Do You Find Me Sadistic: Ranking Every Single Quentin Tarantino Character (Part Two)

Welcome back. In part one of this series, we began counting down each and every single one of director Quentin Tarantino's 122 significant characters to celebrate the impending release of the The Hateful Eight. In today's edition, the next batch of scoundrels and soldiers and thieves and the occasional innocent-caught-in-the-crossfire. Follow me after the jump...

In case you missed them last time, these are rules and regulations I followed to assemble this monstrosity:

  • In order to be included, the character must play a role in the plot of the film or interact with a major character.
  • In order to be included, a character must have a name. If the character doesn't have a name, they must have enough screen time or be significant enough to overrule this command.
  • In order to be eligible, characters had to be in a feature film directed by Quentin Tarantino. This means characters from True Romance and From Dusk Till Dawn are ineligible. Since it's not a full feature, I also disqualified Tarantino's segment from Four Rooms.
  • Any of those rules can be broken at any time, for any reason, if it means making this list worth reading.

And now, without further adieu, here is part two of this three part series, where we'll examine Tarantino characters #60 through #26.

ranking tarantino characters marcel

60. Marcel

The Movie: Inglourious Basterds

The Actor: Jacky Ido

Noteworthy Quote: "Oui, Shosanna."

There's probably a version of Inglourious Basterds where Marcel plays a larger role. In the version released into theaters, he stands out despite his limited screen time because he's one of the few genuinely good people in the entire cast. Tarantino doesn't dwell on any details when it comes to Shosanna's lover and confidant, but we can put two and two together thanks to context and Jacky Ido's performance. Here a man so loyal to the woman he loves that he helps her burn down a movie palace full of Nazis. As far as showcases for undying love go...

Pulp Fiction - 1994...No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX (2249121d) PULP FICTION (1994) Rosanna Arquette Pulp Fiction - 1994

59.  Jody

The Movie: Pulp Fiction

The Actor: Rosanna Arquette

Noteworthy Quote: "That was pretty f***ing trippy."

While Lance and Vincent Vega struggle to resuscitate a dying Mia Wallace, Jody can't believe what's happening. She can't believe that her husband let a customer drag an overdosing woman into their home. She can't believe that they're about to shoot adrenaline into the heart of woman on her living room floor. She shouts and screams and lends her emotions to the cacophony scoring this already unbearably tense sequence. Every element of this scene is perfect and Rosanna Arquette's performance is one of those elements.

ranking tarantino characters gogo

58. Gogo Yubari

The Movie: Kill Bill Vol. 1

The Actor: Chiaki Kuriyama

Noteworthy Quote: "How about now, big boy? Do you still wish to penetrate me? Or is it I who has penetrated you?"

Killer Japanese girls in schoolgirl outfits are a common trope in genre cinema and Tarantino leans hard into the stereotype with Gogo Yubari. There's honestly not much going on with Gogo. She's just a violent maniac whose deadly skills are hidden behind a seemingly innocent exterior. Still, we've got to hand it to Chiaki Kuriyama, who brings a special flavor of unhinged to this tired character type. She most certainly ranks in the upper echelon of killer Japanese schoolgirls.

ranking tarantino characters bag head

57. "Bag Head"

The Movie: Django Unchained

The Actor: Jonah Hill

Noteworthy Quote: "Well, if all I had to do was cut a hole in a bag, I coulda cut it better than this!"

In one of the greatest scenes in Tarantino's career, a group of proto-KKK types gather to ambush Django and Dr. King Schultz. However, their plan is put on hold when everyone starts to argue about the logistics of wearing a sack over your head while riding a horse and shooting. The resulting conversation, spearheaded by Jonah Hill in a brilliant cameo, ranks up there with Blazing Saddles as one of the greatest eviscerations of racism ever committed to screen.

ranking tarantino characters budd

56. Budd

The Movie: Kill Bill Vol. 2

The Actor: Michael Madsen

Noteworthy Quote: "That woman deserves her revenge and we deserve to die."

