, iconic director Quentin Tarantino was already meddling with the concept of an interconnected universe. 

Back in 2016, Tarantino publicly explained that his universe, which initially seemed like only a fan theory, was in reality “two separate universes”. He goes on to explain that: “There is the realer than real universe, alright, and all the characters inhabit that one. But then there’s this movie universe. So From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill, they all take place in this special movie universe. So when all the characters of Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, when they go to the movies, Kill Bill is what they go to see.” 

These two universes join a spine of interconnected content that runs throughout Tarantino’s filmography, such as the recurring brands ‘Big Kahuna Burger’ and ‘Red Apple Cigarettes’. It’s a charming way to form a creative alliance between each piece of new content, making close Tarantino fans feel like they’re among an exclusive club of knowledgeable loyalists. 

The curious connection between Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and his revisionist western Django Unchained, released in 2012, we think could be one of his most intriguing connections yet. It all revolves around the most bizarre and humorous moment in Pulp Fiction when Christopher Walken’s ‘Captain Koons’ delivers a monologue to a young ‘Butch’, in which he describes carrying the watch of the boys deceased father inside his ass for two years. It’s a hilarious speech which fascinatingly a young Chandler Lindauer was made to sit through, though thankfully he was far too young to understand anything Walken’s character was saying.  

The link comes in the name of Walken’s ‘Captain Koons’, who is also referenced in Django Unchained on a wanted poster, despite never physically appearing on screen. Named as ‘Crazy Craig Koons’, a member of the ‘Smitty Bacall gang’, if Craig Koons is in fact a relative of Captain Koons, it would make the latter the great great grandson of Craig. 

Despite the only brief appearance in Pulp Fiction, Walken’s Captain Koons is so curiously enigmatic that the idea of his heritage being rooted in wild west crime is tantalisingly exciting. Here’s hoping for a more elaborate backstory weaved into the future of Tarantino’s filmography…

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