While plot and dialogue are two of Quentin Tarantino’s strongest skills as a filmmaker, there’s one attribute of his work that tends to supersede all others. Between jewelry heists gone wrong, psychotic stuntmen, and Nazis burning alive in theaters, if there’s one thing that Quentin Tarantino movies all have in common, it’s that they’re crazy violent. They’re so violent, in fact, that nearly all of the director’s films have faced controversy at one point or another. But while some critics aren’t a fan of Tarantino’s crudely over the top scripts and use of “gratuitous bloodshed”, his fans love it.
Beyond simple gore and foul language, people love his movies first and foremost because of the awesomely deadly cast of characters – and how could you not? When you’re watching someone bad enough that they can take down a room of armed men all by themselves, or witnessing two skilled warriors clashing swords in a trailer in the middle of nowhere, it’s really hard to take your eyes off of the screen. We want to see if the underdog will make it out alive; we have to see which skilled fighter will come out on top.
But have you ever wondered who would win out above all the others? These are the 15 Deadliest Quentin Tarantino Characters.
(Oh and it should go without saying, but, SPOILER alert!)
15. Ordell Robbie
Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino go together like bread and butter, so it should come as no surprise that Sam appears in more of the director’s movies than any other actor or actress to date. Most known for his role as the righteously-reformed hit man Jules in Pulp Fiction, Sam managed to impress again in Jackie Brown, as the ruthless drug smuggler and gun runner Ordell Robbie.
What makes Ordell so intimidating isn’t simply his criminal status, but just how cold-blooded he is. When one of his workers gets arrested, his first thought is to bail him out just long enough to murder him discreetly, as to avoid jail time himself. He has no qualms with killing long-time friend and crime partner Louis Gara, either, after his plans to recover $550,000 in smuggled money go to hell. Friend or foe, if you’re in Ordell’s way, you’d better run.
14. Mr. Blonde
Reservoir Dogs may have been Tarantino’s debut film, but you never once get the sense that the rookie director is holding back, as this one certainly isn’t lacking in the blood department. A large part of this is thanks to the psychotic Mr. Blonde, played by Michael Madsen (another Tarantino regular). When the trigger-happy heist man isn’t shooting hostages, he’s torturing tied up cops purely for his own amusement.
The infamous torture scene in Reservoir Dogs isn’t just the most memorable segments in the movie (partly thanks to the music choice), but also the most controversial. Many attendees at its premiere walked out during the gory scene, most notably iconic horror movie director Wes Craven. When a character is able to do something so violent and disturbing that the creator of The Last House on the Left is too squeamish to endure it, you know you’ve got something special.
13. Stuntman Mike
Whether you like it or not, Death Proof is considered by many to be the worst film Tarantino has ever made (including the man himself). Still, the concept of a crazed stuntman using his “death proof” car to lure unsuspecting young women to their demise is morbidly creative. And for what it’s worth, Kurt Russel does a great job playing the homicidal daredevil for the parts of the movie that do work.
Stuntman Mike has a bizarre but clever trick which has led to him taking the lives of many victims in his day. His custom-made stunt vehicle is designed so that the person driving it can survive even the most horrific car crashes (hence the title), but anyone outside of the driver’s seat is basically doomed. This deranged scheme of his worked quite smoothly, too — that is until he came up against a group of girls that were just as crazy as he is.
12. Marsellus Wallace
Marsellus Wallace is the type of person that scares based on reputation alone, and the other characters in Pulp Fiction attribute so much to his name that we learn to be intimidated by him before we even get to see his face. Oh, and we should probably mention that Marsellus is a powerful crime lord; yeah, that would explain a lot.
While absent for most of the film’s run time, he’s heavily connected with all three of the main storylines in the movie: the first is about hit-men Jules and Vincent attempting to retrieve something important that was stolen from Marsellus, the second focuses on Vincent looking after the crime boss’s wife while he’s away, and the third centers around a boxer named Butch, who is desperately trying to leave town alive after double-crossing him. Marsellus is such a powerful figure, he influences every important event in the film without even being there. You do not want to have him get medieval on your ass.