Unlike the other characters that Beatrix Kiddo targets during the Kill Bill saga, Michael Madsen's Budd is a total loser. Like a former athlete gone to seed, he's a sad, desperate mess whose glory days are a distant memory. Madsen lets us see the sparks of the old Budd – like when he gets the drop on Beatrix with a shotgun loaded with rock salt – but he's the sole major character in these movies who isn't a near-unstoppable badass. In context, that actually makes him pretty unique.

ranking tarantino characters big daddy

55. Big Daddy

The Movie: Django Unchained

The Actor: Don Johnson

Noteworthy Quote: "Oh, well s***fire! If you don't wear 'em as you ride up, that just defeats the purpose!"

Give Don Johnson that facial hair, put him in that suit, and just stand back and let him do his work. This is a broad performance (you can see the bite marks on the scenery), but Johnson is obviously having a blast with his limited screen time, taking the stereotypical "southern gentleman" archetype and gleefully running it through.

ranking tarantino characters wilhelm

54. Master Sgt. Wilhelm

The Movie: Inglourious Basterds

The Actor: Alexander Fehling

Noteworthy Quote: "I'm German, you idiot!"

He may be wearing a Nazi uniform, by Master Sgt. Wilhelm just wants to enjoy an evening at the bar, where he can celebrate the birth of his son in peace. It's not his fault that he happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alexander Fehling runs the character through a gamut of emotions. Initially an irritating and drunk distraction, he sobers up quickly when the bullets start flying and his desperate conversation with Lt. Aldo Raine is the perfect capper to one of the most intense fiascos in recent cinematic history.

ranking tarantino characters marvin nash

53. Officer Marvin Nash

The Movie: Reservoir Dogs

The Actor: Kirk Baltz

Noteworthy Quote: "What the f*** are they waiting for? This f***ing guy slashes my face, and he cuts my f***ing ear off! I'm f***ing deformed!"

No one who has seen Reservoir Dogs forgets what happens to poor Marvin Nash. In just a few scenes, Kirk Baltz ensures that we care deeply for the life of a man we have just met.

ranking tarantino characters lance

52. Lance

The Movie: Pulp Fiction

The Actor: Eric Stoltz

Noteworthy Quote: "Look, you brought her here, and that means that you're giving her the shot. The day that I bring an OD-ing bitch over to your house, then I give her the shot. Give her the shot."

All other movie drug dealers need to bow before Lance, the constantly dressed-for-bed heroin aficionado played to near-perfection by Eric Stoltz. Here is a portrait of your friend neighborhood narcotics specialist – the working professional who means no one any harm and just wants to run his business from the comfort of his living room. Watching this totally average, totally likable guy get in over his head and have to talk a panicking Vincent Vega through the process of giving an adrenaline shot is a stressful blast.

ranking tarantino characters broomhilda

51. Broomhilda Von Shaft

The Movie: Django Unchained

The Actor: Kerry Washington

Noteworthy Quote: [Puts fingers in ears.]

How much of Broomhilda ended up on the cutting room floor? The answer must be "a lot," as she's a little one-dimensional compared to other Tarantino heroines. And yet Kerry Washington is so magnetic and her chemistry with Jamie Foxx so strong that we totally buy Django fighting his way through hell-on-earth to get her back. If we don't believe that, the entire movie sinks.

ranking tarantino characters hugo stiglitz

50. Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz

The Movie: Inglourious Basterds

The Actor: Til Schweiger

Noteworthy Quote: "Say 'auf wiedersehen' to your Nazi balls."

Hugo Stiglitz is a pitch-black joke made flesh. Here is a brutal serial killer who just so happens to be a soldier in the German army during World War II. His murders get him tossed in the cell, but those murders also act as the perfect audition for the Basterds, who recruit him to help them do what he does best. Stiglitz is thinly sketched, but Til Schweiger is a dark joy to watch.

ranking tarantino characters beaumont

49. Beaumont Livingston

The Movie: Jackie Brown

The Actor: Chris Tucker

Noteworthy Quote: "Man, you must be out of your f***in' mind if you think I'm gonna get in this dirty-ass trunk."

