I discovered Reservoir Dogs on VHS. It was one of those movies that got passed around my circle of friends. This is before VOD and only one video store in my town carried it and they only had one copy. So it took me what felt like forever to catch up with this one. I was one of the last of my friends to see it and I even lied about having seen it when people would talk about it. I said that I thought it was just ok better than average but nothing great. It was no Terminator or Bloodsport. I was an 80s action/martial arts junkie I didn't really give a shit about this dog movie. When Directors Chair finally got in a copy I had no idea what was in store for my 14 year old brain. It was like discovering punk rock when I'd been raised on glam metal. I found something real and raw that cracked my skull and opened my mind.
The film is very special to me. There is a clear before and after in my film taste. Within a few months I was watching films like Stranger Than Paradise and Koyaanisqatsi and while I still have a deep affection for the big dumb action films of my youth after seeing Reservoir Dogs I wanted something more.
The film itself is more than just a riff on City on Fire. Tarantino has the ability to make films that are deeply influenced by other works but still come across as wholly original. He takes somewhat familiar concepts, structures and characters and injects them with his dialogue and in turn makes something timeless and special that will be opening minds for generations to come.