D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
Reservoir Dogs, 1992.
Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Starring Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth and Chris Penn.
Reservoir Dogs is the directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino and it launched him straight into the big time. The story follows a group of criminals brought together under colour-related aliases who undertake a bank job that goes wrong. One by one they arrive at the post-robbery meeting place bloodied, battered and all suspicious of each other as they fear that someone amongst them is an undercover cop.
Each of the men arrive in the warehouse with their own theories, thoughts and gripes as they try and figure out who amongst them has caused the mess that has become of the job. Tempers flare and guns fire as the cops draw closer to their hide out. The film flashes back and forth between each of their back stories to add the how, when and why to them being recruited. When the cops finally close in on the warehouse and the gig is up the rat amongst them makes himself known, but is it too late to get out alive?
Tarantino’s stunning debut is a clever little film that proves it is possible to come from humble beginnings and break into the film world. Tarantino was working at a video rental store in LA and planning to make this film with his friends on a budget of $30,000, but when Harvey Keitel became involved and agreed to act in the film it gathered pace and another $1.5 million was raised.
Reservoir Dogs went on to earn itself cult status and Tarantino is now a filmmaking powerhouse, but the film only really came to prominence in America after the success of Pulp Fiction. Still, it’s not a bad way to launch the career of the assistant in a video rental store. Empire Magazine has called it the Greatest Independent Film ever made and for this reason Reservoir Dogs is a film that you must see before you die.