Years before he harnessed Mike Myers for the forces of cinematic good in Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino directed Chris Tucker to one of his best performances in Jackie Brown. It takes a very special breed of actor to match wits with Samuel L. Jackson in a Tarantino and Tucker is more than capable of keeping up.

ranking tarantino characters donny donowitz

48. Sgt. Donny Donowitz

The Movie: Inglourious Basterds

The Actor: Eli Roth

Noteworthy Quote: "After I kill that guy, you have 30 feet to get to that guy. Can you do it?"

Like many of the characters in Inglourious Basterds, Donny Donowitz, a.k.a. "the Bear Jew," is more of an idea than a character. He's a walking, talking tall tale. He's the German army's personal boogeyman. His actions, which generally involve beating unarmed Nazis to death with a baseball bat, are monstrous, but he's working in the interest of righteous vengeance. You can't blame him for his rage. Donowitz is compelling enough that you can't help but wonder what would have happened if an actor with more range than Eli Roth was cast in the part.

ranking tarantino characters melanie ralston

47. Melanie Ralston

The Movie: Jackie Brown

The Actor: Bridget Fonda

Noteworthy Quote: "Jesus, but if you two are not the biggest pair of f***-ups I've ever met in my entire life. How did you ever rob a bank? When you robbed banks, did you forget where your car was then too? No wonder you went to jail."

Bridget Fonda isn't the first person that comes to mind when you think about casting a scheming, beach bum stoner, but she provides strong and frequently hilarious support to Jackie Brown. She's the closest thing the film has to a femme fatale, but like the other characters in the movie, she refuses to remain within a familiar box.

ranking tarantino characters hattori hanzo

46. Hattori Hanzo

The Movie: Kill Bill Vol. 1

The Actor: Sonny Chiba

Noteworthy Quote: "Revenge is never a straight line. It's a forest. And like a forest, it's easy to lose your way. To get lost. To forget where you came in."

Tarantino the master of casting recognizable actors, breaking them into their component parts, and utilizing them to fit his specific needs. As the Hattori Hanzo, the master smith who has retired from a life of making weapons of death to run a sushi bar, marital arts legend Sonny Chiba brings the weight of an entire career to his limited screen time. When talks about the dangers of revenge and violence, you listen. The man has been there and you can see it in his eyes.

ranking tarantino characters rachtman

45. Sgt. Werner Rachtman

The Movie: Inglourious Basterds

The Actor: Richard Sammel

Noteworthy Quote: ["Did you get that cross for killing Jews?"] "Bravery."

As discussed back in part one, the nastiest trick Inglourious Basterds pulls is that it often treats its "villains" with human decency. While the American "Basterds" are gleefully committing atrocities to strike fear in the hearts of their enemies, Sgt. Werner Rachtman is allowed to stare death in the face, refuse to cooperate with the enemy, and die horribly... but with his honor secure. That the film also makes it clear that he's an anti-Semitic prick only makes him all the more complicated, and the mixture of emotions we feel as we watch him die all the more troubling.

ranking tarantino characters ringo

44. Pumpkin/Ringo

The Movie: Pulp Fiction

The Actor: Tim Roth

Noteworthy Quote: "Why not? Nobody ever robs restaurants. Bars, liquor stores, gas stations... you get your head blown off sticking up one of them. Restaurants on the other hand, you catch with their pants down. They're not expecting to get robbed. Not as expectant anyway."

Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer have one job in Pulp Fiction: establish the film's seemingly impossible tone. Although the film eventually does bounce back to their low-level crooks in the final scene, it's their hilarious, casual conversation about the inherent difficulties of modern armed robbery that gets the audience prepared for what's to come. Roth, a Tarantino veteran by this point, makes all of that dialogue feel effortless.

ranking tarantino characters yolanda

43. Honey Bunny/Yolanda

The Movie: Pulp Fiction

The Actor: Amanda Plummer

Noteworthy Quote: "Any of you f***ing pricks move, and I'll execute every motherf***ing last one of ya!"

