Pupl Fiction, Part Deux? Don’t expect a sequel to Quentin Tarantino’s $108 million-grossing blockbuster anytime soon. But then again, who needs one? You could already fill a multiplex with the number of recent films dubbed Fiction-esque. To Die For, The Prophecy, and Desperado are all cashing in on the success of the John Travolta hit by highlighting such reviewer quotes as ”The Pulp Fiction of supernatural thrillers” (The Prophecy) and ”Pulp Fiction goes South of the Border” (Desperado) in their promotional campaigns.
Movieline critic Stephen Farber, whose rave about To Die For was snagged for a promo, thinks the ads could cause moviegoer disappointment. ”I just said To Die For was the most enjoyable American movie I’ve seen since Pulp Fiction,” he notes. ”It doesn’t necessarily mean they have that much in common.”
Though none of the studios would comment on the proliferation of Pulp, director Gary Fleder, whose upcoming Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead is also being talked about as the next you-know-what, doesn’t really mind the comparisons. ”Because of Pulp Fiction, studios are willing to support films like this, and the public’s willing to go see them,” he says. Not that Fleder doesn’t see a downside: ”I would much rather a critic [write] a four-page review castigating our movie than a four-paragraph review saying, ‘It’s like Pulp Fiction; don’t go see it.’ ” Meanwhile, the makers of the oft-cited movie are happy to be repeatedly flattered by critics. Says Pulp Fiction’s producer, Lawrence Bender, ”I think people have points of reference, and Pulp Fiction is a point of reference.”