Top Five Badass Tarantino Women.


Quentin Tarantino is known for swearing like a sailor, for his excessive and gruesome violence, and for being one of my all time favorite directors. And...for being a feminist? That's right, Tarantino may be everyone's favorite controversy story, but one thing that attracts me to his movies most is...well. His attractive woman. And I'm not talking about Bond Girls. I'm talking about women who can hold their own and kick everyone's ass in the process. And so...a list of Tarantino's top five badasses with breasts:

5. Zoë. (Grindhouse: Death Proof)
Zoë Bell. 
While Grindhouse: Death Proof (2007) is one of Tarantino's lesser widely-acclaimed recent movies, it just so happens I personally have a soft spot for it. And I'll tell you why. One name: Zoë Bell. Living proof that hardwork pays: after working as Tarantino's favorite stunt double for years (she was the Bride in Kill Bill, as well as Shossana in Inglorious Basterds. She may very well be the reason Tarantino always has blonde protagonists), she finally landed her own role. Front and center. Playing for all intents and purposes, herself. QT didn't even bother changing her name. Her accent (Kiwi, not Aussie) is gorgeous, she has a sweet aurora about her, and...she's the most badass woman on the road. Hands down, the best car chase scene I've come across. Ever. My heart was in my throat watching Zoë cling to the hood of the Vanishing Point car as it careened down the road at top speed. And the best part? She is her own motherfucking stunt double.

4. Jackie Brown. (Jackie Brown)
Pam Grier.
Movie poster.
Next to Grindhouse, Jackie Brown (1997) is definitely one of the more underrated Tarantino movies of it's time. It's different for sure--for starters, it's not exactly Tarantino's. It's a book-to-movie adaptation about a hardhitting foxy woman turned con artist. Pam Grier plays one gorgeous thief as she winds her way around some pretty mean motherfuckers. It's a shameless tribute to blaxploitations films of the 70s, but it pays it well, mostly thanks to 1) Samuel L. Jackson's hair, 2) Robert De Niro (I know, he's the last person I would ever expect to see in a Tarantino movie too), and 3) the leading lady. Oh, and this. Any movie that can make Bridget Fonda that sexy...well. Back on topic. In short, Jackie Brown is a no nonsense all-woman woman. She puts the Fatale in Femme fatale. Who said the 70s were over?

3. Elle Driver. (Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2)
Daryl Hannah. 
Dear God, that smirk.
Elle Driver. AKA: California Mountain Snake. AKA: The most badass woman villain to ever grace the screen. From her pirate eye patch to her smoker's fingers, she just exudes badassitry. The arch of her eyebrows, the twisted, wicked smirk...and that whistle that no one, no one can hear without running for cover. Once again, Tarantino defies all gender stereotypes in this role. Is she sexy? Yes. Does she have a "Master" who she's absolutely putty for? You bet. But being a woman doesn't prevent her from being a natural born killer. She doesn't use her sex as a weapon, nor does she use it to her advantage. Instead, she wields only her deadly snakes, her Hattori Hanzo sword, and her burning, impatient sadism. She keeps her calm at all times and never misses a beat to snap back with a witty comeback or a harsh jab. Bill may be the Snake Charmer, but with a woman like Elle Driver, it's hard to really be sure of who is charming who. After all, between her hatred of the Bride and her murder of Bill's brother, it seems that Elle gets what Elle wants, no matter who's throat she has to slit to get it. Elle Driver is cold, callous, merciless, and one badass chick you do not want to cross. Plus, she made nurses sexy again. C'mon. 

2. The Bride. (Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2)
Uma Thurman.
Image snagged from www.btvision.bt.com.
AKA: Black Mamba. AKA: Beatrix Kiddo. AKA: Bea. AKA: Mommy. It's really, really hard not to put every single woman featured in the Kill Bill (2003/04) series on this list. However, it is equally impossible not to include the Bride. She's Superman with ovaries. Finally, we have an action movie woman with guts. Like Elle Driver, we have a woman who doesn't have to put out or look sleezy in order to be a BAMF. The Bride does just fine on her own, thankyouverymuch. It's said that when a child is trapped under a car, a mother can summon superhero strength in order to lift in. What the wives tales leave out is a mother can also defeat an entire squad of highly trained assassins and all their 88+ body guards. One of my favorite parts of The Bride has to be Uma Thurman herself. For a woman who, for the most part, isn't really the best actress Hollywood has to offer, she can make Tarantino's characters sing. She nails The Bride and creates one of the best female action film characters in history. Not to mention, a lovely little tidbit, the character of The Bride, the film claims in the credits, is created by Q & U. Who might Q & U be, you ask? Quentin & Uma. She's got the body, the blade, and the brains. I'm sold.

1. Shosanna Dreyfus. (Inglourious Basterds)
Mélanie Laurent. 
Image from movieset.com.
I know what you're thinking. Blasphemy! How can you possibly put Shosanna from Inglourious Basterds (2009) before The Bride? Well. It was not an easy call to make. And in all fairness, they come neck in neck. But Shosanna has something The Bride doesn't. Humanity. Don't get me wrong. The Bride, as I've said--BAMF. However, The Bride lives in her own comic book world. Shosanna lives in motherfucking WWII. She's a French Jew who just manages to escape out from under the nose of one of the most terrifying SS Officers ever. And what does she do? She doesn't run. Well, she does run, but for like, two minutes. But after running, she heads straight back...into the belly of the beast. She digs her heels into France and stays. And plots her own revenge on those Nazi bastards (not Basterds) who took the lives of her family and her fellow countrymen. Shosanna is badass because she's able to do badass things, such as, says, kill a fuck ton of Nazis, but she's also able to be weak. We see her scared shitless. We see her cry. And we see her be a woman, wear the dress, put on the makeup. She's human, and we can appreciate her moments of complete extraordinary awesome so much better because of it. Plus. She's French. I rest my case. 

In short...?

Tarantino's. One. Lucky. Mother. Fucker. And this woman can suck it. 


  1. I like this list! It certainly highlights Tarantino's ability to create memorable, if cartoonish, female characters. Good choice for number 1 - Inglorious gets better with every viewing. Would Juliette Lewis count in Frim Dusk Till Dawn - she has the macho chops too...well...eventually she does.

  2. Thanks, my man! Agreed, Inglorious Basterds is one movie I will never, ever tire of. I was definitely toying with the idea of Juliette Lewis's character, since she certainly is one badass chick. I mean, she's got a freaking crossbow of Biblical badass portions. But I figured since that movie was both Tarantino and Rodriquez, I couldn't claim her a Tarantino girl in good conscience. But she deserves an honorable mention.

  3. Awesome, awesome post, Morgan! Ugh! I just love all these chicks SO much. Seeing them unleash hell, kick ass, take names and all the rest is just the best experience ever. I especially loved your analysis of Shosanna and explanation of why she had to come before Beatrix Kiddo.

    I also had the thought that Juilette Lewis would have been cool on this list, but you were right to keep it to exclusively QT creations.

    Still, I would love to see more lists of bad ass women from you since there are many more categories you could cover to show sexy, strong BAMFs

  4. Thanks, homie! Tarantino chicks are just FTW. Period. It was a definite Sophie's Choice picking between The Bride and Shosanna, but I had to do it.

    And it's so true! I will definitely have to think up some awesome BAMF woman lovin'.

  5. This was such a great post and I def agree with your number one choice! Quentin Tarantino movies are so well cast: always unexpected but perfectly suited.

  6. Thanks! Tarantino treats his girls right, for sure. Always unexpected but brilliant. Thanks for the comment!


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