Quentin Tarantino has been one of the most prestigious filmmakers in Hollywood since breaking onto the scene (as a writer-director) with Reservoir Dogs in 1992.
For close to a quarter of a century, he’s kept the hits coming and built a strong fan base of people, who grew up on the same type of Grindhouse cinema that he did.
Naturally, his fans are already game for The Hateful Eight, which drops in theaters everywhere on Jan. 1, 2016, and as with most QT flicks, it boasts plenty of callouts.
Surprisingly, this time around Quentin Tarantino drew less from film and more from television as his core inspiration.
In comments reported by Deadline in March 2015, he credited Bonanza, The Virginian, and The High Chaparral as his main inspirations.
“Twice per season, those shows would have an episode where a bunch of outlaws would take the lead characters hostage. They would come to the Ponderosa and hold everybody hostage, or go to Judge Garth’s place… in The Virginian and take hostages. There would be a guest star like David Carradine, Darren McGavin, Claude Akins, Robert Culp, Charles Bronson, or James Coburn. I don’t like that storyline in a modern context, but I love it in a Western, where you would pass halfway through the show to find out if they were good or bad guys, and they all had a past that was revealed. I thought, ‘What if I did a movie starring nothing but those characters? No heroes, no Michael Landons. Just a bunch of nefarious guys in a room, all telling backstories that may or may not be true. Trap those guys together in a room with a blizzard outside, give them guns, and see what happens.'”
Clearly, if there is one element Quentin Tarantino likes to talk about in the film-making process, it’s his characters, but what about favorite scenes?
Turns out he has ideas on that as well. As reported by Yahoo U.K. on Christmas Day, the director has two favorite scenes that he’s ever written. Those scenes include the True Romance farewell speech of Dennis Hopper and the opening 20 minutes of Inglourious Basterds, the latter of which he names the favorite.
While each of these are great scenes, he clearly left a few out. So without further ado, here are the four other greatest scenes in the Quentin Tarantino filmography.
Bride vs. Elle, Kill Bill Vol. 2
While the preference here is reserved for Kill Bill Vol. 1, the second film does such a terrific job of paying off the anticipation of a Bride-Elle head-to-head. Suitably enough, it takes place inside of a claustrophobic trailer where the women have no other option but to duke it out with fists and feet to the brutal finish. You can check the video below but it’s NSFW, especially among the very squeamish.
Pawn Shop Scene, Pulp Fiction
Say the words “pulp fiction” today, and the hard-to-watch pawn shop scene immediately comes to mind. While sexual assault had been luridly portrayed on film before in movies like I Spit on Your Grave, only one mainstream film — Deliverance — had dared to go there with a male victim. That alone makes the scene unique, but it’s the moral conundrum of letting your enemy be raped to death or saving their life that Bruce Willis plays so well that makes this scene work. Warning: NSFW.
The Watch, Pulp Fiction
Christopher Walken being simultaneously menacing and hilarious — how can you go wrong?
The Ear Scene, Reservoir Dogs
Michael Madsen was at his most evil in this scene where he brutally tortures a young beat cop with a family for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It is a classic Quentin Tarantino scene with expert use of music, humor, and violence, that still packs a punch 23 years later.
Which Quentin Tarantino scenes are your favorites, and for those of you who’ve seen The Hateful Eight, any new additions?
[Image via The Hateful Eight screen grab]