Quentin Tarantino is one of the greatest filmmakers of our generation, and has made some of the most amazing films of the past few decades. While expertly crafted, these films may not be for the faint of heart.
Tarantino is known for his foul language, egregious imagery, and over the top gore, but each one of these pieces come together to form each of his masterpieces. We’re going to take a closer look at some of the goriest moments from Tarantino’s films. While there are quite a few, we wanted to take a look at the best of the best.
Here is Screen Rant’s 10 Goriest Moments In the Movies of Quentin Tarantino!
“You hear that?” – Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Starting out our list of gruesome delights is the infamous scene in Tarantino’s debut film Reservoir Dogs, wherein the amoral gangster Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) dances jovially as he cuts off the ear of a kidnapped police officer (Kirk Baltz).
Mr. Blonde starts by switching on his favorite radio station, K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the 70s. In what would become one of Tarantino’s signatures, Mr. Blonde begins the torture of the officer to a classic song, in this case, “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel. After a slash to his already beaten face, the cop endures an off camera ear reduction compliments of Mr. Blonde with a straight razor.
Although we don’t see the actual maiming, we are given a nice shot of the severed ear as Mr. Blonde talks into it. Later, once he begins dousing the officer in gasoline, we also get a shot of the stump on the right side of the officer’s face. The entire scene is made to be even more gruesome by the unnerving pleasure that Mr. Blonde gets from the torture he is so generously giving to the officer.
“Aw man, I shot Marvin in the face.” – Pulp Fiction (1994)
Tarantino is known for cutting tension with humor in his films, which often has the effect of making them seem even more brutal due to the cavalier manner in which his characters dole out death and destruction. In the previous scene, Marvin (Phil LaMarr) witnessed Jules and Vincent (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta) execute a pack of young drug dealers who were out of their depth, so he’s already a little edgy.
After, Jules and Vincent are engaged in a heated discussion in the car, but when Vincent turns around to ask Marvin his opinion, he just so happens to be pointing his pistol directly at his face. After hitting a bump in the road, Vincent blows Marvin’s face off and effectively covers the entire car in Marvin’s blood and brains. It’s gory, but it’s also hilarious to see the two hitmen react as if this were just a professional annoyance rather than the gory, brutal death of a young man.
“Burn it down.” – Inglourious Basterds (2009)
During the climax of Tarantino’s WWII epic, Inglourious Basterds, we, the audience, are treated to the understandably overzealous murder of the tyrant known as Adolf Hitler (Martin Wuttke). In reality, Hitler killed himself rather than be captured by enclosing allied forces, but in this alternate version of the War, we get to see what revenge may have looked like if Hitler ever came face to face with Sergeant Donny Donowitz, a crazed American soldier known as The Bear Jew (Eli Roth).
Taking place in a cinema full of high-ranking Nazi officials, the covert force known as “The Basterds” exact their revenge on the entire Nazi regime. Not only does Shosanna (Melanie Laurent), the cinema owner, set fire to the entire building with the doors locked, but the Bear Jew and his American compatriots open fire on the audience with machine guns.
They don’t just gun down dozens of Nazis who are panicking from the fire, but take down the Fuhrer himself. Hitler’s face literally falls apart from the sheer amount of bullets. It’s a gloriously gory sight for one “inglourious” man.
“That really was a Hattori Hanzo sword.” – Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
The final fight between Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) and O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) in Kill Bill Vol. 1 is yet another scene of stylized violence that amps up the gore to extreme levels. During this battle, we see two masters of swordplay go for each other’s throats in a battle to the death.
After a long, brutal fight, in which both parties are more-or-less equally matched, Beatrix finally kills O-Ren by slicing her scalp clean off. Tarantino even treats us to a disgusting shot of O-Ren’s skin and hair flying through the sky before landing gracefully on the snow. Finally, the money shot of Lucy Liu’s O-Ren accepting the truth about Beatrix’s sword as the camera pans up to show us her exposed brain. A death with honor can still be very brutal.
“Your name is Buck, right?” – Kill Bill Vol. 1
Beatrix Kiddo, also known as The Bride, is shot in the face and brutally beaten by her ex gang in the first scene of Kill Bill Vol. 1, leaving her in a coma. This is what starts her long vendetta against those who wronged her on her wedding day, including the infamous Bill. During this coma, she was unfortunately subjugated to sexual abuse by a male nurse by the name of “Buck,” who lets men use her unconscious body for a fee. When Beatrix finally wakes up during one of these transactions, she makes sure Buck’s client will never do anything like that again.
