BAMF Of The Week: Michael Madsen

"That woman deserves her revenge, and we deserve to die."

While trying come up with my BAMF of the week, I was doing some good ol' fashioned blog surfing, and came across Being Norma Jeane's QT Week. A whole week? Devoted to Quentin Tarantino? Count me in. After reading over her lists of awesome, I felt like I had to do something Tarantino this week. It didn't help that Free Willy (1993) was on TV and I ended up watching the whole thing just to see if Madsen would finally slap the kid. Michael Madsen has always been a bit of a favorite of mine, and I consider him one of the most underrated actors. It's as though for every excellent film he makes, he has to do ten crap films in between until someone remembers he exists. That aside, the reasons why Madsen is excellent have to be boiled down to this: his sadism, and his puppy dog eyes. Because really, psychotic roles come and go, and actors pick them up like candy. They're fun to play, and they always look cool doing them. But Madsen has a leg up. While he can be as sadistic as he wants, with that husky growl and his you-gonna-die chuckle, he has these fantastic puppy dog eyes. Which somehow simultaneously gives his character a soul and makes him that much more unpredictable. Madsen, my hat is off to you. 

Best films: The dancing manic in Reservoir Dogs (1992), the volatile romantic from Thelma & Louise (1991), and the shit cleaning merciless brother in Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), and the gangster with the lion taming smile from Donnie Brasco (1997).

Worst films: The made-for-tv lifetime movie, Christmas Crash (2009)? Really? Is everyone so afraid he'll cut into them if they try to film with him? The last remotely badass role of his was voicing the wolf Maugrim in Chronicles Of Narnia (2005). C'mon, people. Give this man a role!

Best moments: It's impossible to compare anything to his classic dance of death to the tunes of Stuck In The Middle With You.

Best quotes:

Mr. Blonde: Was that as good for you as it was for me?

Mr. Blonde: I might break you in, Nice Guy, but I'd make you my dog's bitch.

Mr. Blonde: Are you gonna bark all day, little doggie, or are you gonna bite?

Budd: You gotta hand it to the old girl. I never saw nobody buffalo Bill the way she buffaloed Bill. Bill used to think she was so damn smart. I tried to tell him..."Bill, she's just smart for a blonde."

Louise: Remember when we first met?
Jimmy: Yeah.
Louise: What happened? Tell me what you said.
Jimmy: I said you had a nice pair of eyes.
Louise: And what did I say? You remember?
Jimmy: Yeah, you shut 'em. Asked me if I knew what color they were?
Louise: And what's you say?
Jimmy: I didn't know.
Louise: [She covers his eyes] Jimmy, what color are my eyes?
Jimmy: They're brown.


  1. Terrific choice! Madsen's torture sequence in Reservoir Dogs still haunts me. It's amazing and unnerving at the same time. Madsen being Madsen + Tarantino's gift for conversation = insane charisma...or a "dancing maniac."

  2. Thank you for the shout out... so glad that someone else finds Madsen sexy. I kind of watch Species on repeat for him :P

  3. @ Matty--Thanks! It's a classic, no bones about it. I'm always half-laughing half-horrified. But that is the genius that is good ol' QT. In fact, his love affair with QT is something of a blessing and a curse--while he churned out the best work of his career, the movies also made sure he'd never get a role that wasn't a psychotic crazy man. Christoph Waltz should brace himself for a similar fate.

    Nikhat--You're welcome! It was a brilliant idea, I had to share the love. And damn right! I haven't seen Species, but now I may have to, solely for the Madsen love.

  4. This is another epic BAMF! Mr. Blonde is definitely his best. And I love him as Budd, of course. It's too bad that he ended up doing so many crap movies and TV shows, he's truly talented!

  5. Michael Madsen.

    I think that is all that needs to be said.

    Though there is some ridiculous Vampire film where is playing a Priest I heard had come out, or is going to come out, that truly looks awful.

    But he is Mr Blonde. No discussion needed.

    You pick great BAMF of the week's, though.

  6. He's great, I always enjoy watching him pop up in random films for a short while. Such a shame his larger roles are generally in crappy B-movies.
    Seriously have you checked out his IMDb page? This year alone he's made 8 films already with another 14 on the go! And I haven't heard of any of them... He's really some kind of B-movie king!

    Great post and awesome chioce!

  7. @ Rachel--I'm glad you agree! Mr. Blonde is such the shit. End of story. He really needs to get more good scripts, he deserves it.

    @ Cherokee--WORD. Michael Madsen as a priest? That sounds...interesting. He really is Mr. Blonde. He owns that role. And thanks!! I'm glad you like the BAMF.

    @ Jack--I noticed that too! He really has become the king of the B-movies. C-movies, even. Poor man can't really seem to catch a break. I was looking though quotes of his, and he had one great one: "I'm a leading man trapped inside a bad guy's body." Says it all, really. Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Michael Madsen is hellacool and a total BAMF. It sure as shit does seem like he does ten bad movies for every one good flick. I loved him in Thelma and Louise, his QT flicks and in a 1996 flick I adore called The Last Days of Frankie the Fly. Dennis Hooper, Kiefer Sutherland and ol' BAMF Mike as Sal, a mob boss set up for a snuff film. It's a comedy and a crime drama. I don't think it was all that popular, but I have a great time watching it.

    He's recently been on 24 and unfortunately has a whole slew of films coming down the pipe, most of them sound really bad. I'm hoping there's at least two gems in there, though.

  9. Agreed! And now I'm intrigued by The Last Days of Frankie the Fly. That sounds hella hilarious, and I love me some Dennis Hooper and Kieger Sutherland, so I can't see why it wouldn't be badass. I'm definitely going to have to be checking that one out now!

    He really seems to be in it for the pay check these days. Which is a fact he willingly admits, dude has four kids and needs to pay his groceries some how. Plus, the whole "getting older" thing never seems to help many actors careers. I'm also hoping he comes out with some good ones--I see he's lined up for the Witching Hour, which I'm hesitantly excited for. Fingers crossed, Madsen!

  10. Fantastic Choice! Madsen rules! He is at his best in his direct to video work like Executive Target, Inside Edge, The Stray, and others.

    We have a Michael Madsen week coming soon on the site.

  11. Thanks! I agree, he is really a badass. And I actually haven't seen any of the movies you just listed, so I'm going to have to get on that pronto!

    I'm psyched! I'll definitely check that out.

  12. he recently starred in my country in a movie called SERBIAN SCARS, quite a successful film it was.

  13. That's epic! I may have to check it out. Madsen as a terrorist? Yes, please.

  14. Clearly, I'm a Madsen fan. I just devoted a whole acting lesson to him. And here's the thing... Michael Madsen is badass. Because he plays Michael Madsen in everything.

  15. Good pick! Mr. Blonde was just such a perfect role for him, and if it's any consolation I'm sure it has marked Stealer's Wheel nearly as much as it has Madsen. He's always good, but yeah, that one is so tough to top.

  16. @ Elizabeth--Fucking right you did! Madsen really is a badass. Michael Madsen doesn't even NEED to be anyone than himself because it just...works for him. As you so eloquently put better than I can!

    @ Brent--Thanks! I'm glad you approve. Mr. Blonde really was a perfect role. I've seen a good handful of his other movies, and still nothing he's done since then can compare. It's not even that the movie itself is brilliant (it is), but it's just the best acting I think he's done in his whole career. My hat off to him!


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