Reservoir Dogs: 11 Awesome Facts About This Tarantino Classic

Reservoir Dogs breakfast scene


The film that launched him to international acclaim as a director, Quentin Tarantino released Reservoir Dogs in 1990. It’s a gritty crime drama about a group of strangers who are pulled together to carry out a robbery that goes very badly wrong.

Here are some facts about the film…

1) Madonna sent a message to Tarantino after watching the film 

The film opened with the guys sitting around a table in a diner, talking about the song, ’Like a virgin.’ Mr Brown (played by Tarantino himself) explains that the song is about a girl who meets a guy with a big penis. Madonna loved the film, and sent a signed copy of the album to Tarantino, with the words, ‘It’s not about dick, it’s about love,’ written on it. 

2) Actors mostly wore their own clothes

The film’s budget was so low, they didn’t have a lot of money to put towards wardrobe, so the actors mostly wore their own clothes. The suits were provided by their designer with no charge, as she loved American crime movies. 

3) Tarantino wanted the role of Mr Pink for himself 

Motor-mouthed Mr Pink is one of the most likeable characters in the film, and the director wanted the role for himself. However, he didn’t stop other actors from auditioning for the part. When Buscemi turned up to audition, he told the actor, ‘you’ll have to do a killer audition to wrestle this part from me.’ Buscemi did a killer audition. 

4) Michael Madsen drove to Taco Bell with Kirk Baltz in his boot 

Kirk Baltz, who plays the cop that Michael Madsen’s Mr Blonde kidnaps, asked Madsen if he could put him in the trunk of his car for real, to see what it feels like. Madsen agreed, and put Baltz in the boot. He then drove to Taco Bell to pick up food. 

Michael Madsen as Mr Blonde in Reservoir Dogs

5) Mr Orange’s apartment was right above the warehouse 

To save money on the production, the crew decorated the space above the warehouse (where much of the movie is filmed) to look like an apartment. This is where they shot the scenes in Mr Orange’s apartment. 

6) Double V Vega: A Reservoir Dogs / Pulp Fiction Crossover Sequel 

Mr Blonde’s real name is Vic Vega. Tarantino revealed that he’s the brother of Vincent Vega, the character John Travolta played in Pulp Fiction. He also revealed that he had planned to make a prequel movie called Double V Vega, which would be feature the two brothers, with Madsen and Travolta reprising their roles. However, both actors grew too old, and he has abandoned the idea. 

7) Harvey Keitel helped get a bigger budget for Reservoir Dogs

Tarantino was ready to make the film for $30,000 with a group of his friends. However, Harvey Keitel got a copy of the script, and wanted in. He asked Tarantino if he could star in it and help produce it. Once he was involved, the film secured a budget of $1.5 million. 

8) Harvey Weinstein wanted to drop the torture scene 

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is where Mr Blonde brings the cop in, cuts his ear off, and soaks him in petrol. Harvey Weinstein, who was the boss at Miramax, thought it would make audiences too uncomfortable, and wanted to drop the scene. Tarantino stood his ground, and managed to keep the scene in the final film. 

Reservoir Dogs walk scene

9) An advert for Jack Rabbit Slim’s plays in the background 

At one point in the film, you can hear an ad over the radio for ‘Jack Rabbit Slim’s, home of the five dollar milkshake.’ As any Tarantino fan will know, this is the 1950s themed restaurant that Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace visit in Pulp Fiction. 

10) Free make up in exchange for From Dusk Till Dawn script 

Robert Kurtzman agreed to do the special effects make up for the film for no fee. However, Tarantino had to agree to write a script for From Dusk Till Dawn by adapting a story Kurtzman had written. 

11) Stuck in the middle with you 

The entire soundtrack budget for Reservoir Dogs was eaten up by a single song – ‘Stuck in the middle with you’ by Steeler’s Wheel. It’s the song that Mr Blonde plays whilst he’s torturing the cop. Tarantino was perfectly happy for it to be the only song in the film. Fortunately, the producers managed to secure a deal for a movie soundtrack, which allowed them to use more songs in the film, such as Little Green Bag. 

There you have it – 11 awesome facts about Reservoir Dogs!

Reservoir Dogs trailer