(By Carmen Gray/Dazed) What the hell’s in the case? That’s just one of the questions that’s been hotly debated on the net (along with others, like, does a foot massage mean shit?) since Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction hit screens 20 years ago, and became one of the most iconic films of the 90s.
The follow-up to his indie debut hit, Reservoir Dogs, it brought that movie’s raw violence and pop-culture banter to a whole new level, with a complex and exuberant weave of mobsters and two-bit crims created in comic, bloody homage to hardboiled crime novels and the movies he’d grown up on.
It starts and ends with a chaotic diner hold-up in which the possessions demanded from patrons by small-crime messes Pumpkin and Honeybunny include a briefcase carried by off-duty henchmen Jules and Vincent. Ordered to be collected by kingpin Marsellus Wallace, the mysterious case drives the action throughout the movie – though we never see what’s inside. As Pulp Fiction‘s 20th anniversary nears, we look at the top theories of what it might be.