37 Fun Facts And Easter Eggs That Make Quentin Tarantino Films Even More Interesting

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Director and filmmaker Quentin Tarantino made his mark on Hollywood in the early 1990s after gaining a following for his violent neo-noir crime thriller Reservoir Dogs, and the black comedy crime staple that is Pulp Fiction. Skip forward a few decades, and if you haven’t seen his films, you’ll likely still have heard of the Kill Bill series, Inglourious Basterds, and Django Unchained in particular.

Quentin Tarantino showing the peace sign at the 16th Rome film festival in 2021

Tarantino is mostly known for his unique style, excessive use of aesthetic violence, and long or obsessive dialogue. Oh, and he’s always saying or doing something controversial!

So, given my recent round up of behind-the-scenes facts about David Fincher and Bong Joon Ho films, it’s only fair that I continue my series and share with you some quirky, insightful, and even downright scary BTS details and easter eggs from the works of Quentin Tarantino.

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Watch out for spoilers...

1.Chiaki Kuriyama accidentally hit Tarantino with the ball and chain in Kill Bill: Volume 1.

2.You can spot the crew in Reservoir Dogs.

Camera crew and boom mic operator spotted in Reservoir Dogs scene

No movie is perfect, but I bet you would never usually expect to see the crew pop up in the finished product? Well, if you look closely enough, in Reservoir Dogs as Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) is running away from the cops, you can see the camera crew and the boom mic operator reflected in one of the store windows.

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3.Tarantino will never reveal why he purposely spelt the titular Inglourious Basterds wrong.

Promotional poster featuring Brad Pitt for Inglourious Basterds film

Sounds like this might always be one of life's mysteries. Inglourious Basterds was taken from a 1978 Italian spaghetti war movie but where the former was spelled correctly, Tarantino decided to tweak the spelling, adding a “U” into “Inglorious” and swapping an “A” for an “E” in “Bastards.” Does this have any hidden meaning? Is it just Tarantino being Tarantino? I don’t think we will ever know as at the film’s Cannes press conference, Tarantino was seen saying that he was never going to explain it!

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4.Nearly the entire soundtrack budget for Reservoir Dogs was spent on one song.

5.Tarantino owns the Pussy Wagon from Kill Bill: Volume 1 and loans it out sometimes.

The Pussy Wagon car and key chain in Kill Bill films

Genuinely one of the more hilarious film facts is that Tarantino really owns the yellow Chevrolet from Kill Bill: Volume 1, you know the car that’s decorated with the words “Pussy Wagon”? Apparently, he even loans it out from time to time, and you may have spotted it in the Lady Gaga and Beyoncé music video for “Telephone” in 2010.

Tarantino actually doesn’t drive it all that much anymore though! The Independent reports that Tarantino had to stop driving the car, saying that “the thing about the Pussy Wagon is, whenever I drove it on the freeway, everyone recognized me…everyone recognized the Pussy Wagon. And then it would be a chain, because people would drive alongside me and try to talk to me.”

What a way to get recognized!

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6.There’s Pulp Fiction easter eggs in Kill Bill: Volume 1.

Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill red apple cigarettes link

There’s a few nods to Pulp Fiction in Kill Bill, but did you spot them?

In one scene, where the Bride draws out a square when talking to Vernita, it’s very much similar to when Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace (also played by Uma Thurman) was talking to Vincent Vega (John Travolta) in the car outside the 1950s themed restaurant, Jack Rabbit Slim’s.

In chapter 5, the Bride walks through an airport and passes an advertisement for Red Apple cigarettes, the exact same brand of cigarettes that Mia smokes in Pulp Fiction.

Coincidence? Oh, I doubt it.

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7.Leonardo DiCaprio improvised this iconic scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Rick Dalton meltdown in trailer in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, aging TV Star, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) has what you would call a meltdown in his trailer following an unsuccessful shoot on the set of “Lancer,” the TV show he’s guest starring on. In the scene, DiCaprio starts throwing things in anger and reflects on how his heavy drinking caused him to forget his lines.

