Quentin Tarantino is a madman. Or at least, you would think he’s a madman in order to dream up the assemblage of psychopaths, sociopaths, murderers, and other assorted criminals that grace the screens of his movies time and time again. Having just released his eighth film, The Hateful Eight, Tarantino once again continues his usual methods of mayhem to produce his goriest, most violent flick yet in this sausage-fest of a western about bounty hunters and gangsters trapped together during a long, frigid blizzard. But this post isn’t about the Sam Jackson’s and the Michael Madsen’s of Tarantino’s world.
Alongside Tarantino’s deplorable, yet well-constructed male characters, come their feminine counterparts. These 10 women are so badass they’d give Jules Winfield and Mr. White a run for their money in cunning brutality. Their sanities? Just as questionable as their hotness. Their motives, just as chaotic as deadly.
Here, then, are the hottest yet deadliest ladies from the mind of Quentin Tarantino.
10. Daisy Domergue (The Hateful Eight)
OK. Hold up. Daisy isn’t quite the looker you were expecting, huh? Well, don’t worry, there will be plenty to get an eyeful of further down this list. But Jennifer Jason Leigh has been hot in countless other films and Daisy’s deadliness far outweighs her looks here, so she makes the cut, albeit barely. Jason Leigh’s cackling, tortured prisoner is one of Tarantino’s deadliest femme fatales ever penned, no question. She taunts her adversaries, even when the odds are against her; she’s punched in the face, thrown from a carriage and beaten on the ground. She’s bloodied and bruised, but Daisy’s resolve never fades, nor does the violence against her ever relent. The Hateful Eight‘s final 45 minutes become a mishmash of blood, brains and other assorted gore, and as we end up learning, Daisy is the center of it all. Being snowed in with Daisy is not in one’s best interest. Those gentlemen are just lucky that she’s shackled.
9. Mia Wallace (Pulp Fiction)
There’s just one thing that makes Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace so dangerous – and it’s not her propensity for snorting coke like a human vacuum cleaner. It’s her husband: Marsellus Wallace. Marsellus is one of the baddest dudes in the Pulp universe, and you don’t want to mess with Marsellus. When the mafia boss asks Vincent Vega to accompany his wife for a night on the town, Vega knows he’s playing with fire. He tries not to touch her or get too close, but in a matter of no time they’re winning a dance contest in a 50’s theme bar and accidentally snorting heroin…or at least Mia is. Vega knows his ass is on the line, so he scrambles to save her life (enter the largest needle of adrenaline you’ve ever seen). With her short black bob, icy eyes, and killer dance moves, you can’t help but be drawn to her. But even Vega knows what happens when you play with fire…or in this case, the boss’s wife.
8. Shosanna Dreyfus (Inglourious Basterds)
Mélanie Laurent shines as the victim-turned-protagonist of Tarantino‘s alternate history tale, Inglourious Basterds. While beautiful, mild-mannered and sweet, you definitely don’t want to cross Shosanna. After narrowly escaping German and Austrian SS soldiers after they murder her family in cold blood, she inherits the Parisian Le Gamaar Cinema from her aunt, and the location of the film’s climax is set. After agreeing to screen a Nazi propaganda film knowing that her theater will be swarming with Nazi leaders (including Adolf Hitler himself), she begins to plot, filming footage of herself telling the audience that they’re about to be killed by a Jew. The spliced-in footage of Shosanna laughing while the place burns to the ground is an unforgettable scene of revenge finally won. Laurent, in this role, is equally as attractive as she is dangerous, and she’s not one to be crossed.
7. Vernita Green (Kill Bill)
Vernita Green, aka ‘Copperhead’ of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, took part in the massacre at the Two Pines Wedding Chapel. For this reason, she’s number two on The Bride’s “Death List Five.” Green is trained in hand-to-hand combat and knife fighting (as evidenced in the killer opening fight scene in the first volume of Bill), and doesn’t go down without a fight. After agreeing to meet in the middle of the night for a knife fight (to prevent Green’s daughter from witnessing the bloody battle), Green betrays The Bride once again and attempts to shoot her with a handgun concealed by a box of cereal. She misses, and The Bride returns the betrayal with a knife thrown directly into Vernita’s cold, now-dead heart. Green is portrayed by the vivacious Vivica A. Fox who always brings sass and spunk to any role she plays, and is always easy on the eyes.
