TWENTY-FIVE years ago this week, Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino's debut feature film, made its theatrical debut and introduced us to one of the bloodiest, most absurd auteurs in cinema history.
It may not have been apparent at the time, but the film would go on to become one of the most beloved crime movies in recent memory, an early showcase for some of today's biggest working actors, and a treasure trove of ever-quotable lines referenced in a slew of films.
Here are 10 things you never knew about the bloodthirsty modern classic:
1. Quentin Tarantino wrote the first draft of Reservoir Dogs in a mere three and a half weeks.
2. Reservoir Dogs was filmed in just 35 days. Initially only armed with a 16mm and $30,000, Tarantino planned to make the film with friends. Things changed dramatically, however, when Harvey Keitel called and asked for a role and a producing credit and helped raise the budget to $1.5 million (Keitel had received the script via the wife of Nice Guy Eddie's (Lawrence Bender) acting teacher).
3. Because the film's budget was so low, several of the actors wore their own clothes (most notably Chris Penn's bright-coloured tracksuit jacket). Steve Buscemi and Tim Roth also wore their own black jeans instead of suit pants. Those iconic black suits, by the way? Not all black. Costume designer Betsy Heimann revealed that after being assured by the cinematographer they would photograph black, she "found a cache of 1960s dark navy, charcoal and black jackets; all alike just different colours and "paired them with black jeans and boots."
4. The entirety of Reservoir Dogs does not feature an orchestral score - only pre-recorded tracks. (Perhaps most memorably, Stuck in the Middle with You).
5. Because they shot in Los Angeles in July and August, it was an insanely hot set. On many occasions, Tim Roth had been lying in a pool of fake blood for so long that he became glued to the floor - which required a group of people to peel him away for several minutes.
6. Tarantino initially was set to play Mr. Pink, but he let other actors audition for it. After Steve Buscemi came in to read for the part, Tarantino told him the only way he'd give it up was if Buscemi knocked the audition out of the park. (Obviously, he obliged).
7. While Mr. Blonde may have had a taste for the violent, Michael Madsen couldn't have been more opposed to it. He apparently had an extremely difficult time filming a scene in which he tortures a cop played by Kirk Baltz. When Baltz improvised a line about his child being at home, while begging for his life, Madsen - then a new father - was so upset he almost couldn't finish the scene. This particular take made the final cut and if you listen closely, you can hear someone off-camera (likely Tarantino) mutter "oh, no ... no!".
8. At the Toronto International Film Festival in September 1992, famed horror master Wes Craven was so disturbed by the "ear" scene that he walked out. Craven later recounted the incident. "When I was out in the lobby, this kid came pounding out of the shadows and said: 'You're Wes Craven, right?' I said, 'Yeah', and he said, 'And you're leaving because you can't take it?' I said 'Yeah', and he said: 'I just scared Wes Craven!' It was Quentin Tarantino and I didn't know who he was at the time. But I just don't like watching people get tortured."
9. Because of the film's slim budget, they couldn't afford police assistance for traffic control. That meant the scene where Steve Buscemi pulled a woman out of her car, fired at police, and drove off could only be filmed when the traffic lights turned green.
10. The film contains (approximately) 272 uses of the word "f**k", as seen here in a helpful supercut.
This story originally appeared on Decider part of New York Post and is republished here with permission.
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