Opening the portal from Tarantino’s Cult Charles Manson Hollywood portrayal to the etchings of the Joker, Cape Talk radio presenter & Rolling Stone award-winning author Shiloh Noone reviews Quentin Tarantinrevio's 'Once Upon A Time in Hollywood':
I had to smile while reading Guardian journalist Wendy Ide's review of the latest retro zeitgeist contribution by writer/director Quentin Tarantino.
About three weeks ago, I received a frantic call from Tarantino himself to slaughter the airhead reviews with devastating urgency.
I think it was some 20 years ago that I interviewed him on Fine Music Radio, his request largely due to my article on Surfguitar (SA Rock digest), the website owned by Steve Segerman - the man who found Rodriguez and featured in the award-winning movie "Searching for Sugarman".
When it comes to individualism and cult status, Tarantino is "King of the Hill".
His latest offering, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, features his usual star-studded cast of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, and centres its appeal on the stuttering Wild West actor Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) ably supported by his stuntman Cliff Booth (the ultra-sexy Ray-Ban-shaded Pitt).
The assumption, (Guardian and all) that the life of Rick Dalton was angled at Burt Reynolds is urban legend, while it was actually in ode to Ty Hardin who got whistled away by the good, bad and ugly of spaghetti Westerns, namely Western Savage Pampas (1966), Death on the Run (1967).
Amidst the Flower Power spontaneity of the 60s, this cult movie spearheads the bloody entrails of the Charles Manson murders and the rockstar celebrity aura that gave this global crime legendary hippy appeal during the turbulent Vietnam crisis.
Snippets of uniformed soldiers, the Whitehorse tide of a nation at war says it all.
Nothing but nothing is left untouched, including the whimsical humiliation of Cliff Booth beating up Bruce Lee when he was still chauffeuring for the Green Hornet, before Kung Fu kingdom.
And the retro music angles into hidden messages and innuendo too, namely the hip sports car trip by Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and lookalike Roman Polanski to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy HQ, while Deep Purple’s rendition of Joe South is blasting away.
Even more expounded is the continual music of Paul Revere & the Raiders, displaying the actual LP due to Doris Day’s son Terry Melcher being the producer and mentor of that extraordinary group.
It was Melcher who told Charles Manson to "piss off" when he was hounded by him to record his music, largely thanks to Beach Boys Dennis Wilson’s obsession with Manson’s commune.
The final rebut was an attack on Melcher’s house, Rick Dalton’s Cielo Drive neighbour which he unfortunately rented out to Sharon Tate and celebrity associates who bore the brunt of this rejection.
But in this movie, the bloody, almost spoof epitaph where Manson’s killer envoy descends upon Dalton’s home after murdering Tate and associates does not end well for the cult killers as acid-dazed Booth and his faithful bull terrier retaliate in full power.
As for Wendy Ide’s blasé’ comment in the Guardian, "flirting with World War Two adventures’’ is nothing short of sacrilege.
The movie can best be described as an acid trip of hippy events, but don’t be fooled for Tarantino is ridiculing the robotic social media movie throng - lurching out his tentacles with holy grail to those destined to see, the artistic zealots that cower in Bohemian coffee shop corners dissecting each sentence or scene.