20 Years of PULP FICTION: The Briefcase & The Band-Aid; Theories Behind the Movie

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In his own movies, Quentin Tarantino has created a world of coincidence, connections, Easter Eggs, and unanswered questions. People love to ponder about the theories and intertwining universes in a QT movie; it’s great entertainment. He places these things liberally throughout his screenplays, challenging the observant.

He has left a lot of scenes from Pulp Fiction up for interpretation and for people to theorize over. Let’s take a look at a few.

The mysterious 666 briefcase

The mystery of the contents of Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase has raged for years. Some say it’s Elvis’ gold suit from True Romance, others the diamonds from Reservoir Dogs. The most popular theory is that it’s Marcellus Wallace’s soul, hence the case’s glow, the Band-Aid on the back of Wallace’s head (where the soul is removed) and the combination – 666.


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Tarantino has said there is no explanation for its contents and that it is simply a MacGuffin (a pure plot device). For filming purposes, it contained a hidden orange light bulb that produced an otherworldly glow. The script’s co-writer, Roger Avary, says that the original idea was diamonds, but that it seemed too cliche and it was decided the contents would never be seen, leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions.

Despite Tarantino’s statements, a strong similarity has often been observed with the 1955 film noir Kiss Me Deadly. That movie, whose protagonist Tarantino has cited as a source for Butch, features a glowing briefcase housing an atomic explosive. Pretty cool.


The Band-Aid on Wallace’s Head

The band aid on Wallace’s head was used to cover a shaving scar suffered by actor Ving Rhames. That is all.


The Gold Watch


This is my favorite scene from the movie and to hear this in-depth analysis makes it all the more entertaining. Rob Ager, the film critic behind collativelearning.com gives an in-depth analysis of The Gold Watch scene in Pulp Fiction. He uses video and narrative to build a case that much more symbolism and story is being transmitted than first meets the eye.

For fun: Pulp Fiction in Typography

The “What does Marsellus Wallace Look Like” scene in Pulp Fiction portrayed using nothing but typography. By Jarratt Moody.