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Film

Quentin Tarantino named his favourite slasher film of all time

@Russellisation

Showing off an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has shown off his love for movies time and time again, infusing each and every one of his projects with a self-evident respect for the history of the medium. Whether he’s nodding to the samurai films of old in Kill Bill, or doffing his proverbial cap to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s with Django Unchained, Tarantino always has one eye on the past when creating his movies. 

Having covered multiple genres, from westerns to WWII drama, one of the few areas Tarantino is yet to delve into is horror. Though he’s never made an outright horror movie, the director is never too far away from the genre, weaving in many hallmarks of the terrifying form of filmmaking into the likes of From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill and Death Proof. A self-confessed horror lover, Tarantino has long-held rigid ideas about the nature of violence in such films, not least because this is often an area of criticism aimed against his own projects. 

Speaking to Newsday in 1994, the director stated, “Violence is just one of many things you can do in movies”. Addressing the criticisms aimed against his own use of blood, guts and gore in his own movies, he adds: “People ask me, ‘Where does all this violence come from in your movies?’ I say, ‘Where does all this dancing come from in Stanley Donen movies?’ If you ask me how I feel about violence in real life, well, I have a lot of feelings about it. It’s one of the worst aspects of America. In movies, violence is cool. I like it”. 

The closest Quentin Tarantino has come to his very own horror film came in Death Proof, released in 2007 alongside Planet Terror from director Robert Rodriguez, a film that saw Kurt Russell star as a stuntman with a murderous taste for killing teenage girls. Whilst undoubtedly violent, the film lacks the proper story to be considered a true horror, often veering on the side of action or drama, as opposed to sustained horror. 

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When Tarantino spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the release of the film in 2006, the director revealed why he made the film and revealed some truths about his favourite horror films in the process. Speaking to the publication, he explained: “The genre I wanted to tackle was slasher films, because I’m a big fan of the late-1970s, early-’80s slasher films, the only thing was, what makes them so good is the genre is so rigid”. 

Continuing, Tarantino began to talk about some of his favourite slasher movies, a sub-genre of horror cinema that was sparked by the arrival of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974 as well as Halloween in 1978. Discussing his favourites of the sub-genre, he announces, “I love Halloween and all those. But as time’s gone on, I think My Bloody Valentine may be my favourite”.

The somewhat surprising choice from Quentin Tarantino was released in 1981 and was directed by George Mihalka. Starring Lori Hallier, Cynthia Dale and Neil Affleck, the film follows an old-folk tale about a deranged murderer which turns out to be true as he stalks his victims on Valentine’s day.

Check out the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s favourite slasher film, below.