When talking to IndieWire, Tarantino confessed that the scene wasn’t in the script and so it was never rehearsed. Apparently, Leo was the one who gave the idea to Tarantino about messing up the “Lancer” sequence and how afterwards his character would need to have a real crisis of conscience about it so that he can come back from it. Turns out Tarantino shot two versions: one with DiCaprio’s character landing his lines on the TV show and the other one which actually appears in the film after Rick has one too many whisky sours and ruins his performance on set.

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8.Kurt Russell destroyed an antique guitar for this The Hateful Eight scene.

9.The swear word count for Pulp Fiction is 431.

Pulp Fiction movie poster

We all know that Tarantino films are going to have a lot of expletives in them! Well, as IndieWire confirms, Pulp Fiction is top of the list for the most swear words said (or shouted!) with a grand total of 431. Definitely NSFW, the film’s total includes 265 mentions of the F-bomb.

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10.Django Unchained serves up some Kill Bill easter eggs.

Snapshot of solo monologues from Django Unchained and Kill Bill films

It’s not hard to notice that both Django Unchained and Kill Bill center around protagonists hellbent on revenge for a taking of a loved one by an evil counterpart, but even if we ignore this for a second, there’s also a clear-cut reference to Kill Bill in Django Unchained, so I’m going to take bets on the fact that Tarantino knew exactly what he’s doing.

What is the reference, I hear you ask? Well, as Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) speaks on Django (Jamie Foxx) who’s being tortured hanging upside down, he says “and that will be the story of you,” which is a direct quote from Kill Bill: Vol. 2 when Bill (David Carradine) warns the Bride about Pai Mei (Chia-Hui Liu) over a camp fire.

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11.Reservoir Dogs' Mr. Blue was played by a real career criminal.

Mr Blue from Reservoir Dogs

Tarantino cast a real former career criminal, Edward Bunker, in the role of Mr. Blue. According to Screen Rant, the director actually ended up adding the opening diner scene just because he realized that Bunker wouldn't have had any dialogue otherwise.

Bunker was previously one of the FBI's most wanted men, having organized robberies, and ran a drug empire, as detailed in The Guardian.

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12.The title for Death Proof came to Tarantino whilst drinking with Sean Penn.

Tarantino at a Death Proof event inf ront of a car and movie poster

In an interview with Uncut, Tarantino confessed to coming up with the naming of Death Proof when talking in a bar with actor Sean Penn. Apparently, Tarantino was buying a new car, and Penn began talking to Tarantino about how you can take a car to a stunt specialist and they could reinforce it to make it death proof (for $20,000). Just like that, Tarantino said it sounded so cool, and it stuck with him because it seemed like a good title for a film about a huge car chase.

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13.We are actually told the Bride’s name in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 Before the big reveal in Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

The Bride's plane ticket in Kill Bill

Shamefully, the amount of times I’ve watched the Kill Bill films and never realized until years later that we were actually told the Bride’s name on the sly, way before the anticipated reveal in Vol. 2.

Did you catch it? In Vol. 1, if you don’t blink and you pay close attention to when the Bride’s plane ticket appears, you can actually see her real name, Beatrix Kiddo, written in plain sight. It happens in a complete snapshot so you would have likely had to pause the film at that scene in order to read it! Who would have thought?

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14.The cast endured horrible filming conditions for The Hateful Eight.

Snowy conditions in The Hateful Eight scene

The nearly three-hour saga was filmed in the middle of winter in the Rocky Mountains. As the Hollywood Reporter details, the crew recalled how freezing it was on set and how they would huddle under one of the lights to try to get a degree warmer, and when shooting a stagecoach scene in Colorado, actor Jennifer Jason Leigh debated whether it was best to walk a football field away to the tent where there’s a heater, or to just sit in the snow!

Sometimes, the temperature dropped to minus-10 or minus-20 degrees, and Tarantino wanted to shoot in the real place for 10 weeks so the actors were really walking through the snow. In addition to this, the scenes inside the cabin were also kept to a chilly 35-degree room temperature so you could see the actors' frosty breaths on camera.

