The Story (continued)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
VINCENT VEGA & MARSELLUS WALLACE'S WIFE [Story 1]
Late in the afternoon, in his own near-empty downtown bar/club, bald African-American crime-boss Marsellus Wallace spoke to 26 year-old prizefighting boxer Butch (Bruce Willis) on taking a dive in the 5th round of his next match. Butch accepted an envelope stuffed with wrapped bills, after admitting he was Marsellus' dependent "nigger" and repeating: "In the fifth, my ass goes down."
Marsellus' two hitmen arrived, dressed in gaudy T-shirts, baseball caps, and shorts. Their uncool attire was commented upon by barman English Bob/Paul (Paul Calderon): "Goddamn nigger, what's up with them clothes?" They didn't want to talk about what had happened to their usually spiffy outfits. [Vincent wore a UC Santa Cruz banana slug mascot T-shirt - indicative of his slothful, non-athletic, slug-like character.] The bartender knew that Vincent would be taking out Marsellus' wife Mia (Uma Thurman) the next day. When "palooka" Butch ordered cigarettes at the bar, he and an obnoxious-sounding Vincent crossed paths. They were about to confront each other when the hitman was called over by Marsellus.
In the next scene set in the kitchen of long-haired, drug-dealing Lance's (Eric Stoltz) house, his ring-bearing wife Jody (Rosanna Arquette), wearing a Flintstones T-shirt, spoke about her fetish: "It's as if it turns every part of your body into the tip of a penis" as she recommended to girlfriend Trudi (Bronagh Gallagher) a great book on body-piercing. Jody bragged about 18 needle-made piercings all over her body (with the usual lip, ear, nose, and eyebrow rings), including one through her left nipple and clit. The stud in her tongue was a "sex thing, helps fellatio." Vincent was there to score the most expensive brand of heroin ("500 a gram") from Lance, described as "a f--kin' madman," and he bought three grams. After the purchase, Vincent complained about how his 1964 cherry-red Chevy Malibu convertible had been defaced by keying. It had been in storage for three years, and was out for only five days before the paintwork was maliciously scratched ("What's more chicken-s--t than f--kin' with a man's automobile?"). Vincent was politely granted permission to shoot up in Lance's bathroom. Close-ups followed of the cooking of the heroin on a spoon, and shooting up with a syringe and plunger.
Vincent drove up to Marsellus' house, to escort his drug-addicted, dippy black-wigged wife Mia for a "date." The home was under surveillance with a high-tech security network of cameras and intercoms. Mia's note on the door invited him in - it instructed him to make a drink while she was dressing. [Mia's hairstyle resembled that of actress Anna Karina in several Jean-Luc Godard films, including Band of Outsiders (1964, Fr.).] As he waited, had a drink in the living room, and listened to her stereo phonograph playing Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man," Vincent was addressed through an intercom system and watched through a bank of video monitors. She snorted a few lines of cocaine in her dressing room before she said: "Let's go."
They drove to Jack Rabbit Slim's, a 50s theme restaurant, where she told him: "An Elvis man should love it." She drew a square box and advised him not to be square [taken from the cartoon Three Little Bops (1957)]. As the two walked in, the camera swirled around them - taking their perspective as they viewed the intense atmosphere, decorated with posters and lookalike characters. It was nostalgically plastered with posters from 50's B-movie exploitation films from producer Roger Corman and AIP (Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), Dragstrip Girl (1957), Motorcycle Gang (1957), Rock All Night (1957), Sorority Girl (1957), Attack of the 50-Foot Woman (1958), Daddy-O (1958), High School Confidential (1958), Something for the Girls (1958), Machine-Gun Kelly (1958), Road Racers (1959), and The Young Racers (1963)) and other kitschy-trashy artifacts. The MC was lookalike variety show host Ed Sullivan (Jerome Patrick Hoban), and performing on stage was a Ricky Nelson-impersonating singer (Gary Shorelle). Waiters were dressed up as stars: Marilyn Monroe (Susan Griffiths), James Dean (Eric Clark), and Mamie Van Doren (Lorelei Leslie), and there was a bell-hop red costumed midget (Michael Gilden) paging Phillip Morris. They seated themselves in a 50's Chrysler car-body table. Vincent described it as "a wax museum with a pulse." Waiter Buddy Holly (Steve Buscemi) took Vincent's order for a Douglas Sirk (a famed melodramatic director) steak which came: "Burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell." Mia ordered a Durwood Kirby burger (cooked "bloody") and a $5 dollar shake (with a menu choice of either Martin and Lewis, or Amos and Andy shakes, she chose the former).