Everything written about Roth applies here, too, but Plummer has the slightly trickier role. When her partner/boyfriend find himself staring down the barrel of a gun, her tough facade cracks. Watching this casually violent woman reveal her humanity is as enthralling as anything else in the movie.

ranking tarantino characters esmarelda

42. Esmerelda Villalobos

The Movie: Pulp Fiction

The Actor: Angela Jones

Noteworthy Quote: "So what does it feel like to kill a man with your bare hands? It's a topic I'm very interested in."

Tarantino take a quick trip into David Lynch territory with the introduction of Esmerelda, a taxi driver whose fascination with death makes her a natural verbal sparring partner for Bruce Willis' newly-minted murder, Butch Coolidge. Angela Jones' over-the-top performance perfectly complements Willis' subdued exhaustion – she's a memorable weirdo, the devil on Butch's shoulder obsession with death only drives home how little Butch cares about the man he killed in the boxing ring.

ranking tarantino characters dieter hellstrom

41. Major Dieter Hellstrom

The Movie: Inglourious Basterds

The Actor: August Diehl

Noteworthy Quote: "Too bad about Sergeant Wilhelm and his famous friends. If any of you expect to live, you'll have to shoot them too. Looks like little Max will grow up an orphan. How sad."

We don't know who Major Dieter Hellstrom is. We do now know where he came from. All we know is that he's a Nazi S.S. officer and in the world of Inglourious Basterds, that's all you need to know. The important thing is that he stumbles across the members of Operation Kino when they're trying to have a not-so-secret secret meeting in basement tavern. In the excruciating, heart-pounding sequence that follows, he ingratiates himself amongst the disguised group, plays party games and slowly reveals that he knows exactly who they are. August Diehl's poker face is a thing of evil beauty – you don't know what this guy is thinking or what he will do next and being in any social situation with him is a cause for serious alarm.

ranking tarantino characters fabienne

40. Fabienne

The Movie: Pulp Fiction

The Actor: Maria de Medeiros

Noteworthy Quote: "I don't give a damn what men find attractive. It's unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same."

Fabienne is an odd character because she's almost too real. Butch Coolidge's girlfriend is incredibly human, bouncing between annoyed and loving and playful in any given conversation. Her speech about wanting a potbelly is disarming and weird... until you realize that this is the exact kind of oddball discussion committed couples have in the privacy of their bedroom. Fabienne is the heart of Pulp Fiction's middle half, the flawed but truly lovely better half of her chapter's leading character.

ranking tarantino characters pai mei

39. Pai Mei

The Movie: Kill Bill Vol. 2

The Actor: Gordon Liu

Noteworthy Quote: "It's the wood that should fear your hand, not the other way around. No wonder you can't do it. You acquiesce to defeat before you even begin."

Actor and martial artist Gordon Liu pulls double duty in the Kill Bill movies, playing Johnny Mo in Vol. 1 and legendary kung fu master Pai Mei in Vol. 2. The latter is the superior role. Joyfully subverting the tropes of the "wizened old master" archetype, Liu's ancient mentor is a total dick, a sexist, and a nightmare to be around. Learning to be the best possible fighter means putting up with one of the most infuriating and intentionally obnoxious characters in the Tarantino canon. That's brilliant.

ranking tarantino characters abernathy

38. Abernathy

The Movie: Death Proof

The Actor: Rosario Dawson

Noteworthy Quote: "F*** that s***! Let's kill this bastard."

Watching Rosario Dawson slowly and steadily transform from an apprehensive (i.e., normal) woman concerned about the dangerous stunts her buddies are attempting on a lonely country road into an ecstatic and bloodthirsty vessel for feminine justice is one of the chief reasons the back half of Death Proof is so damn satisfying.

ranking tarantino characters kim

37. Kim

The Movie: Death Proof

The Actor: Tracie Thoms

Noteworthy Quote: "Look, I don't know what futuristic utopia you live in, but the world I live in, a bitch need a gun."

