Some of the most delicious pieces of fiction found in Pulp are the consumable and edible creations born from the mind of Tarantino and brought into full bloom on the big screen for all of us in the audience to drool over. Everything sipped, smoked, or served up to eat in the film – whether a Durward Kirby burger or a glass of McCleary Scotch – is made to seem like the very best and most mouth-watering in existence.
There is methodical attention paid to the details of these make-believe products, and to the way that they are presented within the film. From the brand logos and packaging to the way the items are shot, no detail is missed. Even if you took away the close-ups of the food, which are shot as if they were actual characters, there are the sounds surrounding them – the glass crack and liquid pour of Vince’s pre-date Scotch, the slurp of Brett’s Sprite, the paper wrapper crinkle of a Kahuna Burger.
The invention of something that only exists in this particular cinematic world makes it automatically desirable because we cannot go anywhere in real life and get a pack of Red Apple cigarettes or a Douglas Sirk steak, bloody as hell. There is no reference for comparison so we are left to understand the tastes and textures through our own imaginations and through what Tarantino and the actors give us. And what they give us is cool. Brett’s Big Kahuna Burger and beverage are both “tasty” to Jules; the 5 dollar milk shake is “pretty $*&% good,” and even Winston Wolfe, a man who has no time to waste, takes a moment to admire Jimmie’s gourmet coffee with a simple nod and smile.