Femmes Fatales: 9 Tantalizing Women of Tarantino Films
Quentin Tarantino loves women, of this there can be no doubt. In fact, some of his most memorable film characters are female. Yes, he does tend to linger a bit too long on his actress’ feet, but if parlaying a weird kink onto film means getting to see Uma Thurman or Zoe Bell kicking all sorts of ass, then so be it. Tarantino loves showing strong, independent women in his films and his characters are some of the coolest, most tantalizing, and triumphant characters ever put to film. These are the femmes fatale of Tarantino flicks.
Photo Credit: Miramax
Alabama (‘True Romance’)
Alabama Worley (Patricia Arquette) is a call girl with a heart of gold. Alabama was hired to sleep with Clarence on his birthday. She did, but in doing so, she fell for him. The two embarked on an epic love story that left a trail of death in its wake. Alabama gave her heart and body to Clarence and she proved to be one of Tarantino’s most lovable and resilient characters. She demonstrated a strength that only the best of us could muster and we fell in love with her as quickly as Clarence did.
Mia Wallace (‘Pulp Fiction’)
Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) is one of Tarantino’s most recognizable characters, but she actually had the least amount of screen time (besides Ms. Ishii). Upon seeing Mia, one can immediately see why Marcellus would throw a man out of a window simply for giving her a foot massage. With her limited screen time, Mia Wallace proved to be a shot of adrenaline to the heart.
Jackie Brown (‘Jackie Brown’)
They named the movie after her for a reason. Pam Grier starred as Jackie Brown, a smart, sharp, sexy and dangerous woman who had a drug lord, a bail bondsman, and an entire police force chasing after her. Grier gave the performance of a lifetime and we couldn’t imagine anybody else playing the titular character. As an homage to "blaxploitation" films of the '70s, Jackie Brown was everything one could want from Grier and from Tarantino himself.
Kate Fuller (‘From Dusk Till Dawn’)
Daughter of beloved Jacob Fuller, Kate would be one of the very few of her group to make it from dusk till dawn. After being kidnapped, losing her father, losing her brother and fighting off a whole hell of a lot of vampires, Kate had every reason to just give up. But she didn’t. She chose life and came out of her tragedies as a wounded but not broken warrior, ready to take on the world. When you’ve come face to face with hell and never blinked, the world better start being afraid of you. We don’t know what happened to Kate after Seth Gecko left her in the dust of the Titty Twister. But we would love to see a sequel in which she’s just a super cool assassin bounty hunter.
Beatrix Kiddo/The Bride (‘Kill Bill’)
Beatrix Kiddo (aka "The Bride") is perhaps Tarantino’s most well-known heroine. After being shot down at her wedding rehearsal and seeing all of her friends murdered, Kiddo (Uma Thurman) hated the man who did it so much that she simply refused death. She spent five years in a coma, but when she woke, the floodgates were opened. She went on a one-woman killing spree and took out the entirety of The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. As she promised herself and her daughter, she also killed Bill. The Bride is the perfect example of a strong, independent woman who, underneath all that anger and violence and thoughts of revenge, was simply a mother, trying to find her child.
O’ren Ishii (‘Kill Bill’)
When talking about Kill Bill, we would be remiss not to mention O’ren Ishii (Lucy Liu). Ishii is quite the warrior herself. As a girl born into tragedy, it’s all she’s ever known. So instead of being afraid, she became angry and, in doing so, she went on to become one of the world’s deadliest assassins. She also became the de facto leader of the Yakuza. Just don’t mention her Chinese or American ancestry or she’ll collect your fucking head.
Zoe Bell and “The Girls” (‘Death Proof’)
Death Proof is an underrated film in Tarantino’s filmography, but it’s a great example of women kicking major ass. Death Proof starred Kurt Russel as Stuntman Mike, who happened to be a serial killer who uses a car instead of a butcher’s knife. But he underestimated a group of young women when he began to terrorize them on the road. They fought back and he served as a metaphor for every jabroni who uses his car to compensate for…other things. Zoe Bell (who starred as herself, according to the credits) and her friends (Tracey Thoms and Rosario Dawson) decided they didn’t want to be prey anymore; they wanted to be predators. So they fought back against Stuntman Mike and made him regret the moment he ever tried to show them that his car was death-proof.
Shosanna Dreyfus (‘Inglorious Basterds’)
Shosanna Dreyfus was a Jewish refugee who trapped a room full of Nazis (including Hitler himself) in a theater and then set it to fire. It really doesn’t get much more badass than that.
Sharon Tate (‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’)
Sharon Tate’s story has become the stuff of legend. But that legend was rewritten in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. Played by Margot Robbie, Tate saw a lot less "action" than the previous women on this list, but she made us fall in love with her just the same. And some would say falling in love is a fate worse than death. We all knew the fate that awaited her, which made us love her even more.