Why Tarantino’s first show of “Mad Dogs” was a complete disaster


Quentin Tarantino’s “Mad Dogs” became a cult film and a classic of independent cinema, but its first screening was a complete disaster. Quentin Tarantino is one of the most popular and respected directors in the film industry, although one of the most controversial, because his films stand out not only for the skill of writing dialogues, but also for a lot of violence and blood. it all started in 1992 with the crime film “Mad Dogs”.

“Mad Dogs” gave the audience an idea of what Tarantino’s style is in the movies, and introduced a group of thieves whose planned robbery of a jewelry store goes terribly wrong — and to complicate things, there is an undercover policeman among them. This peculiar team is assembled and led by crime boss Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) and his son Eddie “The Good Guy” Cabot (Chris Penn). Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Blue (Edward Bunker) and Mr. Brown (Tarantino). “Mad Dogs” did not receive much publicity during the theatrical run, so it did not become a box office hit, but was a success with critics, although its first show was a complete mess.

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Mad Dogs premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1992, and it became the most talked-about film of the festival, as a result of which it was taken for hire by Miramax Films. However, that first viewing didn’t go very well, and while it ultimately didn’t affect the reception and legacy of “Mad Dogs,” it’s not exactly the moment Tarantino remembers fondly. Tarantino shared this disastrous experience during the 25th anniversary screening of Mad Dogs in 2017 and even joked that Mr. Pink himself, Steve Buscemi, was to blame for all this mess.

Tarantino shared details about the first screening of “Mad Dogs” at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992 and explained that it was a disaster because basically everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Tarantino explained that they didn’t have an optical sight for the projector, and “Mad Dogs” is a sighting film, but since he didn’t know that you can’t show a sighting film without a lens, he let them do it, and it looked terrible. Later, when the “Mad Dogs” are approaching the climactic scene (where everyone is shouting at each other), the lights suddenly came on, and then someone realized what had happened and knocked them down, but by that time the characters were already in shock. in the middle of the Mexican standoff. If that wasn’t enough, there was a power outage right at that moment of tension.

Steve Buscemi added to the story of the disastrous first viewing of “Mad Dogs”, saying that he was present at the screening, although Tarantino warned him not to do it, because the actor was unlucky to be present at the first screening of the film, and therefore Tarantino joked that Buscemi was to blame. for everything that went wrong during the debut of “Mad Dogs” at the Sundance Festival. Fortunately, a week later, Mad Dogs had a second screening at the Sundance Festival for the Creative Artists Agency, and there were no more tragedies during it. “Mad Dogs” subsequently became one of the best independent films of all time and one of Quentin Tarantino’s best works, and no one could even imagine that his first screening was a big mess.