Read on for Part 2 of our extremely thorough ranking of characters who’ve appeared in the movies Quentin Tarantino has directed, up to The Hateful Eight. (Want to start at the top? You can do so here.
137. Rufus (Samuel Jackson) — Kill Bill 2 Rufus is mostly Tarantino’s excuse to smuggle Samuel Jackson into Kill Bill for a second or two so he can goof around. A default blind piano player isn’t Jules Winfield, but we’ll take what we can get.
136. Warren (Quentin Tarantino) — Death Proof The cackling bartender at the Texas Chili Parlor. whatever Warren says, goes — which is doubly true, since he’s played by Tarantino himself. Besides that winking joke, Tarantino doesn’t do a lot with him.
135. Hitler’s Yes Men — Inglourious Basterds A couple of generals sit and nod as Hitler spews froth. Not the world’s greatest job, especially absent umbrellas.
134. Johnny Mo (Gordon Liu) — Kill Bill 1 Just another dude to kill. Dressing him as Kato is pretty funny though.
133. LeQuint Dickey Mining Employees — Django Unchained Michael Parks, John Jaratt and Quentin Tarantino don incongruous Australian accents and let Django talk them into giving him a pistol so he can lead them to bounty money. They’re incredibly pleased with themselves — for a moment.
132. Flock of Seagulls (Burr Steers) — Pulp Fiction One of those Tarantino characters who looks terrified and then gets off-handedly offed. The fact that he has no name except for his Flock of Seagulls shirt is a nice touch.
131. Trudi (Bronagh Gallagher) — Pulp Fiction Trudi has nothing to do in the film except sit in the drug house and look confused/stoned. She does it well, though.
130. Reverend Harmony (Bo Svenson) and Mrs. Harmony (Jennie Epper) — Kill Bill 2 The placid officiant at the Bride’s wedding and his loving wife (whom he calls “Mother”). Tarantino was having a Dickens moment when he named the two of them. The funniest thing about them is that they get horribly and brutally murdered (unless you are offended by gallows humor, in which case forget I said that and also maybe stop reading gigantic articles about Quentin Tarantino).
129. Voice Over (Samuel Jackson) — Inglourious Basterds Jackson enthusiastically fills in backstory for a Basterd or two. It’s always fun to see Tarantino sneak him in.
128. Soda Jerk (William P. Clark) — Kill Bill 2 Clark doesn’t have any lines, but he does a fine oh-my-god-that-woman-appears-to-have-dragged-herself-out-of-the-grave look when the Bride comes into the soda stand after having just dragged herself out of the grave.
127. Tommy Plympton (Chris Nelson) — Kill Bill 2 The Bride’s heartily nondescript record-store owning hubby. He seems genuinely happy to meet Bill, poor guy.
126. Hellstrom’s Driver (Sebastian Hülk) — Inglourious Basterds When Hellstrom bullies Shosanna, his driver rolls his eyes. Villainous Nazi bullying: it’s exasperating.
125. Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) — Django Unchained Another of Tarantino’s sadistic villains, written with no new insight and played with no special oomph or depth by Leonardo DiCaprio.
124. The Good Racist People of Daughtrey — Django Unchained The usual throng of small-town bystanders inhabit Tarantino’s typical one-saloon town — except that, in this case, those innocent small-town bystanders are all racists. The mythic West glosses over a festering stinkpot of real fear and hatred. That point has been made before (by Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles for example) but it doesn’t hurt to point it out again.
123. Zoller’s Fans — Inglourious Basterds Starstruck Germans who pester war hero Zoller for his autograph. The men shake his hand and flutter; the woman, Babette (Jana Pallaske), lets him know she’s available. Zoller might as well be a movie star — or a movie star playing a war hero playing a movie star playing a war hero, perhaps.
122. Proprietor Eric (Christian Berkel) and Mathilda (Anne-Sophie Franck) — Inglourious Basterds The French barkeep and his winningly shy barmaid. At least the German soldiers who get murdered as collateral damage when the Basterds plan goes to crap are Germans — the Allies are supposed to be fighting them. Eric and Mathilda aren’t even enemy combatants. They aren’t even enemies. They’re civilians who happened to be standing in the way. The Allies, as Tarantino is surely aware, killed a lot of those.
