Slate Chats With Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Favorite Imitator’

C.M. Talkington revisits the complicated lineage of his 1994 debut film.

New York magazine culture editor Lane Brown recently asked Quentin Tarantino if the filmmaker has a “favorite imitator.” Tarantino acknowledged that follow-on films were more of a trend when he first started out, but named C.M. Talkington, who made the 1994 crime thriller Love and a .45.

Today, Slate staff writer Aisha Harris has shared a Q&A with Talkington and it’s quite illuminating. For starters, Talkington was extremely unlucky with regards to the timing of his buzzed about debut film, which was lapped by Natural Born Killers and Pulp Fiction. He also publicly reveals for the first time that Tarantino wrote him a handwritten note back in the day, allowing Harris to publish it along with a funny photo featuring the two filmmakers. From the conversation:

“I went to the Stockholm Film Festival in 1994 I had no idea that he was going to be there… I did the screening and all that and it all went fine and whatnot, and then went back to the hotel, and as I walked in – and like I said I had no idea that Quentin was there – the concierge was like, “Mr. Talkington, I’ve got a letter for you from Mr. Tarantino. He wanted me to give it to you.” So I’m like, Mr. Tarantino? You mean he’s here?”

“And they’re like, yeah, he’s been here for like a week. And I’m like whoa, cool. So I get the note and I still have the note, and it’s just like, ‘Hey CM, just finished watching Love and a .45, I dug it the most. I was talking to Rick Linklater about you,’ and he said blah blah blah blah. ‘Listen, there’s a bar that’s open until 4 o’clock in the morning. Do you want to get together with us and drink and talk all night?’ you know, ‘Hope to see you soon. Best, Quentin.’ And what’s even better is he drew a picture of himself, a cartoon of himself, wearing a Love and a .45 T-shirt.”

Talkington also has some harsh words for Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers co-writer, Dave Veloz. Veloz was the first person to write script coverage in Hollywood for Love and a .45, on behalf of Richard Donner’s production company. Talkington also talks candidly about how hard it was for him to deal with the unfounded accusations of copying Tarantino and Stone’s same-time films.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Bret Easton Ellis Interviews Quentin Tarantino

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.