Eli Roth Says ‘Inglourious Basterds’ Time-Warp Won’t Harm Quentin Tarantino’s Unique Universe

For my money, the best director out there right now is Quentin Tarantino. And for exactly that reason, the number one most-anticipated film for me in 2009 has always been “Inglourious Basterds.” When I caught up with leading man/director/Tarantino bud Eli Roth, he clued me in on some secret “winks” for the fans of “Reservoir Dogs,” “Pulp Fiction” and the rest – and naturally, now I’m just even more stoked.

“We have the ‘40’s version of Red Apple cigarettes,” Roth revealed, making reference to the fictional cancer sticks smoked by characters in Tarantino’s films. “Quentin had all of his products transported back in time.”

Hey, just because it’s a World War II film about Nazi-killing soldiers, it doesn’t mean Quentin can’t sneak in the signature cigarettes that Bruce Willis once purchased from the bartender at Marsellus Wallace’s watering hole. “If you had cigarettes [in ‘Basterds’] they were Red Apple. They were the same ones that you see in ‘Death Proof,’ but the lettering, the style, the drawing, was the 1940’s version of it,” Roth explained. “Quentin is so detailed in the universe he’s creating – obviously this is a historical film, so this has to be based in history – but he worked in a lot of his little products.”

Whether Big Kahuna Burger, Teriyaki Donut, Fruit Brute or Acuna Boys makes it in remains to be seen – and would undoubtedly be a hell of a lot more difficult for QT to make work. While Roth was on the topic, he did tell us that none of the “Inglourious Basterds” characters have such recurring-Tarantino last names as Vega, Nash, or others.

“No, you aren’t going to see that – but things like [Brad Pitt’s character] Lieutenant Aldo Raine is named after the actor Aldo Ray and the character Charles Raine from ‘Rolling Thunder,’” Roth revealed of the film, which hits theaters August 21st. “My character Donny Donowitz’s [name came] from someone he knew. I think a lot of the names in this one specifically were from Quentin’s life — from his past, his childhood. In a strange way, it’s a very personal film for him.”

Do you like it when directors tie their films together with products, names, personal references, etc.? What are some of your all-time favorites?