Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tarantino and Westlake

Apparently the title Reservoir Dogs comes from a mix of Straw Dogs and Au revoir les enfants, which Tarantino called "the reservoir film" because he couldn't pronounce the title.
Well, here's an amusing coincidence: two years before Reservoir Dogs was released, Donald Westlake - whom Tarantino acknowledges as an inspiration - published his novel Drowned Hopes. The plot basically involves John Dortmunder helping an ex-cellmate recover some buried money that is now under 50 feet of water following the construction of a reservoir. And here we are in Chapter 2, in Dortmunder's thoughts:
And thinking beyond that to the amount of money itself, and the hassle he'd just gone through tonight for petty cash out of a check-cashing place with a bad-tempered dog. He didn't know exactly how you went about digging up a casket from fifty feet down in the bottom of a reservoir but let's just say he had to bring in two or three other guys, say three other guys; that still left nearly a hundred thousand apiece. And there are no dogs in a reservoir.

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