Resurrecting the Body in Robert Greene’s James IV (c. 1590)



At about three o’clock in the morning, Vincent bursts into the home of his dealer, desperately seeking help, after Mia’s accidental overdose. Amidst much panic and confusion, Vincent plunges a massive needle into Mia’s chest, injecting adrenalin straight into her heart. To the astonishment of onlookers, Mia suddenly leaps across the room, as if raised from the dead. Provoking horror and humour in equal measure, this bizarre resurrection constitutes one of the most memorable scenes in Tarantino’s 1994 cult classic Pulp Fiction.1 While some critics have suggested that this episode is merely symptomatic of Tarantino’s need to shock and disturb, of his preference for ‘style over substance, or perhaps, spectacle over message’, others have argued that this visual device ‘addresses the theme of the film’, which ‘for all its well deserved kudos for unique visual style [is] a simple tale about the redemption of hoodlums’.2 However, Mia’s resurrection contributes both style and substance to Pulp Fiction. The triumph of this cinematic spectacle is not one of affect over effect; it lies in a synthesis of affect and effect.


Title Page Visual Device Massive Needle Stage Direction History Play 
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Copyright information

© Jenny Sager 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

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