‘Burger-wood’ clip of the week: Pulp Fiction

24 Nov

Okeyly dokely Peggy Sue & Lash La Rue, here’s a new blog feature coming at you – like a panther wearing a VW neck chain and hi-tops.

Burger-wood is a weekly look at burgers in the movies, in the chiselled, manly – or alternavively, seductively feminine and curvy – shape of videos and trivia of celluloid, burger-related scenes.


This week, we’re sinking our teeth into the least famous of two burger scenes in Tarantino’s meaty classic, Pulp Fiction.

Set in faux-50s diner Jack Rabbit Slims, this tasty scene is famous for three key things:

  • The longer than a seriously long hot dog, Scorsese-inspired tracking shot following Vincent as he enters the eaterie
  • The mustard-hot, snappy dialogue scenes that were an early Tarantino hallmark (True Romance, Resevoir Dogs)
  • And THAT dance scene, where a smacked-up Vincent (John Travolta) and coked-up Mia (Uma Thurman) choose the twist over the mashed potato to scoop a dancing trophy in the diner’s footloose contest

The burger sounds and looks fantastic – “… a Durward Kirby burger, bloody as hell.” I would have screwed my scene up time after time just to bite that bad boy over and over. Anyway, here’s the scene. So light up a Red Apple, have a sip of your $5 shake,  sit back and enjoy.



In the scene, Mia Wallace, played by Thurman, orders a Durward Kirby burger, “bloody as hell.” You can see the rest of the menu here. But why the name?

Kirby was an American television host and announcer, who among other things (hosting Candid Camera, for instance) was spoofed in cartoon hit, Rocky and Bullwinkle.

And that particular cartoon is playing in Pulp’s Chris Walken/Butch pocket-watch-up-my-ass scene. So it’s thought that the burger is named as a reference/Easter egg to echo that scene. Tarantino loves his circular references and Easter eggs – and no name is seemingly without significance in his movies.


Jack Rabbit Slims, Pulp Fiction vs Peppermill, Las Vegas

Jack Rabbit Slims reminds me a little of Peppermill, in Las Vegas – in that they’re both diners that heavily evoke 50s America. The former is much better though – with its 50s celebrity looky-likies (Marilyn Monroe, Buddy Holly), slot car racing and hot rod cars-cum-dining booths. Would love to have something like this in London.

The latter’s burgers are pretty good, though the portions are typically American – ma-hu-ssive. They’re just a pit stop en-route to the Firelounge’s Firepit, a place with its own movie connection – Scorcese immortalised it in his Vegas gangster flick, Casino. Where the burger’s are ok, the cocktails are pretty good. Here, you’re in between  ‘Glitter Gulch’ – old Vegas – and the Strip, so you’re perfectly placed for food, cocktails, the weirdness of the old, and the freakiness of the new.Check it out if you visit.


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