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Quentin Tarantino’s debut film Reservoir Dogs had people walk out due to blood violence including horror legend Wes Craven - Did you know?

Reservoir Dogs marked the debut of Quentin Tarantino who staged a rather gory scene in the film that put many off back in the day. 

Quentin Tarantino’s debut film Reservoir Dogs had people walk out due to blood violence including horror legend Wes Craven - Did you know?
Reservoir Dogs Trivia

Last Updated: 02.17 PM, Jun 05, 2024


The appetite for blood and gore among cinephiles is always a difficult thing for filmmakers to gauge. How much is too much? When should they stop? These are questions they struggle with constantly. One filmmaker who has mastered the balance between blood and content is Quentin Tarantino. The filmmaker who gave us the iconic Pulp Fiction knows how to do it right. But did he always have this art in him? It's arguable, because his debut movie Reservoir Dogs tells a different story, having had many people walk out due to the violent content in one of its pivotal scenes. Among those who walked out was horror legend Wes Craven. Read on to know everything you should about the same.

Quentin Tarantino and Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs is a story about a group of criminals who start doubting that one of them is a police informant after a simple jewelry heist goes drastically wrong, leading to mutual suspicion. The movie stars Tim Roth alongside Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, and an ensemble cast. The controversial scene features Mr. Blonde, played by Madsen, torturing a police officer while Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You” plays in the background. The scene escalates to the point where Madsen’s character cuts off the cop’s ear.

This scene caused many audience members to walk out of the theater when the movie was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992. Tarantino later recalled discussing the scene with Steve Buscemi. “Steve comes to me and says, ‘Quentin, did you hear what everyone is saying? They’re saying the torture scene ruins the movie!'” Tarantino said. “And I go, ‘What are they talking about? It’s the best thing in the f—ing movie! Did you see how many people walked out? That’s the sh–!'”

Wes Craven's Reaction

Later, Tarantino discussed the horror cinema legend Wes Craven walking out of the screening. He recounted the time Reservoir Dogs was taken to the Sitges Film Festival. “They showed Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive, which was just drenched in zombie guts and brains. Finally, I’ve got an audience that won’t walk out. I even joked about that in the opening introduction for the movie,” he thought.

However, Tarantino was proved wrong when the series of walkouts continued, and this time the crowd that walked out included Wes Craven. “Five people walked out of that audience, including Wes Craven,” Tarantino said. “The f—ing guy who did Last House on the Left walked out? The guy who did Last House on the Left—my movie’s too tough for him.”


You can check out Reservoir Dogs on Lionsgate Play with your OTTplay Premium subscription. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.

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