Even if you haven't see writer-director Quentin Tarantino's new movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I think you know by this point in time that the movie fittingly features one hell of a controversial ending. I'm not going to go into specifics about the finale here, just in case you might not have seen the film yet. But basically, the ending involves Tarantino re-writing a notorious bit of Hollywood history in graphic and brutal fashion. Yes, some people are being rubbed the wrong way by Taratino's choice to take history in a different direction. But it doesn't look like IT and The Shining author Stephen King is one of them.
The other day, former Entertainment Weekly author Owen Gleiberman took to Twitter to let the world know that - even though he loved most of what Once Upon a Time in Hollywood offers - he wasn't a fan of the film's ending. To which, Mr. Stephen King replied:
"Oh, nuts. The ending rocks."
I agree, Mr. King! Now, that out of the way, I'm going to get into the ending of the film a bit. So if you've been putting off seeing the new Quentin Tarantino masterpiece, look elsewhere for a minute.
While most of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is relatively innocent (by Tarantino standards, that is), the ending takes a brutal turn. You see what happens is the Manson Family takes a dislike to Leonardo DiCaprio's Rick Dalton. And they decide to go after him instead of Sharon Tate and friends that one notorious night back in the glory days of Hollywood.
Needless, to say things don't go well for the Manson family members. Brad Pitt's Cliff Booth sets his dog on them, as DiCaprio finishes one of them off with a flamethrower. True story. Killing off the Manson family members before they can kill Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring and whatnot is, obviously, a significant departure from history. Like how Eli Roth didn't super-murder Hitler back in World War II as Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds would lead us to believe.
And herein lies the point. After seeing The Bear Jew take a machine gun to Hitler's face in Inglourious Basterds weren't we all kind of expecting Tarantino to pull the same rug out from under our feet with the Manson murders? Maybe not everyone. But I sure as hell expected a full-on showdown of epic proportions. And that's - give or take - what Tarantino served up. But it seems a good amount of the backlash comes from the fact the violence is aimed at (mostly) the female members of the Manson family. And that DiCaprio and Pitt (and by proxy, Tarantino) take far too much glee in offing these women in such gory fashion. I tend to think there is catharsis in the killings of a group of people (brainwashed or not) that took not only the life of Sharon Tate but her unborn baby as well. But maybe that's just me... and Stephen King. This story comes to us from Stephen King over on Twitter.