A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Legend has it that when Quentin Tarantino was making the rounds of film festivals with his “Reservoir Dogs,” he kept running into a short subject by Reb Braddock about a Miami maid service specializing in mopping up crime scenes. Tarantino borrowed that idea as the inspiration for the Harvey Keitel character in “Pulp Fiction,” who calmly supervises the cleanup and disposal of dead bodies. And then, as a form of payback, QT helped produce “Curdled,” a feature-length version of Braddock's original idea.
“Curdled,” which is not very interesting, provides two more pieces for the Tarantino jigsaw puzzle: (1) It further establishes that much of “Pulp Fiction” was inspired by other movies seen by a fanatic video freak, and (2) it shows how brilliantly Tarantino transforms his raw ingredients. The sad thing about “Curdled” is that “Pulp Fiction” does just about everything that can be done with the idea of a murder mop-up service, and does it quickly, comically, and as part of a larger story.
“Curdled,” on the other hand, extends its thin idea to 94 minutes and tries to flesh it out with a story and characters who never seem convincing. Although it does a good job of capturing the color and music of Miami, that simply shows Braddock has a gift with atmosphere and locations. Now he needs a better screenplay.
The film stars the appealing Angela Jones as Gabriela, a woman from Colombia who has been fascinated by dead bodies ever since she saw one hurtling past her window when she was a little girl. Now, grown up and living in Miami, she happily watches TV shows like “Miami DOA” (watch for the mug shot of Tarantino as a killer). The TV news spends a lot of time on the Blue Blood Killer, a serial killer who picks on rich women.