Photo: Weinstein Company
How does "Django Unchained" fit into the grand scheme of all things Quentin Tarantino?
Fans have had fun over the years discovering all of the references that connect most of Tarantino's movies to each other. Vincent Vega (John Travolta) from "Pulp Fiction" and Vic Vega, aka Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), from "Reservoir Dogs" were brothers and were once set to star in their own spin-off film (titled, appropriately, "The Vega Brothers"). Alabama Worley (Patricia Arquette) from "True Romance" was mentioned in "Reservoir Dogs" and called "a good little thief" by Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), suggesting that she had some sort of life (of crime) other than just frolicking in a beach paradise with her one-eyed husband Clarence (Christian Slater).
You've also got the "Bear Jew" himself, Donnie Donowitz (Eli Roth), from "Inglourious Basterds" apparently being related to "True Romance" film producer Lee Donowitz (Saul Rubinek) -- which is rather fitting, seeing as that Donnie went out in a blaze of glory in a movie theater. And Sheriff Earl McGraw (Michael Parks) doesn't need any siblings, ancestors or descendants -- he just keeps popping up all over the place himself, having made appearances in "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Kill Bill Vol. 1" and "Death Proof."
The latest installment in the Tarantino-verse, "Django Unchained," also contributes to this sprawling dramatis personae, though in a decidedly more obscure way. In fact, it almost qualifies as a case of blink and you'll miss it, though we have a feeling the more hardcore "Pulp Fiction" fanatics caught it almost immediately.
One of the gang members listed on a "Wanted" parchment is Crazy Craig Koons, who happens to share the same last name as a certain Captain Koons, the war hero played by Christopher Walken who gave the mythical watch to young Butch Coolidge in "Pulp Fiction." If you remember (and who doesn't, really?), Captain Koons had to go to rather uncomfortable extremes (for a very, very long time) to make sure the watch stayed hidden during his time as a POW.
Maybe Craig Koons was called "Crazy" because he too had something stuck up his you-know-what? We never see him on screen, so the imagination can truly run wild ... if you, you know, want to go there.