Book Club Discussions – If Hamlet were a Tarantino film…
Book Club Discussions – If Hamlet were a Tarantino film…

Let’s face it – Tarantino has probably drawn some inspiration from the blood bath that is Hamlet, so it might as well become a Tarantino film.  Check out our revised plot to Hamlet as if it were a Tarantino film for your next book club discussion.

Welcome to Denny’s, restaurant of a recently deceased manager who likes chill out in ghost form and haunt the patrons.  He has a reason to be pissed off – his brother Claudio, the owner of the competing breakfast chain, has married his wife and is in talks to take over the local Denny’s.

The only person that seems to be upset about the situation is Hamlet - the former manager’s son.  The ghost comes to Hamlet in the night and reveals that it is his Uncle Claudio who caused “his foul and most unnatural murder” by way of poison milkshake and asks Hamlet to revenge his death. When Hamlet questions his father, his father responds “If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.”

To distract everyone, Hamlet begins acting a fool. His girlfriend Ophelia declares him crazy and his two best friends from his fraternity days – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern back stab him and spy on him for the benefit of Uncle Claudio.

Two traveling milkshake powder salesmen – Jules and Vincent -  arrive at Denny’s and Hamlet sees this as his big opportunity. He gets the two to put on a sales pitch for his Uncle Claudio.

“Welcome gentlemen,” Uncle Claudio says exiting the kitchen and joining the booth where Hamlet, Jules and Vincent sit.  “I understand you’ve just returned from Europe?  Tell me, is the food product sales industry much different there?”

“Well, It's the little differences. A lotta the same stuff we got here, they got there, but there they're a little different,” Vincent answers.

“Really? How so?”

“Well, in Amsterdam, you can buy beer in a movie theatre. And I don't mean in a paper cup either. They give you a glass of beer, like in a bar. In Paris, you can buy beer at MacDonald's. Also, you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?”

“They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?” Claudio asks.

“No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the eff a Quarter Pounder is.  They call it the Royale with Cheese.”

“Royale with Cheese,” Claudio repeats. “What do they call a Big Mac?”

“Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.”

“And what about a Whopper?”

“I dunno, we don’t sell to Burger King.  But anyway, back to the subject at hand – Milkshake Powder.  We got this new milkshake powder that will let you put even more things in it.  Not just your standard flavoring – I’m talkin fruit, granola– whatever the hell you can think of.”

“Fruit and granola?” Claudio interjects.  “Seems a little too healthy for Denny’s customers.”

“Look, the point is,” Vincent says, frustrated. “You can put whatever you want in there – unhealthy stuff too – marshmallows, full candy bars, poison – you name it.”

“Poison?!” Claudio looks to Hamlet, stunned.

“Yeah – it’s all about it’s consistency and freezing point.  Lots of science has gone into this stuff,” Vincent says, winking at Hamlet.

“Look, thanks for coming guys, but I gotta run to another meeting,” Uncle Claudio says, getting up and wiping his hands on his apron.  “Plus I’m really not interested in putting just anything in our milkshakes.”

As Claudio leaves the room, Jules gets up, shaking Hamlet’s hand.

“Hope we helped,” he says and winks. “And we’ll be sending you the PO for that powder.”

“Swell, thanks gents,” Hamlet says, walking them to the door.

After they leave, Hamlet rushes to his car, a dirty 1974 Chevy Nova, and rushes to his mother’s house.

When he arrives in the house, he finds his mother in the bedroom – upset.

“"Now, Mother, what's the matter?” Hamlet asks.

“Hamlet, I just got off the phone with Claudio. He’s very upset and offended – something about milkshake powder?”


“Hmmm, well you seem to have offended my father,” Hamlet retorts.  “Something about milkshake powder.”


A loud thud comes from the closet.


“Who’s in there ma?”


“No one – must be one of the boxes.”

Hamlet, nears the closet, draws his gun and opens the door.  Without turning the light on, he fires.  He then turns on the light and pulls Ophelia’s father Paolo out of the closet.


Looking unaffected, Hamlet says, “Hmmm…thought it was Claudio.  I hope you’re happy mother.”


Hamlet drags the body out of the house carelessly and into the trunk of his car; while his mother calls Claudio in tears, telling him what happened.


Hamlet drives to a hill on the city, where he used to hang out with his friends during college, for a moment of peace and consideration.  His two friends – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern – are not long to arrive after him.


“You two, are not fit to be sponges that wipe the counter of my father’s Denny’s,” Hamlet says as they get out of their car and he returns to his.  He speeds away and the two are unable to catch him.


Meanwhile, Hamlet’s mother has called Ophelia to tell her of her father’s death.  We find her at the river.  Not far from the bar where she and Hamlet had their first date.

She begins whispering nonsense to herself.  And wades into the water.

“This is Jackrabbit Slim's. An Elvis man should love it.  You can get a steak here, daddy-o.  Fox Force Five. Fox, as in we're a of foxy chicks. Force, as in we're a force to be reckoned with. Five, as in there's one... two ... three... four... five of us. 

The river is up to neck now and the current begins pulling her away.

“That's when you know you found somebody special. When you can just shutup for a minute, and comfortably share silence.    Well I'll tell you what, I'll go to the bathroom and powder my nose, while you sit here and think of something to say.”

With that, the current pulls her under.  She isn’t to be seen for two days, until she washes up --- only two blocks from the Denny’s parking lot, where Hamlet is driving to confront his Uncle Claudio. 

We see Claudio pouring a suspicious-looking bag into the milkshake machine. Hamlet enters the door and Claudio walks out to join him. Hamlet’s mother sits in a booth nervous.

“So you like chasing people, huh?” Claudio asks.  “Well guess what, you caught me.”

“The spider’s caught a fly,” Hamlet retorts.

“We’ve both made mistakes,” Claudio says.  “Why don’t you join me for a milkshake?”

He pulls two milkshakes behind his back and walks over to the booth where Hamlet’s mother sits.  Hamlet follows.

“Here, taste it,” Claudio says, pushing one of the milkshakes in front of Hamlet.

Hamlet’s mother, so upset she’s unaware of what’s going on, grabs the milkshake in front of Claudio and drinks from it. 

“I can’t believe you didn’t make me one,” she says.

“I’m sorry sweetheart,” Claudio says, also taking a drink from his milkshake.  “I just wanted to make peace with the boy.”

Hamlet and Claudio stare into each other’s eyes – cold, hard. Their stare is interrupted by Hamlet’s mother’s convulsing.  She keels over in the booth – blue veins extending from her lips.

Claudio quickly realizes he’s given Hamlet the wrong milkshake.  Knowing his time has come and unwilling to admit defeat, Claudio pulls a gone from his pocket and shoots Hamlet in the stomach, underneath the table; they both crumble in the booth simultaneously.

A minute later, a man dressed in a polo shirt with a nametag inscribed with ‘Fred, Regional Manager” walks into the diner.  He finds a note on the counter top – written by Hamlet.

By Abbey Jones || 09 jul, 2018