121. Marcel (Jacky Ido) — Inglourious Basterds Shosanna’s cameraman and boyfriend seems like a character with a lot of potential. We don’t know how they met, or what their relationship is like, but it must be something special if she knows, without asking him, that he’ll join her in certain death in order to free their country and take revenge on the Germans. He doesn’t get enough screen time to do anything with it, though. Another bit of evidence for the argument that Tarantino doesn’t know what to do with romance.
120. Goring and Bormann — Inglourious Basterds Infamous Nazi leaders who die in a fire at a Paris film premier, apparently. If you wish hard enough.
119. Boss Tanaka (Jun Kunimura) — Kill Bill 1 Kunimura gives an irascible performance before Tanaka, like many a Tarantino character, meets a swift end (in this case by beheading).
118. Omar (Mitchell Bacall) — Death Proof Omar is taking lessons in getting women from Dov. That is some sad, sorry shit.
117. Jay (Sid Haig) — Kill Bill 2 Sid Haig only gets to say a couple lines, but he puts all the snottiness he can into them, and when you’re Sid Haig, that’s a lot of snottiness.
116. Herrman, the Radio Operator — Inglourious Basterds It’s possible that Herrman is Landa’s lover, which might explain why Landa is so eager to get him out of Germany when he betrays the Reich. It also makes Aldo’s casual murder of Herrman all the more awful (for Landa; obviously it’s awful enough for Herrman.) Landa, somewhat bizarrely, refers to almost all menial Germans as “Herrman.” Either he’s surrounded by Herrmans, he doesn’t bother to use his lover’s name, or he calls everyone by his lover’s name. Or Tarantino is just throwing in gags without necessarily working them through.
115. Bridesmaids — Kill Bill 2 Watching the Bride do gossipy girl bonding with a bunch of small-town besties could have been pretty great. We don’t quite get to see that, but I appreciate that Tarantino took a line of dialogue or two to point to the possibility.
114. Defense Attorney (Denise Crosby) — Jackie Brown Crosby’s distracted, fluttering performance as Jackie’s court-appointed lawyer is brief but telling. Watching her (as Jackie does), you know she doesn’t even have time to pretend to care.
113. Christian Simonson — Death Proof Jungle Julia’s never-seen famous dude crush who leads her on and never shows. Men in Death Proof are either skeeves or bounders. Christian Simonson is the latter. But he’s also a sad metaphor for the fame that seems just beyond Jungle Julia’s grasp: He’s the promised future she never sees.
112. Rocket (Laura Cayouette) — Kill Bill 2 The dancer who informs Budd he must clean out the toilet. The way Cayouette plays the scene, it’s not clear whether she’s feels sorry for him, is mocking him, or is just glad it’s not her job.
111. Trixie (Vicki Lucai) — Kill Bill 2 The dancer sniffing coke off to the side when Lucky chews out Budd. Every time I watch that scene, I end up thinking about how horribly uncomfortable it would be to overhear that conversation.
110. Last 88 Standing — Kill Bill 1 I haven’t been able to track down this actor’s name, but he does a good job of trembling in front of the Bride. She spanks him and warns him not to hang around with the Yakuza before sending him scurrying off — the Bride’s maternal instincts at work.
109. Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton) — Death Proof Stuntman Mike’s doctor, and Earl McGraw’s daughter, who is thoroughly and volcanically pissed at him. We never find out why, but presumably it’s because all men in Death Proof suck and need to be cussed out.
108. Bag Heads — Django Unchained The proto-KKK hasn’t quite figured out how hoods work; They can’t see out of the eyeholes in the bags on their heads. Mocking the KKK as backwoods rubes seems a little tired, especially since the Coen Brothers did something similar in 2000’s O Brother Where Art Thou? Still, the scene is pretty funny, in a Monty Python vein.
107. Mr. Walker — Jackie Brown Never shown on screen, Walker is the guy who sends along the coke that gets Jackie busted. He also apparently abandons Ordell at the end when things get rough. In short, like all of Ordell’s associates except for Jackie Brown, he’s an untrustworthy fuck-up.
106. Old Man Carrucan (Bruce Dern) — Django Unchained Another sadistic, trash-talking slaver, though Bruce Dern gives him a weirdly ‘70s decadence. Ideally, DiCaprio would have had this bit part and Dern could have played Candie.
105. Cecil Evans — Death Proof The never-seen director of Abernathy’s film, and her sort of crush/boyfriend. On the one hand, he made her a mix tape for her birthday. On the other hand, he slept with Darryl Hannah’s stand-in on her birthday. It’s complicated.