After he rolled a cigarette for her, Mia spoke about her failed experience (her "fifteen minues" of fame) as an actress in a TV pilot show, "Fox Force Five" about a team of five female secret agents each with a special skill (hers was knives). Vincent sampled some of her "Martin and Lewis" $5 dollar shake. Their conversation was slightly restrained and polite, with some "uncomfortable silences" as they got to know each other. However, she thought their quiet time was a good sign that she had found "somebody really special - when you can just shut the f--k up for a minute and comfortably share silence." She excused herself to go to the bathroom, to "powder my nose" - i.e., to snort more cocaine. When she returned and their order was served, he finally gathered the courage (with her prodding) to ask her about Antwone, who was allegedly thrown out of a four-story window by Marsellus after she received a foot massage from him. She denied his account, and accused his buddies of accusatory gossip: "When you little scamps get together, you're worse than a sewing circle?"
The Ed Sullivan impersonator announced the Jack Rabbit Slim's Twist contest to win a trophy, requiring dancing on a big stage dance floor - it looked like a speedometer (an extension of the racing car motif). When Vincent refused Mia's request: "I wanna dance," she pulled rank on him: "I do believe Marsellus, my husband, your boss, told you to take me out and do whatever I wanted. Now, I want to dance. I want to win. I want that trophy. So dance good." As the contest's first contestants, they danced (without shoes) to Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell." Their dance moves included horizontal arm movements (and V-signs) across their faces - a recreation of the Batusi (a dance invented for the mid-60s Batman TV series).
Afterwards with the winning trophy in hand, they elatedly returned to the Wallace home. She proposed "drinks, music," as he said: "I'm gonna take a piss." To the tune of Urge Overkill's version of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" playing on a reel-to-reel tape player, Mia danced in the living room before flopping onto the couch. While he was in the bathroom, Vincent was lecturing to himself with a pep talk about being loyal to his boss and not messing around with Mia by excusing himself in a few minutes. Meanwhile, she discovered his stash of white powdered heroin in a plastic baggie in his coat pocket which she was wearing. Mistaking it for cocaine, she cut it up into big lines on her glass coffee table, snorted a line, and immediately overdosed. She moaned, her nose became bloody, she vomited, and passed out. It was the start of the film's infamous heroin overdose sequence. When Vincent found her with puke and blood on her face and in an open-eyed, near-death coma, he cried out: "Oh, f--k me!"
Vincent hurriedly dragged her to his car, and drove her over to Lance's house for help, as he entreated: "Don't f--kin' die on me, Mia!" When Vincent phoned Lance, his friend was eating Brute cereal and watching "Brideless Groom" (1947), a b/w Three Stooges episode. Lance refused to help Vincent with his OD'd "f--ked up pooh-bah." He suggested instead that he take her to a hospital, and then call a lawyer. When Lance hung up, he claimed that Vincent's cellphone call was from a "prank caller" to avoid getting into trouble. Vincent's car skidded and crashed into the side of the house in Lance's domestic front yard. Once he arrived - at about 1:30 in the morning - Lance yelled at Vincent: "You are not bringing this f--ked up bitch into my house." Vincent convincingly described the emergency: "If she croaks on me, I am a f--king grease spot," and that they would both be in trouble with Marsellus if she died (without Lance helping).
Neither Lance nor Vincent knew how to deliver an adrenalin shot with a syringe (stashed in their refrigerator), so Lance first searched for his "little black medical book" for instructions. When he couldn't locate his book, he bluntly improvised and stated what needed to be done. They had to open her shirt and locate her heart: "We're giving her a shot in the heart so I guess it's gotta be f--kin' exact." Vincent demanded a "big fat magic marker" and drew a red target above Mia's heart, after the two had argued over who would administer the shot. Lance described the procedure: "It's gotta be hard enough to get through her breastplate into her heart." [Note: This was a reversal of the typical vampire movie, where a blow to the heart would result in death.]
She was revived when Vincent (on the count of three), with a large hypodermic syringe, stabbed her directly in the chest "in a stabbing motion," and then pushed down hard on the plunger to administer the adrenaline. [Note: In reality, a dose of adrenalin would not restart her heart.] Her head jolted up from the impact - she immediately woke with gasps and coughs like she had been pumped with electricity. The syringe stuck there and protruded from her heart. Lance asked: "If you're all right, then say something" - and she replied simply: "Something." Jody remarked: "That was f--kin' trippy!"
Vincent drove a groggy and dazed Mia back to her home. They both agreed on how to handle the situation: "If Marsellus lived his whole life, he doesn't need to know nothing about this incident." She replied: "I can keep a secret if you can," and they shook hands. He then excused himself: "I'm gonna go home and have a heart attack." But as he was leaving, she volunteered to tell him the "Fox Force Five" joke that she had told in the pilot:
Three tomatoes are walkin' down the street. Papa Tomato, Mama Tomato, and Baby Tomato. Baby Tomato starts laggin' behind, and Papa Tomato gets really angry. Goes back and squishes him - and says, 'catch up' (ketchup).
She departed with "See you around." As she walked inside, he blew her a kiss.