My reaction to Pulp Fiction

All right. Dinner.

  • One medium Dr Pepper, no ice
  • 8-pc chicken nuggets from Chik-Fil-A
  • Medium waffle fries
  • Cole slaw

Is that how you spell it? “Cole slaw”? What a ridiculous term.

I suppose my readers–yes, all two of you–are wondering what happened to the sushi. Well, Sean was already late getting home because he stopped off at his parents’ house to pick up a few things he still hadn’t moved over here. I saw his saxophone case and a computer case in his car, and apparently there’s more stashed in there somewhere. He also ran around to Best Buy and to the Suncoast in the mall, looking for movies. I’m not sure what got him in the mood to watch a movie tonight, but he called me and said he was looking to buy one or more of the following: Pulp Fiction, The Transporter, and Aliens. It turned out that Aliens is currently out of print, due to its initial DVD release being of rather poor quality, and is due to be rereleased in an Alien box set this winter. He finally decided to get Pulp Fiction only, but the mall wanted $10 more than Best Buy, so he swung by the apartment, picked me up, and we ran over to Best Buy.

On the way he told me that he was supposed to meet someone on AC2 at 9pm. This meant that we would have to rush at dinner. I said that we should go to Chik-Fil-A instead, then, and save the sushi for when we had more time. Part of what I love about eating out is not being rushed and just enjoying the evening. So we grabbed Pulp Fiction–and the Matrix Reloaded soundtrack–at Best Buy and then crossed the street to grab some Chik-Fil-A. We came home and Sean was all ready to watch the movie.

I was a little hesitant. I know that Pulp Fiction is one of those movies everyone has seen and that it’s critically acclaimed and all, but I’d heard some rumors about what it was like, and quite frankly I was a little afraid of it. So I wasn’t too thrilled about watching it right away. It turned out that my DVD player couldn’t handle the DVD…it has problems with most modern discs, unfortunately. I thought I was saved, but Sean said we could just watch it on my computer. I relented because he really seemed to want to see it.

I have just retrieved

  • One glass of sugar-free raspberry juice

I wanted ice cream, but I didn’t want to write that I was eating ice cream like a wuss because I was afraid of a movie. :P

So we were watching Pulp Fiction. The initial scene was annoying, but it didn’t really bother me. Well, except maybe that kiss, because it was kind of gross. I like kisses and kissing scenes, but that one was sloppy, and it also felt stupid. I mean, these were robbers. Congratufuckinglations on loving each other, but could you stop being assholes?

Anyway, my reaction to the next scene pretty much set the tone for the rest of what I saw of the film. Travolta and Jackson’s commentary is amusing, but as things go on and the plot is unfurled I can sense that something is going to happen. Something I know I am not going to like. Something involving violence. I watched Desperado; I’ve seen flying gore and guts. But that’s the kind of movie where it doesn’t matter because it’s so sudden and surprising. It’s cartoony almost. With this, I had to deal with the waiting. Waiting while they chatted with one another, bringing up topics that were seemingly irrelevant–although of course I could tell that everything was included with a purpose. All their apparently inane chatter did was build up the tension. And when they arrived to do the job, instead of simply getting it done…they built up the tension even more.

When Jackson finally shot the guy on the couch, I jerked as if I had been the one shot. And then the guy in the chair began sniveling and I knew he was going to die. I knew it would happen; why wouldn’t they go ahead and kill him? But no, they had to torture him, had to taunt him, had to teach him a lesson. I felt like I was the one being tortured and lectured to, and it just wouldn’t stop, until finally they were filling the guy with bullets. But seeing him executed was not a relief. It did not relax me, because I knew that the movie was just beginning, and that things far worse than this were coming.

I knew I wasn’t safe. I knew that I was going to see things I didn’t want to see. I tried to build up my courage, but I was already hugging my elbows, frozen in my chair. I couldn’t eat my dinner. (Until later ;P)

The drug dealer scene was surreal and pathetic, but it allowed me to relax a little. I began to cringe again when Travolta shot up. And then he was on his way to see Uma Thurman–a beautiful woman who I found horribly unattractive in this film–and she kept being druggy-sexy, and you knew she was off-limits, and you were just waiting for the shit to hit the fan, and it did, with a fucking vengeance. And the tension just kept building.

The direction…it’s brilliant, perfect. It makes you scared about what’s coming next because you know something‘s coming. This is the kind of movie where the plot flows naturally and beautifully but instead of riding along with it, you’re being yanked behind on a choker chain that keeps getting tighter and tighter. You never choke, and sometimes it loosens, but there’s never enough slack to breathe completely, and then you’re being dragged along again and the noose around your neck just gets tighter and tighter.

It was uncomfortable. It was scary. It was a crawly panicky feeling in my gut that made me want to scream.

By the time we got to Bruce Willis’ escape from the boxing ring and his meeting with his strange lover, I couldn’t take it anymore. They kept talking and talking and I kept cringing and waiting for the door to burst open and for someone to riddle their bodies with bullets. The tension was too much, it was just too much. I got up and left the room and sat on the toilet and cried.

I am a total fucking wuss.

I sat there curled up and let myself cry until I was done. When I finally managed to calm down, I washed my face and came back into the office and told Sean that I didn’t think I could watch the rest of the movie.

“Why not?” he asked.

I hugged him around the shoulders from behind; he was still seated at his computer. “Because I don’t like it,” was the answer I came up with.

“Fair enough.”

My husband is a very understanding man. I don’t think AJ would have accepted that reason.

I wanted to explain it to him, but I’m not sure I’ve even adequately described my feelings here. The movie was a pressure cooker, I guess, and I was the first steam to flee. It’s not something that makes me jump for joy and be proud of being me, that’s for sure.

So I asked Sean to tell me what happens in the rest of the movie, and he did. Now that I know exactly what is going to occur, I might be able to watch it…but not today, not right now. Right now I’d just like to calm back down, drink my raspberry juice, and chat on IRC. Then I’ll go to bed and snuggle under the covers and try to forget the horror.

1 comment


    Anonymous said…

    I’m sorry Pulp Fiction was so traumatic for you. I wasn’t nearly so bothered by the movie, but the whole analrape thing did…does still bother me.

    I hope you next movie isn’t so…brutal

    Posted 8/2/2003 at 11:45 PM by AGM_65

    Jair said…

    Do me a favor and never watch Sin City. ^_^ I kinda felt a bit like that, but only a smidge watching it. It creeped me out more than anything, but if Pulp Fiction gave you that reaction, you probably don’t wanna watch Sin City, I know I didn’t but I ended up doing so against my will (I was stuck at a friend’s house with nothing on besides Sin City and infomercials, we chose the “lesser” of the two evils)
    Saturday, May 06, 2006 11:29:00 PM

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