Putting Pulp Fiction in order

Posted by David Konow

You know somebody had to try this after it became an enormous hit, and now it's obviously a lot easier to digitally stitch the film together on your laptop than on VCR to VCR. 



Yes, I'm talking about putting Pulp Fiction in order, which I've only done in my mind, although I've been very curious to see how it would turn out if it was told in linear order.

Of course, a major reason people liked Pulp Fiction was its out of order structure, which wasn't exactly new. Stanley Kurbick's film The Killing did the same idea brilliantly, and it was definitely an influence on Tarantino. Now Pulp Fiction recut in order has appeared on YouTube, with the movie opening on Christopher Walken giving the watch to young Butch.



As IFC reports, this new version of the film was put up on YouTube by "crimewriter95." Another YouTube user mentioned this was a fraternity assignment, which must have been quite an initiation. 

"This brings back a lot of memories," the YouTuber writes. "Two VCRs and a bottle of whisky." 



And as Matt Singer writes on IFC,  there's an easter egg on the DVD of Memento that puts the film in order, although as he notes, "Generally I find these experiments interesting but less effective than the director's intended version."

When I interviewed Roger Avary, who was Tarantino's writing partner and wrote the middle of Pulp with the gold watch and The Gimp, I asked him how he felt the movie would fare if it was released in regular order. 

"A massive failure!," he said. "$2.5 million at the box office and direct to video! You know, it was originally an anthology film, it was going to be three  shorty films by three different filmmakers. I was going to do one, Quentin was going to do one, and we tried to get Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City) to do the third one. So the fractured style of Pulp Fiction probably grew out of that original intention. It was a happy accident.

"The great problem with anthology films is that generally one leg doesn't support the other," Avary continues. "So the best way to protect yourself against that is to cross- collateralize the support systems in the movie. The profound nature of many of the stories probably wouldn't have connected as much, oddly enough, had they not been fractured the way they were. It was always intended to be in the form that it's in. What we did was we just took every scene that we had ever written that was good, and we just laid them all out on the floor and started dissembling them until they started taking shape on their own."