Five Film Facts for the 20th Anniversary of ‘Reservoir Dogs’
"Reservoir Dogs" is, believe it or not, 20 years old. Quentin Tarantino's crime thriller about a simple jewelry store heist that goes horrifically wrong hit the indie film world like a shot of adrenalin to the heart. It was smart, funny, savage and, at the time, shockingly violent. None other than horror director Wes Craven walked out of an early screening of the movie because he found the flick too distressing. After "Reservoir Dogs," black suits and skinny ties, disjointed storytelling and hyper-literate rants about movies and pop culture became for better or worse, cool. Without "Dogs," it's hard to imagine "The Usual Suspects," "In Bruges" and, of course, "Pulp Fiction" getting made.
If you're eager to catch the movie on the widescreen, you're in luck. It was just announced that "Reservoir Dogs" along with "Pulp Fiction" will hit the theaters once again this December, just in time for Tarantino's next release, "Django Unchained."
So put on some K-Billy's "Super Sounds of the Seventies" and check out these five facts about the flick.
'Au Revoir Les Enfants' (Photo: Everett Collection)
[Related: Indie Roundup: 'Holy Motors']
The Ear Scene
No doubt the most memorable and disturbing scene in the movie is when Mr. Blonde slices off the ear of Officer Nash. The scene was so disturbing that Mr. Blonde himself Michael Madsen had trouble completing the scene, especially after Kirk Baltz as the hapless cop ad-libbed a line about having a kid at home. Madsen was a recent father at the time and the thought of orphaning a child hit him hard. Of course, Tarantino had originally planned the shot to be much bloodier than what ended up in the final cut. The crew shot several takes that showed the ear actually getting cut off, complete with spurting blood, but just one where the camera pans away, the shot that was ultimately used. As anyone who's ever watched the shower scene in "Psycho" knows, not seeing an act of violence is sometimes much more disturbing than seeing it.