Beatrix begins by biting off the lip of one of her would be assailants while he straddles her. The gushing blood of the wound spills into her mouth and eyes. It’s sickly satisfying, but the real revenge comes moments later when Buck comes waltzing back in and Beatrix end his life by repeatedly smashing a door into his head.
I respectfully refuse, sir.” – Inglourious Basterds
A great introduction into Sergeant Donny Donowitz, The Bear Jew, comes during an interrogation of a Nazi officer (Richard Sammel) in the middle of Inglourious Basterds. Up until this point, we knew this crew was nasty but hadn’t yet seen what made them so feared.
As Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), the leader of the “Basterds” interrogates the captured Nazi, the officer responds by saying “I respectfully refuse, sir.” Raines informs him of his fate if he decides to choose not to cooperate, but he still declines. Delighted by this news, Pitt sits back and calls in Donowitz. From a dark tunnel we hear the clanking of his bat against the tile wall, until finally he emerges. Donny lines up his swing and takes a crack at the man’s skull without hesitation.
“I think this just might be my masterpiece.” – Inglourious Basterds
At the glorious end of Inglourious Basterds, Lt. Aldo Raine finally has Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), the infamous Nazi official who was in charge of hunting down and exterminating the remaining Jews in Europe. But instead of accepting him as a prisoner, Raine doles out his idea of wartime justice.
Raine shoots Hans’ driver and tells Private Utivich (BJ Novak) to scalp him just like the rest. As Utivich goes to work, Raine starts explaining just what is going to happen. We get a great shot of Utivitch scalping the driver, but the goriest part comes at the end of Raine’s monologue. He tells Landa “I’m gonna give you something you can’t take off.” Raine raises his massive knife to Landa’s forehead, in which Raine carves an deep, everlasting swastika into Landa’s canvas-like forehead.
The blood pores over Landa’s head and his screams are painful but satisfying, considering the pain he’s caused. And before the credits roll, Raine declares “You know what Utivitch? I think this just might be my masterpiece.”
“You didn’t mention kneecapping.” – Django Unchained (2012)
Django Unchained doesn’t shy away from showing us just how much guns can tear people apart. In the final scene between Django (Jamie Foxx) and the residents of Calvin Candie’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) estate, bodies are ripped apart from dozens of bullet holes. Django even uses a human shield at one point, and the body looks like discarded pumpkin carvings by the time he’s through with it. There is blood galore, but revenge is a bloody business. Tarantino taught us that.
After the battle, Django emerges victorious and he stands at the feet of many dead men. The only one that has not yet felt his reckoning is old Samuel L. Jackson’s “house slave,” Stephen. Stephen talks a mean game to Django the entire time he’s on the plantation, but finally Django can give him the pain he deserves. He recalls Stephen telling him all about the torture he’s seen done unto the slaves who have passed through the plantation. Django mentions that Stephen never mentioned “kneecapping” and blows the knees off of his body only to later blow up the entire house filled with the bodies of his enemies.
“There have been a lot of lies said around this dinner table here tonight.” – Django Unchained
This scene might not have as much blood as the other scenes on this list, but the blood it does have has one advantage over the rest: it’s real.
While sitting at a table, Plantation owner Calvin Candie explains the racist pseudoscience of phrenology to Django and Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), using a small hammer and an ice pick to bust open a human skull and explain the differences between a white and black brain. While the cracking and opening of the human skull is visceral in its own way, it’s not exactly a bloodbath, but when Candie flies into a rage and accidentally stabs himself with the ice pick, it was actually real. DiCaprio actually cut himself, but carried on with the scene and never broke character.
“However, leave the limbs you lost.” – Kill Bill Vol. 1
The longest scene in Kill Bill Vol. 1, and perhaps the most notably violent scene in Tarantino’s career, Beatrix’s battle against the Crazy 88 is Tarantino’s bloodiest scene. Limbs go flying, dismembered bodies left scattered on the floor, blood squirts from The Bride’s opponents, who writhe on the floor. In fact, it is so bloody that Tarantino had to make a majority of the scene black and white so it would pass the censors in the United States without earning the commercial death-sentence NC-17 rating.
On her way to battle with O-Ren Ishii,, The Bride has to use her special Hattori Hanzo sword to cut a path through the Crazy 88 gang in order to get to her true opponent. No other scene in Tarantino’s arsenal even comes close to this amount of gore, but it isn’t just that. It is also the best choreographed fight scene he has in any of his films and and might be one of the greatest fight scenes in all of cinema.
Tarantino’s use of gore has always served a purpose, and while some of it is over the top, it is always to make his film a better and more well-rounded piece of cinema. Thanks for reading and be sure to let us know which are your favorite gory scenes from Tarantino in the comments below!
The Hateful 8 will be released in theaters on December 25, 2015.
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