TV Article

Pulp Affliction

Quentin Tarantino directs an episode of ''ER'' -- The director brings his movie gruesomeness to TV

Perhaps the severed ear tipped you off. A cop had his ear slice off in the movie Reservoir Dogs, and then last May, a Latina gang member had her ear sliced off on the ''Motherhood'' episode of ER. Indeed, Quentin Tarantino directed both, and the man who also brought us Pulp Fiction left his bloody fingerprints all over the ER.

Lydia Woodward, the ER supervising producer who wrote the episode, says she didn't try to Quentinize the script. ''The severed ear was my only direct homage,'' Woodward notes. But she admits that she ''grossed out the traumas a bit more.'' Woodward may get the chance to write for Tarantino again: ''Quentin wants to do another run. And he has a recurring character in mind for his own cameo role.'' Until then, you can bone up on Tarantino syndrome by consulting this chart of Pulp Fiction symptoms we diagnosed on ER.

Pulp Fiction: Mia (Uma Thurman) is impaled in the torso with a shot of adrenaline
ER: A patient is impaled in the torso with a metal rod adrenaline

PF: Most of the characters in the film wear sunglasses
ER: Susan (Sherry Stringfield) and Carole (Julianna Margulies) wear sunglasses

PF: Lance (Eric Stoltz) wears a Speed Racer T-shirt
ER: Susan wears a Yosemite Sam T-shirt

PF: Characters use nicknames like ''Pumpkin'' and ''Honey Bunny''
ER: Characters use nicknames like ''Big Susan'' and ''Susie-cakes''

PR: Small roles are played by Alexis Arquette, Kathy Griffin, and Angela Jones
ER: Small roles are played by Alexis Arquette, Kathy Griffin, and Angela Jones

PR: Epiphany is dramatized by Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) in his ''Ezekiel'' speech
ER: Epiphany is dramatized by Peter (Eriq LaSalle) in his ''all of our capabilities'' speech

PF: Volatile, gravelly-voiced ''Honey Bunny'' (Amanda Plummer) holds up a diner with her ne'er-do-well boyfriend
ER: Volatile, gravelly-voiced Chloe (Kathleen Wilhoite) gives birth without her ne'er-do-well boyfriend

PF: Mia foams at the mouth from an overdose of heroin
ER: A girl foams at the mouth from an overdose of speedballs and downers

Originally posted Aug 25, 1995 Published in issue #289-290 Aug 25, 1995 Order article reprints
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