6. Elle Driver (Kill Bill)
Elle is another member of Bill’s Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, code-named ‘California Mountain Snake.’ Portrayed by the legendary Daryl Hannah, Elle Driver is just as batshit crazy as Daisy; but in the looks department, it’s no competition. Like her squad companions, Elle was also trained by the master, Pai Mei, but after calling him a “miserable old fool,” he plucked out her eye leaving her with a not-so-fashionable eyepatch in its place. With a long-lasting hatred of The Bride, the two finally hold their grudge match in a sword fight inside Budd’s trailer. Elle’s ruthlessness is truly revealed when she tells The Bride of how she killed Pai Mei by poisoning his fish heads; in a rage-induced fury, The Bride rips out Elle’s remaining eye, while a venomous black viper roams loose around the mobile home. Elle’s fate remains unknown.
5. Jackie Brown (Jackie Brown)
When talking about Jackie Brown, one must consider the storied career of Pam Grier. Known for blaxploitation films such as Coffy and Foxy Brown (seriously, see them), Grier’s level of badassery and 70’s sexy strut are indisputable. She’s like a female Shaft, only more awesome…and yes, that’s possible. So when Tarantino wanted to pay homage to some of the best blaxploitation flicks in history, Grier was a natural choice. In the movie, Brown survives multiple money smuggling schemes until she’s nabbed with a bag filled with money…and cocaine, unbeknownst to her. She agrees to take part in one more sting, only this time she plans on double crossing everyone involved. It’s a film rarely mentioned among other favorite Tarantino flicks, but Grier’s swagger and long career of smokin hotness are plenty to snag her the number five spot.
4. Zoe Bell (Death Proof)
Zoe Bell is a real-life New Zealand stuntwoman who played herself in Tarantino’s sixth film, Death Proof. Along with her (fictional) pals Abernathy Ross and Kim Mathis, the trio is chased and almost murdered by the movie’s joke-cracking murderous madman, Stuntman Mike, played by the indelible Kurt Russell. But this time, Mike messed with the wrong woman. Not only does Bell have the female equivalent of balls of steel (she rides the hood of a 1970 Dodge Challenger holding nothing but leather belts as Kim puts the pedal to the metal – hands down the best stunt from a Tarantino movie), but Zoe’s Kiwi accent is 100 percent swoon-worthy. And the fact that she can probably kick my ass is kind of a turn on…
3. Gogo Yubari (Kill Bill)
In a movie full of jaw-dropping kung fu fighting, it is The Bride’s epic battle with Gogo Yubari, an associate of O-Ren Ishii, that is perhaps most memorable (two words: “meteor hammer”). Gogo is a cutesy little thing; a soft-spoken warrior decked in a schoolgirl uniform. But this 17-year-old bodyguard of Ishii is beyond deadly. Even thinking about this entry makes me want to rewatch this fight scene on repeat. The Bride ends up taking her down with a nail to the head, but Gogo gives her the biggest fight of her life up until that point. Played by Battle Royale‘s Chiaki Kuriyama, this character was such a kickass treat that I only wish we got to see more of her sleek and destructive fighting skills.
2. O-Ren Ishii (Kill Bill)
Yet another member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (yeah, there’s a lot of Kill Bill on this list, and with good reason), Ishii, code-name ‘Cottonmouth,’ became leader of a Japanese crime organization after the massacre that left The Bride for dead. The Crazy 88’s, along with Gogo Yubari, became Ishii’s personal army and shield when The Bride came back for the revenge battle that would close out Volume 1 of the saga. Ishii became psychology unhinged after witnessing her parents’ brutal murder at the hands of a ruthless crime boss named Matsumoto thereby setting her up for her own life of crime with Bill and the other Vipers in his squad. Lucy Liu’s ‘Queen of the Tokyo underworld’ was finally dismantled by The Bride’s Hattori Hanzo sword with one deadly slice across the scalp, looking as hot as ever right up until the moment she collapsed dead, spilling red all over Tokyo’s snow-covered ground. Which leads us to our number one…
1. ‘The Bride’ aka Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill)
Uma Thurman’s second appearance on this list isn’t an accident; Thurman is Tarantino’s muse, and there is simply no one deadlier (or hotter) than Beatrix Kiddo. Armed with her Hanzo sword and decked out in her yellow jumpsuit, she’s the ultimate homage to Bruce Lee. The Bride suffers immensely throughout the course of Bill’s two volumes. She’s gunned down, made to believe that her unborn child is dead, buried alive and beaten up, stabbed, and tortured in battle after battle, but she prevails. There’s not a tougher lady to be found in Tarantino’s entire filmography, making Beatrix the ultimate top dawg. While rumors always seem to swirl about a potential third installment in the Kill Bill series, I, for one, hope this story has indeed come to a close. Vernita Green’s daughter Nikki, was promised by Beatrix that if Nikki ever wanted to avenge her mother’s death, Beatrix would be waiting. After her bloody and gruesome path to revenge and redemption, I hope this is one Tarantino character that can hang on to her happy ending.