Quentin Tarantino is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and influential film makers of modern times. He has brought to the cinematic world an unmistakable auteur style that has rightfully been called Tarantinoesque. The adjective has been applied to many different films of the 21st century that seem to mimic the great director. Blood, violence, pop-culture references and incredible music are all a part of the Tarantinoesque genre – and of course not to forget the unapologetic cultural criticism.
Throughout his 23 years of directing, Tarantino has stacked up an endless list of productions he’s worked on under his belt. Inputting into the likes of Natural Born Killers and From Dusk till Dawn, he has put his unique spark with his writing, directing and acting into these productions.
However, there are only eight feature films that are purely his. The sad part is that the director himself announced that we are to see only two more of his pieces in the future, making it only 10 Tarantino films in total – nowhere near enough to satisfy the Tarantino-hungry fans and followers.
Tarantino has undoubtedly created a huge following for himself with his incredible work – the only problem is, there is not enough of it, and so while we wait for his last two movies (ever), here is a list of Tarantinoesque films you can watch in the meantime to feel a bit of those exciting emotions you probably miss.
10. Freeway (Matthew Bright, 1996)
Freeway has been called the modern remake of Little Red Riding Hood. After her mother was arrested, Vanessa (Reese Witherspoon) wants to find her grandmother and re-establish contact.
Escaping from her social worker, she is given a lift by Bob Wolverton, a school counsellor (Kiefer Sutherland) as a seemingly friendly gesture. But as their journey goes on, Vanessa begins to realise that Bob is in fact the l-5 Killer she had seen on the news. Afraid for her life, she shoots him and manages to escape. She is now charged with attempted homicide while the notorious killer is made victim as she tries to get out of yet another terrible situation and keep her life.
The balance Bright creates of the violence and the pop-vibe makes this movie extremely Tarantinoesque.
9. Red State (Kevin Smith, 2011)
You can definitely feel Tarantino in Red State by Kevin Smith. Three high school boys Travis (Michael Angarano), Jarod (Kyle Gallner) and Billy-Ray (Nicholas Braun) are burning with desire for a sexual experience, and when they find an older woman online willing to satisfy all three, they simply can’t believe their luck.
But of course such things are too good to be true, and the boys end up trapped by a psycho – Pastor Abin Cooper (Michael Parks) who is burning with hatred and plans to kill the naughty boys for their sins. But even with ATF agents surrounding the infamous church where the boys are held captive, the violent power of the Pastor is not easily erradicated.
Bearing QT’s violent mark and the famous theme of revenge (this time for God himself against all of the sinners), Red State makes anyone on Cooper’s path play the game of survival.
8. Thursday (Skip Woods, 1998)
Thursday bears Tarantino black comedy elements as well as a crime genre similar to that of Pulp Fiction. The plot follows Casey Wells (Thomas Jane) who is an ex-drug dealer turned architect happily married and trying to adopt a child. But his calm cycle is interrupted with an unexpected arrival of his ex-drug dealing partner Nick (Aaron Eckhart) who leaves some suitcases and leaves for ‘business’.
As it turns out, the suitcases are full of heroin which Casey successfully gets rid of down the toilet. But Nick’s actions trigger a roll of misfortune onto him, as he begins to be bombarded with hitmen and people from his past, all trying to kill him and ruin the life he spent so much effort to build up.
The film is a quirky roll of violent disaster that any Tarantino fan will be happy to see.
7. Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (Gary Fleder, 1995)
Fleder’s film Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead rings the Tarantino bell with its great crime plot and actors. Jimmy (Andy Garcia) is an ex-crook who is trying to clean up his life and get out of the business, until he is pulled back in for a supposedly last time with a simple task to put pressure on and intimidate their set target.
But one thing leads to another and Jimmy and his gang end up creating a series of unfortunate mistakes during the mission that ends with the death of a woman strongly connected to a big time gangster. Having messed up big time, they end up on the run from Mr. Shhh (Steve Buscemi), a deadly killer who is on the hunt to put them all down.
6. The Boondock Saints (Troy Duffy, 1999)
The Boondock Saints is another film that had immediately been labelled Tarantinoesque. Using the indie crime/thriller genre that QT does himself and inspired by drug theft he witnessed while working as a barman, the script was born in the mind of Troy Duffy and later picked up by Harvey Weinstein of Miramax. But everything soon collapsed on the new-to-Hollywood Duffy when Miramax pulled out of the deal, allowing a much smaller production company with a smaller budget to takes its place.
The film mimics Tarantino not only with its bloody fights, but also with its quirky and artistic style. The plot follows two Irish-American brothers – Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy McManus (Norman Reedus), with God’s inspiration decide to take on the crime of Boston in a very non-godly manner as they make their way through the town, taking down everyone related to the organised crime factions, all the while being chased by the FBI led by Willem Dafoe as Paul Smecker.
The storytelling is Tarantinoesque itself, as Duffy uses QT’s famous timeline change as we see the result of the brothers’ bloodshed before we are given the act itself, allowing for the audience’s curiosity.