Russell and Leigh even spent most of the film chained together with real chains, for 14 hours some days. On the whole, this sounds like one painful but interesting set up!

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15.Only Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio were allowed to read the full script for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Brad Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio at an event for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

After the chaos of The Hateful Eight’s leaked script years before, it’s no wonder that Tarantino kept the script for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood close to his chest. In an interview with Esquire, it’s clear that Pitt and DiCaprio were the only two cast members to read the entire script. According to the duo, in order to read the script, they both had to go to Quentin’s house and sit on his patio (separately), and there was only one copy that circulated between them and the director. Pitt even said that when he went back weeks later, there was a collection of more stains!

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16.Jamie Foxx’s sunglasses in Django Unchained were inspired by Charles Bronson.

Similar sunglasses in Django Unchained and The White Buffalo films

Costume designer, Sharen Davis, spoke to Vanity Fair about how Foxx’s wide face made it hard to find glasses for him, but Davis ended up using inspiration from Charles Bronson’s 1977 fantasy western, The White Buffalo, as a reference for Django’s sunglasses. According to Davis, she never actually told Tarantino where she got them from either!

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17.Zoe Bell performed her own stunts in Death Proof after objecting to Tarantino’s wish to have another stunt-double film her most dangerous scenes.

Zoe Bell performing a stunt in Death Proof car chase

Whilst it’s no surprise that stuntwoman Zoe Bell performs her own stunts in Death Proof, it is a surprise that Tarantino didn’t originally want her doing the most dangerous scenes. In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Bell talks about how she was cast in the film and automatically assumed it was a cameo role or to perform stunts as a stand in, but Tarantino informed her that she was given a speaking role and another stunt-double would be used for some of the more intense stunts. Naturally, Bell objected, and Tarantino allowed her to do all of her own stunts.

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18.Tarantino thinks of My Best Friend’s Birthday as his film school.

Tarantino in My Best Friend's Birthday

Whilst Tarantino’s first piece of work was technically My Best Friend’s Birthday, the director doesn’t really count it because it was a short, and that’s why if you’ve ever actually counted Tarantino’s films, you’ll notice they never added up (until you factor this revelation into it). Turns out, Tarantino thinks of the short film as his “film school.”

When talking to Far Out Magazine, he expressed that when he gets asked if he went to film school, he tells them, “No, I went to films.” In his words, “You don’t have to know how to make a movie. If you truly love cinema with all your heart and with enough passion, you can’t help but make a good movie.” When talking about My Best Friend’s Birthday, he stated that he worked for 3 years on a 16mm movie that became nothing but guitar picks, and he was very disappointed when he realized it wasn’t any good, but it was his film school, and when it was all over, he knew how to make a movie.

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19.450 gallons of blood were spilled throughout the Kill Bill series.

Fighting scene in Kill Bill with lots of bloodshed

As you know, the Kill Bill films are infamous for their bloodshed, and there was no holding off on the violence throughout. As makeup effects artist, Christopher Allan Nelson, revealed in Time Magazine, the crew needed 450 gallons of fake blood to hand in order to “spray, spill, and otherwise discharge” throughout the production process. That’s a whole lot of fake blood!

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20.Everyone hated Lawrence Tierney on the set of Reservoir Dogs.

Lawrence Tierney in Reservoir Dogs

In conversation with The Guardian, Tarantino talked about how he felt uncomfortable in the first week of directing Reservoir Dogs whilst working with actor Lawrence Tierney, who played Joe Cabot.

According to Tarantino, Tierney was a “complete lunatic by that time [who] just needed to be sedated,” and the actor was personally challenging to every aspect of filming so much so that everybody on set hated Tierney. In the last 20 minutes of the first week, Tarantino confessed how they had a blowout and got into a fist fight, with him firing the actor and the whole crew bursting into applause!

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21.The Pulp Fiction needle scene was actually filmed backwards.