104. Big Fred (Escalante Lundy) and his Opponent (Clay Donahue Fontenot) — Django Unchained Escalante Lundy gives Big Fred, the victorious Mandingo fighter, a resigned, workmanlike gravitas. Whether bashing in his opponent’s head with a hammer or drinking a beer afterwards, he seems like a man setting about his work without any particular joy.
103. Sheriff Bill Sharp (Don Stroud) — Django Unchained From cattle rustler to sheriff to bloated corpse for the bounty hunter, Sheriff Bill Sharp seems to have had an interesting life. We don’t get to see much of it, unfortunately.
102. Background Revelers at the Texas Chili Bar — Death Proof Most of the patrons just sit in the background and drink. A few of them get to have the camera linger on them while Stuntman Mike natters on about old TV and movie shows he did stunt work for (like The Virginian.) Kids these days don’t watch enough old movies; therefore, they must die.
101. Pfc. Smithson Utivich (B.J. Novak) — Inglourious Basterds The last Basterd standing, he mainly serves as a straight-man for Aldo. Novak has a very expressive hangdog face and makes the most of his comedic opportunities.
100. Winston Churchill (Rod Taylor) — Inglourious Basterds Lt. Hicox does a small double-take when he sees Churchill in the briefing room. The joke is just that Churchill is in the film, participating in the ridiculous Operation Kino plot. He doesn’t seem to find it particularly amusing — but then, Churchill wouldn’t, would he?
99. The Judge (Sid Haig) — Jackie Brown The Judge doesn’t actually do much of anything — but it’s Sid Haig! In a film with Pam Grier! Just seeing the two of them on screen again together is worth bumping the Judge up a couple of places.
98. Smitty Bacall (Michael Bacall) — Django Unchained Django’s first bounty; a former stagecoach robber who’s turned to farming. Django has qualms about killing him from afar but overcomes them, so we get to hear the poor guy’s son realize that his Pa is dead. Tarantino creates sympathetic murderers and evildoers better in Inglorious Basterds.
97. Proprietor (Yuki Kazamatsuri) and Charlie Brown (Sakichi Sato) — Kill Bill 1 The owners of the club where the Crazy 88s show up to cause havoc. They play panicked obsequiousness well, and giving the poor guy a robe with Charlie Brown’s shirt pattern on it is a nice touch.
96. Raynelle (T'Keyah Crystal Keymah) — Jackie Brown Ordell’s junkie friend and/or girlfriend, whose apartment “is some repugnant shit.” She’s a one-joke character, but it’s a good joke.
95. Trucker (Jonathan Loughran) — Kill Bill 1 A gross chuckling rapist who gets his tongue torn out. As bit parts go, they don’t get much more Tarantino-esque.
94. Amerigo Vessepi (Franco Nero) — Django Unchained A Spanish slaver who loses a Mandingo fight bet with Calvin Candie. King Schultz presents a European as horrified by the violence of slavery. Vessepi, who enters into the spirit of American sadism with relish, is a nice corrective.
93. Sofie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus) — Kill Bill 1 The half-French/half-Japanese bloodthirsty translator and businesswoman seems like she should be a fun character. But she doesn’t get to do much except get hacked up by the Bride. It feels like Tarantino missed a trick here — though Dreyfus does manage to look completely delighted whenever O-Ren does something bloodthirsty. So that’s something.
92. Ben, Shanna’s Dad — Death Proof Shanna’s dad is never seen, but we learn he likes to hang around his daughter’s bikini-clad friends and has a little crush on Jungle Julia. There’s a parallel there with Stuntman Mike, who’s also got a thing for girls young enough to be his daughters. The film is harsh on middle-aged men — not least in that you know Ben’s out there somewhere after the crash, mourning his daughter.
91. D'Artagnan (Ato Essandoh) — Django Unchained The broken Mandingo fighter who tries to escape but is torn apart by dogs. He mainly serves as an example of Candie’s cruelty and a revenge motivation for Django, but Essandoh gives the character some real pathos. “I don’t have it in me any more, Mr. Candie,” he half admits, half begs. In a film so obsessed with black male assertions of physical prowess, it’s welcome to see some sympathy for black men who aren’t gunslingers. Though, of course, D'Artagnan is killed only after Django (in character as a slaver) refuses to buy such a weak specimen. There’s an uncomfortable sense in which the film identifies with the slavers and their dogs. Tarantino seems to hate D'Artangnan’s weakness, too.