Quentin Tarantino is an American filmmaker most known for his dark humor, unique storylines, excessive profanity, and use of gratuitous, stylized violence. Making his debut with the release of Reservoir Dogs in 1992 — which, per Collider offered a unique take on the heist movie – Tarantino saw immediate success, moving on to make Pulp Fiction, which was both a critical and commercial success, winning the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at Cannes that year. This only propelled Tarantino into stardom as he continued to release a variety of violent crime thriller films that would give new meaning to the genre.
While Tarantino has been criticized for his open use of slurs within his movies, as outlined by IndieWire as well as the use of gratuitous violence, he is ultimately an auteur, with the vast majority of his films being recognized by his distinct directorial style. Thanks to the content of Tarantino’s films, there are plenty of detestable characters to love/hate. Whether it’s the lovable Dr. King Schultz, who seeks justice for all, or the sadistic behavior or someone like Mr. Blonde, there are so many characters of Tarantino’s creation to both root for and against. Here are the best villains in Quentin Tarantino movies, ranked.
8 Vincenzo Coccotti — True Romance
In one of Tarantino’s more underrated films True Romance main character Clarence (Christian Slater) meets call-girl Alabama (Patricia Arquette) and marries her over a weekend. Their relationship leads them to accidentally getting their hands on a large amount of drugs belonging to Alabama’s former pimp, which soon puts them at the center of attention. When Clarence and Alabama make the trip out to California, they are followed by Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken) and his men. Advisor to big time mobster Blue Lou Boyle, Vincenzo is not a man to be trifled with, as he tortures Clarence’s father to get information and winds up shooting him dead. While Vincenzo is not the most gruesome on this list, he still acts as one of the best villains thanks to his psychological games with his victims.
7 Ordell Robbie — Jackie Brown
While Jackie Brown often falls into the background of Tarantino’s films, one character in particular shines out thanks to his menacing charisma, and that is Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson). The film revolves around title character Jackie Brown, who must cooperate with the feds to bring Robbie down and avoid jail time. Despite the fact that the film seems to fall flat in a number of places, Robbie’s sociopathic manipulating makes him likable, which is what makes him such a fantastic villain. Robbie serves as a great source of entertainment throughout Jackie Brownas the audience cannot keep their eyes off him.
6 Daisy Domergue — The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight brought us the remarkable femme fatale Daisy Domergue, an outlaw chained to the side of John Ruth, a bounty hunter who wishes to see her hang. Daisy’s behavior is similar to that of any outlaw: smart, vulgar and downright diabolical. Domergue has the upper-hand in a cabin full of men who underestimate her cruelty. Despite the fact that the film was criticized for the barrage of abuse Domergue hurls at the men, this only proves that women have to work twice as hard to prove themselves equally worthy. That being said, Domergue is not a likable villain as she acts without mercy and lacks charisma. Jennifer Jason Leigh earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as the tough outlaw unwilling to go down without a fight.
5 The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad — Kill Bill Franchise
The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad is not one person — they are an entity. The Deadly Vipers, featured in the Kill Bill franchise, consists of four current members: O-Ren Ishii, Budd, Vernita Green, and Elle Driver. Part of what makes The Deadly Vipers so dangerous is their ability to follow orders and turn on someone who was once their colleague, as they did with Beatrix Kiddo, a former member of the Vipers. The Vipers became targets of Kiddo after she woke from her coma as they were responsible for the massacre that occurred at her “wedding,” which kicked off Kiddo’s quest for revenge. As Kiddo faces each member of the Deadly Vipers, we really see how skilled they all are. Between O-Ren setting her Crazy 88s on Beatrix to Budd burying her alive, there is nothing they won’t do to defend themselves and die with honor.
4 Mr. Blonde — Reservoir Dogs
In what is arguably the most iconic scene from any Tarantino film, we get a glimpse into one of the most cruel and sadistic villains to ever enter Tarantino canon: Mr. Blonde. Considering the fact that Reservoir Dogs was Tarantino’s first film, he came in strong with Mr. Blonde, a member of the diamond heist group who tortures a cop while listening to the song “Stuck in the Middle with You.” Mr. Blonde dances and sings along while casually cutting the cop’s ear off. The sheer level of his nonchalance is part of what makes Mr.Blonde such a fantastic villain to be feared. Not only will he commit heinous acts, but he will do so with no regret and, more significantly, with joy at seeing someone else suffer by his hand. To date, Mr. Blonde is arguably one of Tarantino’s greatest villains to ever be created.
3 Calvin Candie — Django Unchained
One of the most infamous moments in cinematic history is when Leonardo DiCaprio slammed his hand down so hard, he broke a glass during a scene in Django Unchained and wound up cutting his hand open to the point that he was bleeding. He then proceeded to wipe his real blood on Kerry Washington’s face as the ultimate sign that she is “his property.” If this scene doesn’t sum up the cruelty of Calvin Candie, we don’t know what does. Not only is Candie horrifically racist, but he enjoys seeing Black men fight to the death for his amusement, a dehumanizing and demoralizing act that places Candie higher up on this list. Some may argue that his racist perspective makes him less interesting as a villain; the realities of his discrimination run through his blood as he does not just speak with slurs, he genuinely believes people of color to be biologically inferior and therefore worthless.
2 Bill — Kill Bill Franchise
Leader of the Deadly Viper Assasination Squad, Bill (David Carradine) is responsible for the order to shoot up the church where Beatrix’s wedding was being held. This was done as a form of revenge against her for leaving the squad (and him). Part of what added to Bill’s horrifying reveal was that in Kill Bill Vol. 1we never see Bill’s face, which gives him power over the audience and over Beatrix. In the second film, we get a closer look at him and why he had such a close bond with Beatrix. While Bill is more soft-spoken and seems rather harmless, it is in fact these qualities that make him such a great villain: he is seemingly sweet and kind, but the reality is that he is a dangerous killer who only cares about his own needs.
1 Hans Landa — Inglorious Bastards
Topping our list is Inglorious Bastards‘s top villain Hans Landa, a Nazi commander willing to do anything to get ahead. Playing himself off as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Christopher Waltz made a name for himself thanks to this charming yet psychopathic character that he portrayed like no other could, making him a household name in Hollywood. Not only does Landa prove to be charming in German, but he also manages to make his kindness menacing. When Landa smiles, it leaves an unsettling feeling in the audience as they are unsure if he is happy, if you should be too, or if you should run in the other direction because he’s found out something about you that he doesn’t like. Hans Landa remains the best Tarantino villain of all time.