While Zoe Bell provides the final act of Death Proof with the insane stunts, it's Tracie Thoms who provides it with heart. Like all of the ladies in the movie, she gets a whole bunch of killer dialogue, but it's her concern for Zoe's safety and the professionalism she showcases behind the wheel of 1970 Dodge Challenger that make her so much more than a collection of witty lines.

ranking tarantino characters winston wolf

36. Winston Wolf

The Movie: Pulp Fiction

The Actor: Harvey Keitel

Noteworthy Quote: "If I'm curt with you it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So, pretty please. With sugar on top. Clean the f***ing car."

Winston Wolf is an effortlessly cool man who walks into exceptionally uncool situations and fixes them. Played with suave, Rat Pack bravura by Harvey Keitel, he's inspired far too many pale imitations to count. Pulp Fiction is filled with so many messy characters, so many people who are questioning their existence or circling the drain, so it's only appropriate that the confident Winston is treated like a superhero in the eyes of everyone around him. And then he leaves as quickly as he arrived.

ranking tarantino characters joe cabot

35. Joe Cabot

The Movie: Reservoir Dogs

The Actor: Lawrence Tierney

Noteworthy Quote: "All right, ramblers. Let's get rambling."

Watching Lawrence Tierney in Reservoir Dogs is like observing a classic car at an auto show. He may be old, he may be surrounded by younger actors doing a completely different thing, but you can't take your eyes off him. Joe Cabot radiates danger. When Tierney raises his voice, you stop breathing because you can't escape the thought that he's not acting. He's actually angry and he's actually going to strangle someone on set.

ranking tarantino characters vernita green

34. Vernita Green

The Movie: Kill Bill Vol. 1

The Actor: Vivica A. Fox

Noteworthy Quote: "Black Mamba. I shoulda been motherf***in' Black Mamba."

Vernita Green is the shadow of Beatrix Kiddo. Like the heroine of Kill Bill, she is a warrior and a mother who only wants to leave a life of violence behind and settle down with a family. But unlike the woman who kills her (in front of her daughter, no less), Vernita's motherly instincts make her into a protector, a defender. She's no match for a mother scorned.

ranking tarantino characters perrier lapadite

33. Perrier LaPadite

The Movie: Inglourious Basterds

The Actor: Denis Ménochet

Upon first watch, the lengthy conversation that opens Inglourious Basterds is all about Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa. Upon second watch, you realize that Denis Ménochet says just as much with his eyes as Waltz does with page after page of dialogue. Watching Perrier LaPadite weigh his options in the face of confident, charismatic evil is chilling. He's not a bad man. He's just an ordinary fellow, a simple farmer, who tried to do a good thing and found himself breaking in the face of pressure. To watch him is to wonder how you would hold up in similar circumstances.

ranking tarantino characters louis gara

32. Louis Gara

The Movie: Jackie Brown

The Actor: Robert De Niro

Noteworthy Quote: "F*** you and your chill pill!"

A few years before he gave himself over almost entirely to broad comedies, Robert De Niro showcased real comedic chops as Louis Gara. Recently released from prison and deeply uncomfortable in his own skin, Louis is the perfect deadpan partner for Samuel L. Jackson's Ordell. Watching his slightly bumbling, high-strung goofball turn violent in his final scenes feels like a genuine betrayal. It's impossible to not understand Ordell's decision to put a bullet in him.

ranking tarantino characters captain koons

31. Captain Koons

The Movie: Pulp Fiction

The Actor: Christopher Walken

Noteworthy Quote: "Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you."