11. Gogo Yubari
At the incredibly young age of seventeen, Gogo is by far the youngest entrant on this list, but she might also be the craziest. The sadistic teenager serves as the personal bodyguard of Japanese crime lord O’Ren Ishii, and for good reason. With her deadly meteor hammer weapon, and skills that go far beyond her age, the scariest part about her is that she likes to kill for fun.
If there was any doubt, we really get to see her skills when she faces off against the Bride in Kill Bill: Volume 1. While the avenging protagonist takes out dozens of O-Ren’s guards with ease, it’s Gogo that actually gives the bride a real challenge, even almost takig her down for good at one point – all the while being dressed up in an unassuming schoolgirl outfit. It goes to show that you can’t judge a murderous book by its cover.
10. Major Marquis Warren
Taking place sometime after the Civil War, it’s understandable why aging combat veteran Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) was well-versed in the art of the gun by the time the events in The Hateful Eight happened. He wasn’t just a passive participant, however, as he was infamous (in the South) for killing countless numbers of Confederate soldiers during the war.
As the conflict dragged on, Warren gained more kills, and he eventually had a bounty placed on his head for a whopping $30,000 – an amount that would be worth nearly $1 million today. However, every time some brave soul attempted to collect the bounty, they were easily disposed of by the Major. After the war, Warren would eventually go on to become a successful bounty hunter himself. We guess someone has to show them how it’s done.
9. Daisy and The Domergue Gang
Although she’s handcuffed for the majority of the movie, Daisy Domergue is the main antagonist of The Hateful Eight. Bounty hunter John Ruth plans on turning Daisy in for the reward on her head, but after a blizzard forces them to stay at an inn just outside of their destination, she plans her escape.
As it turns out, Daisy isn’t simply a minor-league criminal herself, but a leading member of the notorious Domergue Gang along with her brother Jody and a few other unsavory characters – all with a combined bounty that would put Warren’s to shame. We may only get to see a small portion of what the gang is capable of in a single bloody flashback, but it spoke loud enough of their abilities, and that combined with their enormous bounty shows that they’re much more than a two-bit gang. These folks are bad news.
8. Dr. King Schultz
What do you do when you realize that being a dentist just isn’t the right job for you? Naturally, you become a bounty hunter – or at least that’s what Dr. King Schultz decided to do. You wouldn’t expect an ex-dentist to be much of a gunslinger, but King’s quick wit and sharp reflexes proved to make for a highly effective marksman.
More often than not, King found his favorite targets to be slave owners, as the German-born doctor found the idea of slavery to be barbaric. Utilizing both his brains and a steady finger, he manages to capture any bounty he comes across, while also overcoming any opposition that may come in his way. Dozens of KKK members on horseback giving you trouble? No worries; it’s nothing that a few sticks of dynamite and a rifle can’t fix.
7. Hans Landa
Interestingly (or oddly) enough, there’s a Nazi on this list, and it isn’t Hitler. Colonel Hans Landa is actually a highly intelligent and very complex character; his disturbing and egotistical nature is not limited to just his uniform. Yes, it’s true that he’s most infamously known for hunting down Jewish refugees that have gone into hiding, but he somehow manages to be even more despicable beyond that.
What makes Colonel Landa so evil is that he doesn’t really believe in the whole Nazi ideology, he believes in opportunity, and he has only found himself as a high-ranking Nazi officer because he wanted the power that it would grant him. When the Nazi regime began to collapse, he happily betrayed his fellow officers and worked with the other side in return for his freedom (and other benefits). The fact that a sociopath like that could be directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds (possibly thousands) and get away with it is pretty unsettling, but then again, he doesn’t exactly walk away unscathed, either.
6. The Basterds
Thankfully, Landa doesn’t get away scot-free, thanks to the Basterds and their leader, Lieutenant Aldo Raine. The Basterds were a group of mostly Jewish-American soldiers who – as Aldo Raine would say – had the sole objective of “killin’ Nazis.” And they were great at it too, becoming very well-known and feared among Hitler’s army.
