There’s no shortage of great characters in the world of Quentin Tarantino films. The legendary director is set to officially drive off into the sunset with his tenth and final movie, but until the last chapter in the Tarantino universe is released, we’ll always have the last nine films that have shaped the filmmaker’s career. This list focuses on the villains that have carved a memorable path in one of Tarantino’s nine films. However, the article will only focus on movies that were both written and directed by Tarantino, so while True Romance and Natural Born Killers are the definition of entertainment, neither of those films are eligible for this list.
Colonel Hans Landa
Colonel Hans Landa is a deplorable human being. Then again, this is a list of villains, so I suppose everyone on the list is; however, what makes Colonel Hans Landa such a standout is not only the tremendous performance by Christopher Waltz, but the many layers to his character. He’s cunning, vile, and cruel, yet he can also be kind and charming. What makes him resonate so much is that Inglorious Basterds writes its own history within World War II and he’s essentially the Adolf Hitler of the film. However, Landa isn’t just villainous because he believes that all Jews are evil. He’s crafted as a human being with twisted ideology, though in Landa’s world view he’s doing the right thing for the good of his people. Tarantino has stated that he might’ve created the greatest character that he’s ever written, and it would be hard-pressed to find a better villain in the Tarantino filmography.
This racist prude was a remarkable turn for Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a fun departure from the good guy characters DiCaprio was so used to playing. Like Denzel Washington’s unforgettable turn in Training Day, DiCipario chews up the scenery anytime he’s onscreen; Like everyone else on the list, he’s a deplorable person, but Calvin’s actions sting a bit more because of the history of slavery and the cruelty behind it. Our first meeting of the villain has him joyously watching a fight between two slaves and coldly demanded that this his bargaining chip bash the slave’s skull in without any remorse. It exemplifies the cruel bastard that we’re dealing with and the joy of seeing Dr. Schultz putting a bullet into him was amazing.
The California Mountain Snake who happens to love coke and is missing her right eye carries a great mix of sexy and evil. Her monologue to Budd after the Black Mamba goes crazy on his face was hilarious, which showcases the quirky side of her character. What Tarantino does so well is giving each of his characters a quirk that makes them standout and Ellie Driver is the perfect example of a femme fatale. Her fight against Beatrix Kiddo doesn’t exactly match the heights that the one with Gogo did, but it wasn’t trying too. Wisely, Tarantino made each of the fights different and the back-and-forth banter between The Bride and Ellie made for an engaging match. Though it was pretty cool see the two elite fighters tear through the trailer park with ease. We didn’t see Ellie die like the other victims, but her panicking and losing her S**t was a nice send-off to a character who was a joy to watch onscreen.
Gogo Yubari is bats**t crazy from the beginning and that’s what makes her such a memorable character within a film that’s layered with a colorful cast. We may not know much about the 17-year-old bodyguard of O-Ren Ishii’s, but as the leader of the Crazy 88 famously said, “Gogo may be young, but what she lacks in age, she makes up for in madness.” We may not have much of a backstory of the young assassin, but the mystique of her character actually enhances her personality. Despite the bloodshed and carnage that Beatrix Kiddo dishes out, the fearless young warrior gives the hero one hell of a fight, and Gogo’s battle is easily in the top three of the entire Kill Bill saga. It’s a shame that Tarantino never went through with that feature about Gogo and her sister, Yuki, as it could’ve been a bloody fun movie under his direction.
One of Samuel L. Jackson’s favorite roles turns out to be one of his best. Robbie isn’t like the other villains on this list. He isn’t an evil dictator, or a racist, or a sword-wielding crazy bastard. He’s just a paranoid gun runner who’s willing to kill any man or woman that even thinks about crossing him. Ordell somehow tricking Beaumont Livingston into the back of his trunk was funny, but it shows how sly and cunning he can be. He’s one of the more grounded characters in Tarantino’s world, but he sticks out due to his unique look and the layers surrounding his character that shape him into a fully dimensional human being.
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