The speedy descent into hell that is Pulp Fiction's middle chapter is dependent on one thing: we have to believe that Bruce Willis' Butch Coolidge would literally risk life, limb and, uh, you know to retrieve his father's golden watch. In steps Christopher Walken's Captain Koons, whose lengthy monologue about how that watch only escaped a Vietnamese prison camp because it was smuggled in not one, but two butts is just pitch perfect. Simultaneously gross and sweet and moving, this brief flashback is a near perfect portrait of friendship, legacy, and the unexpected bonds that unite people. Most importantly, it makes Butch's drastic and dangerous decisions to retrieve the watch make total sense – that watch didn't travel so far to get abandoned on a ceramic kangaroo.

ranking tarantino characters reservoir dogs

30. Mr. Pink

The Movie: Reservoir Dogs

The Actor: Steve Buscemi

Noteworthy Quote: "Yeah, that's easy for your to say, you're Mr. White. You have a cool-sounding name. Alright look, if it's no big deal to be Mr. Pink, you wanna trade?"

Reservoir Dogs is such a fast and filthy movie that you quickly grow thankful for Mr. Pink, the film's number one source of comic relief. However, the real power of Steve Buscemi's performance isn't that he's funny (Buscemi has made a career out of playing fast-talking wise guys), it's that he's thoroughly competent. Mr. Pink gets the funniest lines in the movie, but you never once doubt that this obnoxious weasel of a man is a dangerous criminal who is damn good at this job.

ranking tarantino characters king schultz

29. Dr. King Schultz

The Movie: Django Unchained

The Actor: Christoph Waltz

Noteworthy Quote: "I couldn't resist."

The noble, doomed Dr. King Schultz is the audience surrogate character of Django Unchained. As a German outsider who has relocated to the United States to get in on the bounty hunting business, we see the evils of slavery through his eyes. He gets to be appalled while so many other characters, who are used to the horror, just shrug it off. Schultz is more than that, though. This eloquent, verbose former dentist is as hilarious as he is righteous. He's also stubborn as hell, dying because he'd rather shoot a slaver in the chest than shake his hand. Watching him exit the movie so early is painful (he's so likable!), but it's necessary. Django needs to face those final trials alone.

ranking tarantino characters ray nicolette

28. Ray Nicolette

The Movie: Jackie Brown

The Actor: Michael Keaton

Noteworthy Quote: "You ever see him sell guns? Then how do you know he sells guns?"

You can instantly elevate any movie or any role simply by placing Michael Keaton in it. That is undisputed. That is a fact. In the case of Ray Nicolette, Keaton takes the most straightforward character in Jackie Brown and gives him inner life. He's a straight-shooting ATF agent, but he's a chill guy. He's relaxed and patient. Unlike the other figures of authority in the movie (and that includes cops and criminals), you feel like you can actually trust him. Watching him navigate the machinations of this plot, where he only knows about one-third of the story, is a blast.

ranking tarantino characters bridget von hammersmark

27. Bridget von Hammersmark

The Movie: Inglourious Basterds

The Actor: Diane Kruger

Noteworthy Quote: "I know this is a silly question before I ask it, but can you Americans speak any other language besides English?"

Diane Kruger is a beautiful woman and those good looks inform so much about Bridget von Hammersmark. A German movie star working in league with the Americans and the British to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Bridget is more competent and intelligent than most of her military counterparts. But because she's a movie star and because she's gorgeous, she's capable of hiding in plain sight. Watching this confident spy roll with the punches thrown by enemies and allies alike is thrilling. Her death at the hands of Hans Landa is one of the most unsettling and painful demises in any Tarantino movie.

ranking tarantino characters nice guy eddie

26. "Nice Guy" Eddie Cabot

The Movie: Reservoir Dogs

The Actor: Chris Penn

Noteworthy Quote: "Larry, stop pointing that f***ing gun at my dad!"

It's hard to watch Chris Penn in Reservoir Dogs and not wonder what could have been. Although he continued to steadily act until his untimely death in 2005, Penn has never been better than he is right here, matching wits with the likes of Harvey Keitel and Lawrence Tierney. There's an alternate universe where he went on to be one of the most respected actors of the past few decades. You can see that in this performance, where he elevates this hot-headed, tracksuit-earing crook into something strangely tragic. His tears of rage over the death of Mr. Blonde are as powerful as anything in the movie.