The Basterds’ efforts would eventually culminate with “Operation Kino”, an assassination plot aimed at eliminating most of Germany’s highest-ranking commanding officers all at once. Although they suffered many losses of their own, the Basterds are ultimately successful with their plans, not only serving a fatal blow to the Nazis, but even managing to kill Hitler himself in the process (not joking). As for Colonel Landa, he indeed ends up going free – but not before Lieutenant Raine carves one of his signature swastikas into his forehead, branding him as a Nazi for life.
5. The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad
When it comes to a group of assassins, the Deadly Vipers are hands-down the best in the world, which makes Beatrix’s task all the more daunting when she has to take them down one by one before getting to their titular leader in Kill Bill. Each member has their own set of skills, which combined together make the team a true force to be reckoned with.
Vernita Green (Copperhead) is extremely adept with knives and close quarters combat, O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth) is proficient with both samurai swords and long-ranged weapons, Budd (Sidewinder) prefers firearms and sneaky tactics, and Elle Driver (California Mountain Snake) is an expert in poisons, while also boasting skills with a katana. As for their leader? He ranks a little higher on this list…
4. Pai Mei
Kill Bill already brought in the youngest character featured on this list, so it’s only fitting that it would also introduce the oldest. Pai Mei is a legendary martial arts warrior (claimed to be literally over 1,000 years old), and in regards to hand-to-hand combat, it’s doubtful that anyone else listed would be able to defeat him.
Masterfully skilled with just about every weapon, and the inventor of the devastating Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, Pai Mei personally trained the three deadliest individuals featured in Kill Bill. If that alone doesn’t prove his merit, then perhaps you should hear about the time that he massacred a temple full of 60 Shaolin monks single-handedly – all because one of the monks failed to nod back at him as they were walking past each other. If Pai Mei nods, you nod back.
Django Unchained is a bloody yet satisfying revenge story where former slave Django is separated from his wife after a failed escape from a plantation. Luckily for him, he runs into King Schultz, who happens to be chasing a bounty attached to Django’s former owners. The two work together successfully to retrieve the bounty, while also allowing the ex-slave his first taste at revenge.
Schultz trains Django for future bounties, and quickly realizes that he’s a sharpshooting prodigy, telling him that he’ll soon be known as the “fastest gun in the South.” This prediction comes to fruition as Django spends the remainder of the film racking up an incredible kill count. Even when he ends up absurdly outnumbered in one particular final act shootout, he still manages to make it out alive, taking out dozens of enemies in the process.
Code named Snake Charmer, Bill is the head of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. While every other member in the dangerous group has their own special talents, Bill boasts a nearly all-encompassing set of skills. From expertise in both long-ranged and melee-style weapons, to even having invented his own truth serum, he’s a bad, bad man.
Interestingly, much like Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, we don’t actually see Bill in action for much of Kill Bill. There is, however, a deleted scene that showcases more of his combat prowess, in the form of a flashback. Here we can see that the rumors most definitely are true, as Bill takes down several attackers with hardly any effort. All of these abilities combined with a remorseless passion for killing has made Bill a very wealthy man, just another testament to the many he’s slaughtered.
1. Beatrix Kiddo (The Bride)
Choosing exactly who should fit in the number one spot for this list was a challenge, which makes sense considering Tarantino’s penchant for hyperviolent characters. Django was a contender, but unfortunately, we mostly only ever get to see him using guns, making his melee skills uncertain. Alternatively, it’s likely that Pai Mei is the most skilled fighter, but he seems to have no knowledge of firearms, making him vulnerable in a shootout.
Only one character has shown the greatest overall proficiency in all forms of combat, while also holding a kill count that would make George R. R. Martin blush, and that’s Beatrix Kiddo (code name: Black Mamba). There isn’t even a need for any hypothetical battles, as she’s already faced off and won against more high-ranking entries on this list than any other. All things considered, when it comes to deadliest Tarantino characters, the Bride takes the cake.
Who is your favorite Tarantino assassin? Could any of his characters take the Bride down? Let us know in the comments!