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Quentin Tarantino named his five favourite killer movie moments

Quentin Tarantino has built his entire reputation around his ability to construct images of arthouse action. While many have criticised Tarantino for glorify violence through his films, the director has maintained that his penchant for artistic aggression is vital for the maintenance of his unique vision which defines who he is as a filmmaker.

The evolution of these sensibilities took place in Tarantino’s mind ever since he was a little kid. He has always insisted that his exposure to horror films, exploitation flicks and westerns influenced him to a great extent and opened his eyes to the magic of the cinematic medium. Most of these genre elements can be found abundantly in almost all of Tarantino’s films.

This intersection of various styles has led many critics to describe Tarantino’s cinematic brand as pastiche. In order to get a sense of the director’s thought process behind some of his greatest shots, we have compiled a list of some of Tarantino’s favourite movie moments which stayed with him long after he finished watching the films.

Check out the full list below.

Quentin Tarantino’s 5 favourite killer movie moments:

Year of the Dragon (Michael Cimino, 1985)

A fascinating neo-noir by Michael Cimino, this 1985 effort marked Cimino’s return to the world of cinema after he was left devastated by the fatal failure of Heaven’s Gate which many, including the director himself, thought would end his career for good.

One of Tarantino’s favourite scenes is actually the ending of Year of the Dragon which he found extremely engaging and even revelatory. For Tarantino, the final shootout of Cimino’s 1985 film was so moving that it left him breathless: “You forget to breathe during it!”

Walking Tall (Phil Karlson, 1973)

A true cult classic, Walking Tall is an entertaining action thriller that conducts a semi-autobiographical treatment of the life of a pro wrestler named Sheriff Buford Pusser who listens to his wife’s requests and quits his dangerous profession only to end up becoming a lawman.

In the film, Pusser is played by Joe Don Baker whose performance was greatly applauded by Tarantino. One particular scene caught Tarantino’s eye and that was the one where Baker enters a bar only to unleash hell on the people inside with a baseball bat.

The early films of William Witney

William Witney was an American filmmaker who worked extensively on the western genre and his work had a huge impact on Tarantino. The director claimed that Witney was the director responsible for pioneering the iconic fight sequences often associated with westerns.

“All the early stuff by William Witney [On the Old Spanish Trail; Adventures of Red Ryder], who, for all intents and purposes, created the modernised, choreographed Western fight scene we see today,” Tarantino said. “He came up with the cinematic language by watching Busby Berkeley musicals.”

The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

Francis Ford Coppola’s magnum opus has probably influenced each and every audience member to some extent. At the time of its release, the American masterpiece emerged as the definitive crime film ever made and it has retained that status even after all these years.

While Coppola’s favourite The Godfather scene involves the final moments of Vito Corleone before his death, Tarantino has a different top pick. He named the death of Sonny Corleone (played by James Caan) as one of his all-time favourites because of its incredibly cinematic nature.

Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)

Blue Velvet is definitely among David Lynch’s greatest cinematic achievements because of its ability to explore the dark recesses of the collective psyche of American suburbia. While the whole film is a surreal masterpiece, there was one moment that Tarantino found to be vastly superior.

That should come as no surprise because many audience members have echoed the same sentiment after witnessing the mastery of Dean Stockwell lip-syncing to Roy Orbison’s beautiful song In Dreams. Tarantino described his reaction to the scene as: “You’re like, Is this even happening? Am I watching this?”