Quentin Tarantino is a master filmmaker, having crafted stories in several different genres including crime thrillers, black comedies, westerns, and action. His narratives and dialog are top notch, but one would be remiss if they didn't mention the depiction of violence in each of his nine features. The following list will dwell on the often stylized violence for which he became famous. Specifically, we'll take a look at the ten most brutal kills in his catalog.
To narrow it down some, this will include mostly important character deaths and those spread out over all his films. Otherwise, the Bride's encounter with the Crazy 88's would take up most of the entries. It should also come as no surprise, but spoilers are abundant below.
10 Stuntman Mike
The second half of the Grindhouse double feature, Death Proof is Tarantino's foray into horror. Kurt Russell plays the villain, a murderous stuntman whose weapon of choice is his automobile. However, he picked the wrong crew of woman to mess with this time, and they ultimately best him in his own cat and mouse game.
After wrecking his car, the protagonists, played by Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, and Tracie Thoms, drag him from the ruined automobile and take turns smacking him around until Dawson gives him one final drop kick to the face. It was rare to see Russell in an objectively villainous role, but he played the part excellently and took the hits like a champ.
9 Marvin Nash
Tarantino's first feature is on a significantly smaller scale and budget than the rest of his work, but still features its share of violence. One such moment comes from Mr. Blonde torturing a police officer named Marvin Nash.
At first he cuts his face up, and then takes his ear before playfully talking into it, all while Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" plays in the background. The officer lives through it only to be unceremoniously gunned down in his restraints by Nice Guy Eddie Cabot.
8 Shooting Marvin In The Face
One of Pulp Fiction's most memorable stories stems from Vincent Vega accidentally shooting Marvin, played by Phil Lamar, in the face. In a split second, the hitmens' car is soaked with the poor soul's brains.
If a silver lining exists to Marvin's fate, at least it was quick, unlike most of the other people on this list. Lamar's role only got better and better as he got more recognition for his stint on Mad TV and his voice over roles in Metal Gear Solid and Futurama.
7 Elle Driver
To be fair, Elle Driver might not have succumbed to her injuries and predicament. On the other hand, what are the odds of somebody who recently lost both of their eyes making their way out of the barren, unforgiving desert?
During the fight in Budd's trailer, Beatrix snatches Elle's remaining eye right from its socket, leaving the assassin helpless on a bathroom floor. She then crushes the eyeball under her foot, adding insult to injury. At that point, it probably would have been more merciful to end Elle's life at her sword, but Beatrix wanted her to suffer.
6 Mr. Orange
Mr. Orange's final moments are off screen in Reservoir Dogs, but it's his suffering leading up to it that gets him on the list. After the heist gone wrong, he takes a bullet in the gut from a woman he and Mr. White carjack. From that point, the undercover cop is a pouring rivers of red from the wound. Tim Roth spends the majority of his screen time on the floor, covered in fake blood. Mr. White ultimately does him in after he reveals his true identity as a police officer.
5 Destroying Hitler's Face With A Machine Gun
Violence on film can sometimes be cathartic, as is the case with every fascist taken out in Inglorious Basterds. In what would be a trend for the filmmaker, the movie ends the ragtag group of soldiers killing Hitler via machine gun fire. If that didn't work, then the assassins had bombs strapped to them as a backup.
Plan A works and Hitler is gunned down as the movie theater is engulfed in flames. It doesn't end there, though; they unload a whole heap of bullets into the monster's face. As a two in one bonus, Joseph Goebbels is at his side, receiving his own portion of machine gun fire.
4 Scalping O-Ren Ishii
O-Ren Ishii is the last of Beatrix's revenge targets in Kill Bill Vol.1, though chronologically she is the first. After the brutal bout with the Crazy 88's, she finally gets the chance for a one on one duel with the assassin. While her skill with a blade is unquestionable, it wasn't enough to tame Beatrix's flame of vengeance. The protagonist takes the woman's scalp with a single clean cut, exposing the top of her brain. O-Ren seems to take the wound in stride, losing her life with a strange serenity.
3 Donny Donowitz
Eli Roth's character getting some of the coolest kills in Inglorious Basterds probably speaks to the two filmmakers' close friendship. Not only does he get to kill Hitler, but he gets to crush Nazi skulls with a baseball bat. Near the beginning of the movie, Aldo Raine unleashes him on a prisoner after the detainee refuses to divulge details about a unit of soldiers waiting ahead. As a result of his disobedience, Donny, nicknamed "The Bear Jew", takes the fascist's worthless life via numerous hits to the head and body.
2 Poisoned Coffee
The Hateful Eight's first half is slow and deliberate as tension builds between the characters in a claustrophobic setting. One character dies during an impromptu quick draw, but that's standard fare for a western. It's after the halfway point when someone poisons coffee where it all of a sudden turns into a Troma movie. John Ruth, played by Kurt Russell, and O.B. Jackson, played by James Parks, are the only two who drink it. A short while after, the two start regurgitating blood until they pass on. It appears as a brutally inhumane way to die, and John even gets shot during the process. The bounty hunter at least knows death is an occupational hazard, but poor O.B. was an innocent bystander.
1 Manson Family
Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood is a tame, straightforward dramatic-comedy up until the last act. Those familiar with the true historical events were at the edge of their seats, awaiting the tragic fate of Sharon Tate and her house guests. In Tarantino's version of the events, the would-be murderers enter Rick Dalton's home, unaware that his good friend Cliff is visiting with his loyal canine. What follows is one of the most violent massacres ever put to film, featuring head bashings, dog bites, stabbings, and even a flamethrower.