A Hyperviolent Cut
This is a work in progress, not yet released. SPOILERS ABOUND BELOW…
The late Tony Scott and the great Quentin Tarantino. I takes two to make a thing go right… right?
Tony Scott’s direction certainly improved some aspects of Tarantino’s True Romance screenplay:
Scott sometimes cut back on very redundant parts of the monologues
He changed certain locations to be more interesting so we are not just witnessing a bunch of “talking in rooms” (Alabama sitting up on a Billboard… pretty cool and not in Tarantino’s script)
The mob enforcer does not know karate or use it on Alabama (way too coincidental)
Scott also went in directions which detracted from the movie we would have beheld, had Tarantino been at the helm:
Chronological re-ordering of scenes reduced the mystery and story building Tarantino had crafted
Scott ineptly extended and milked the racist joke/anecdote told by Clarence’s father and milked the deadly response (added the unfunny lines, “You’re an eggplant… You’re a cantaloupe!”)
While Scott used one piece of music from the Tarantino script (Little Bitty Tear), the various other song choices had more of a middle aged douche vibe than a cool retro/hipster vibe
Most of the Hans Zimmer score sounded way off, like music in a weird Jamaican Disneyland
In the screenplay, Drexl, Alabama’s pimp, says some extra nasty stuff to a beaten down Clarence about how he’s going to make Alabama perform fellacio on him (Drexl) again. Things like this would have helped give the movie the hard edge needed for a tragic ending.
Scott filmed and spliced together a really bad demo version of the screenplay ending Tarantino wanted so that Tarantino would not want it anymore.
So where do we go from here for an edit?
The goal of this edit is to turn True Romance into a movie that feels like it could have been made (not just written) by Quentin Tarantino. The release will be in SDR 4K and 1080p with 5.1 channel surround.
Major Changes (In progress):
Uses Tarantino’s nicely crafted non-chronological order
The Hans Zimmer (“Jamaican Disneyland”) score is removed throughout as well as the late 80’s Aerosmith song (don’t send me hate mail, I’m an Aerosmith fan)
A new and improved score and new songs throughout give a real Tarantino vibe (no music pulled from his other movies)
Re-foleyed outdated sounding punches and gunshots
Deleted and extended footage is upscaled, upmixed, cleaned (somewhat), and re-foleyed as needed
Deleted and extended scenes are incorporated in line with Tarantino’s screenplay, meaning drawn out bits— those that mess up Tarantino’s cool, snappy scene progression— are left on the cutting room floor
Coccotti acts more like he does in the screenplay, with quicker action, less jokes
The flashback to Clarence and Alabama first meeting is started off using altered dialogue to better match the screenplay (Dick asks Clarence about how he met Alabama not why is he here)
Added new dialogue so Drexl claims Alabama has previously performed oral on him
New VFX adding extra blood, gore during Drexl’s ultimate demise
The first time we actually see the cocaine is now handled like the screenplay, complete with new establishing shot of the Safari Inn
Incorporates the Prayer to St. Francis which is a very Tarantino-ey element of the screenplay
New VFX so Alabama now blows off Virgil’s head with the shotgun (this is not in the screenplay but I think Tarantino would approve of how this hyperviolence contrasts with the prayer)
The conversations of the cops and then the mobsters is intercut like the screenplay
The Ending… Clarence dies but Scott’s butchered alternate ending is heavily changed, removing much of Alabama’s weirdly performed deadpan narration about Clarence. The ending also adds in better flashbacks, adds the song Tarantino has playing on the radio, and if all goes well, does a good job showcasing the comic book
Music is such an important aspect of Tarantino’s work. Here are the new songs by scene:
Drexl, Floyd and a few other pillars of the Detroit cocaine industry discuss the historical impact of the white man on cunnilingus:
“The Pimp” by Scarface replaces the goofy-assed song by the Skinny Boys-- a rap group even worse than the Fat Boys that only old white men ever put into movies
New establishing shots of Hollywood:
“Trouble / Guitar Man” by Elvis Presley
Clarence departs from his dad’s house:
“Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou Reed replaces Hans Zimmer Score
Date at the diner:
“You Belong To Me” by Gene Vincent replaces “In Dreams” by John Waite (a solo artist that people listen to even less than his real band, Bad English)
In the comic shop and then the bedroom:
“Try Me” by James Brown replaces “Wounded Bird” by Charles & Eddie (another one of Tony Scott’s one-hit wonders from England)
Clarence and Alabama on the interstate in Los Angeles:
“A Man Without Love” by Engelbert Humperdinck replaces late 80’s Aerosmith
Clarence and Alabama Driving with Dick:
“I Love You Mary Jane” by Sonic Youth & Cypress Hill replaces late 80’s Aerosmith
Will update further as the edit progresses.