Quentin Tarantino Finally Explained The Gimp’s Backstory in ‘Pulp Fiction’


Quentin Tarantino’s films, among many, many other things, are stuffed with weird, but unforgettable gags—the kind that don’t quite make sense, and aren’t really explained either. See: Cliff Booth’s obsession with easy mac, Dr. King Schultz’s dentist cart with a massive tooth on it, Gorlami.

Here’s another one for you: Our ever-so-brief time with The Gimp, from Pulp Fiction. If you’ll remember, we meet Stephen Hibbert’s BDSM-outfitted servant when Maynard chains up Butch in a pawnshop basement. Maynard has The Gimp make sure Butch doesn’t escape—he does, of course—leaving the leather-dressed dude knocked out.

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Now, thanks to a new interview Tarantino did with Empire, we finally have a little more info about the mysterious, giggling henchman. Apparently, The Gimp is a hitchiker who fell victim to Maynard and his brother. Plus, Tarantino intended for the poor guy to die by the end of the film:

“It doesn’t quite play this way in the movie, but in my mind when I wrote it, the Gimp’s dead. Butch knocked him out and then when he passed out he hung himself. In terms of backstory, he was like a hitchhiker or somebody that they picked up seven years ago, and they trained him so he’s the perfect victim.”

Sounds right up the Tarantino-film-universe’s alley. The director also told a story about comedian Jon Lovitz, who, when he saw Pulp Fiction, was surprised to see he had a personal friend in the cast:

“I heard a funny thing from Jon Lovitz, who knew Stephen Hibbert, the guy who played the Gimp, from The Groundlings. Jon watches Pulp Fiction for the first time and is like, “What the fuck is this?” And he stays in the theatre as the credit crawl is going on and sees Stephen’s name. He said out loud, “WHAT? I know the Gimp?!”

Now can we get the full Hattori Hanzo prequel series that we deserve?

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