Few filmmakers can craft characters as well as Quentin Tarantino. Throughout his career, Tarantino has created a number of iconic and memorable characters who have earned their place in cinema history. He is able to create everything from terrifying villains to inspiring heroes and everything in between. But the Tarantino characters that are most memorable are the ones who are out of control.
It's a special kind of character that can be considered a "hot mess" and Tarantino has created a few of them. These are the characters who are larger than life and wild at heart, as well as being somewhat of a disaster. Through their own actions, these characters often create their own downfall. Here are the biggest hot mess Tarantino characters.
10 Aldo Raine (Inglourious Basterds)
At the beginning of the film, Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) looks to be the hero of Inglourious Basterds. He is the tough commander of the small group of Jewish soldiers who use guerrilla tactics to take on the Nazis during World War II. While he is successful in that aspect, once Aldo is introduced to covert operations, we discover he is not the brightest guy around.
Aldo and the other "basterds" are tasked with infiltrating a German movie premiere. Though Aldo is more than willing to participate in the dangerous mission, it's clear he is just making it up as he goes along. However, the fact that he seems unbothered by his mistakes makes him oddly likable.
9 Drexl (True Romance)
True Romance may not have been directed by Quentin Tarantino, but it remains one of his best scripts and gives us some of his most inventive characters. One that stands out the most is Drexl (Gary Oldman), a violent pimp who "thinks he is black."
Drexl is a madman who is not afraid to get his hands dirty, as we see in his first scene where he murders two drug dealers. When Drexl is confronted by Clarence (Christian Slater), he really becomes an animal, viciously attacking him before getting shot in the groin and executed by Clarence.
8 Vincent Vega (Pulp Fiction)
Vincent Vega (John Travolta) is another character who seems like he is going to be the hero of the story, only for Tarantino to revert expectations. In the opening scenes, Vincent seems like a calm and cool hitman who is effective at his job. However, as the film goes on, we see he is prone to getting into bad situations.
We see him take his boss's wife out to dinner only to fall for her and cause her to accidentally overdose. He accidentally and brutally shoots a colleague in the face, causing a messy situation. Finally, he leaves his gun outside the bathroom, leading to him getting gunned down by Butch (Bruce Willis).
7 Calvin Candie (Django Unchained)
Since the film deal with the American slave trade, all the villains in Django Unchained are pretty easy to hate, but Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the most despicable and most pathetic. The young plantation owner seems to see himself as some sort of king of the South but instead acts like a spoiled brat.
Calvin has his strongest slaves fight to the death for his own amusement. He fancies himself a connoisseur of French culture, despite being ignorant to most of it. He is prone to childish outbursts of rage and racist tirades to the point that Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is willing to shoot him dead just to shut him up.
6 Elle Driver (Kill Bill)
Kill Bill introduces us to the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, a group of elite assassins working for the titular Bill. They might be brutal and ruthless killers, but most of them seem to be professional and collected people. But Elle Driver (Darryl Hannah) doesn't fit that description.
Elle is the most emotional and vindictive of the team, having a particular hatred for her former colleague, Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman). Despite being a world-class assassin, Elle whines and backstabs people when she doesn't get her way. Her cocky and pretentious attitude loses her not one, but two eyes.
5 Louis Gara (Jackie Brown)
Jackie Brown is Tarantino's first and only adaption to date, based on the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard. Like many of Leonard's stories, the film features criminals who are not the masterminds we usually see in these stories. Perhaps the dimmest of them all is Louis Gara (Robert De Niro).
Louis has just been released from a long stretch in prison and is recruited by his old friend Ordell to help him out with his gun-running business. But Louis does not have his head in it anymore. He is aloof, constantly stoned and just plain stupid. He even forgets where he parked his car during a job.
4 Stuntman Mike (Death Proof)
Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is one of Tarantino's best subversive characters he ever created. The former Hollywood stunt driver drives around in his souped-up car stalking women and killing them. While he seems terrifying at first, his true colors soon shine through.
Mike torments a group of girls in an extended chase, but when they turn the tables on him, he turns into a blubbering mess, shrieking and pleading for mercy. Seeing this creep deservedly get his butt kicked is pretty satisfying.
3 Mr. Blonde (Reservoir Dogs)
Reservoir Dogs is a film filled with violent criminals, but even the most violent among them are shocked by the loose cannon, Mr. Blonde. When we briefly meet the man in the opening scene, he seems like a calm, soft-spoken man. But then we hear about how he executed innocent people during the heist and it's clear he's a madman.
What's most eerie is how Blonde maintains his calm persona even after the massacre. He doesn't even break a sweat when he begins torturing a young cop and planning to burn him alive just for the fun of it.
2 Daisy Domergue (The Hateful Eight)
Like Reservoir Dogs, The Hateful Eight finds a group of violent individuals sharing a small space together as tensions run high. While the group is filled with intimidating men, the most intimidating of all is the only woman present, Daisy Domergue.
Daisy is the sister of a legendary outlaw, but we get the sense that she is the one in charge of the gang. She is a hostile, racist and vulgar creature who will kill you as soon as you turn your back on her. She is one of the most psychotic Tarantino characters around and entertainingly terrifying.
1 Rick Dalton (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
Tarantino's leading men are usually capable and confident men, but that's certainly not the case with Rick Dalton. Though he once had a promising Hollywood career ahead of him, Rick sees his star power diminishing and he becomes less and less confident in himself.
Rick often feels sorry for himself, crying and whining about how things are not going his way. We see him have a full-blown meltdown on the set of Lancer only to come back and nail his scene. For an actor, he is clearly not in control of his emotions.