Mia overdose scene in Resrvoir Dogs

In one of Pulp Fiction’s most unforgettable and harrowing moments, Mia overdoses on heroin after a night of dancing with Vincent Vega. Vincent desperately tries to revive her by plunging an adrenaline-filled syringe directly into her heart.

As Slash Film confirms, Tarantino actually chose to film the scene backwards in order to make it appear as realistic as possible. Instead of using a fake chest piece on Thurman, Travolta was directed to start with the needle at Thurman's chest, and then pulled upward and away with severe intensity, and in the edit, the footage was played in reverse. So, when the needle is supposed to make contact with Thurman, the camera instead cuts to Thurman's face as she shrieks for air, with a solid "thud" sound tricking the audience's brain into believing the needle was actually plunged into her body. She then panics back to consciousness, the syringe still hanging out of her skin.

The scene was very realistic, and this could all be down to the clever filmmaking technique!

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22.Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has an assembly cut of over four hours long.

Damon Herriman as Charles Manson character in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

If you thought Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was lengthy with its 2-hour-41-minute theatrical run-time, then you may be shocked to learn that the assembly cut was over four hours long! According to IndieWire, Damon Herriman who played Charles Manson earned a lot of buzz going into Hollywood for playing the infamous serial killer, but he only appeared in one brief scene in the end. Another scene that was cut was when child actor Trudi Frazer, played by Julia Butters, called Rick Dalton to rave about a scene they shot together.

The film’s producer David Heyman said that Tarantino is adept at throwing out a great scene, stating that it’s all about getting the film rhythm to where it needs to be.

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23.Tarantino was on the verge of a bust up with one actor during Jackie Brown.

Robert Deniro in Jackie Brown film

Metro revealed that the director was on the verge of a furious bust up with Robert De Niro during the filming of Jackie Brown. Apparently, Tarantino was annoyed by De Niro’s diva-ish behavior, and it was Harvey Weinstein who tried to calm him down over a leaked transcript of their phone call.

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24.Brad Pitt got Tarantino to change the ending of the Bruce Lee fight in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Fight scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

The controversial fight scene between characters Cliff Booth and Bruce Lee didn’t go down unnoticed, but it could have left fans feeling even more upset or frustrated, had Brad Pitt not managed to convince Tarantino to change it.

As discussed in Looper, the fight was originally set to end with Booth winning and knocking Lee down three times. Much of the crew and Pitt specifically felt that having Lee lose was a disservice to who he was, and the actor was very vocally against it, and worked with the crew to eventually convince Tarantino to change the scene so that it played out how we all saw it in the film’s final cut.

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25.The red 1965 Chevy in Pulp Fiction was actually Tarantino’s.

red chevy car and grill in Pulp Fiction

The classic red 1965 Chevy driven by John Travolta in Pulp Fiction was actually Tarantino’s. But, did you know that it was stolen during production of the film? Not only that, the Chevy had its vehicle information number removed, and it took 17 years for the car to turn up and get back into the hands of its original owner.

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26.Tarantino spent five years writing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as a novel.

Quentin Tarantino Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novel

Tarantino spent five years writing the film’s story in a novel form, before realizing a film script would better suit the material. Tarantino said he considers the screenplay his most personal, and has since released a novel for the film which delves into 1969 Hollywood. So we may not have gotten the original novel he spent years working on, but at least we have another creative entry into the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood era.

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27.In Kill Bill, Tarantino originally planned to play the martial arts trainer, Pai Mei.

An edited photo imagining Tarantino as Pai Mei in Kill Bill

Possibly one of the wildest and illogical fun facts is how Tarantino originally planned to play the martial arts trainer, Pai Mei, in Kill Bill. We know he likes putting himself in his own movies, but this role to me just wouldn't have made any sense! According to IGN, Tarantino admitted that it was so intensive to direct the two-part movie that it took everything he had, and he was no longer eager to play the part. Whilst I’m a huge fan of Tarantino’s writing and directorial work, I can’t say the same about his acting skills, so I’m very glad that actor Chia-Hui Liu played the part instead.

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28.Tarantino wrote Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega for Michael Madsen.

John Travolta as Vincent Vega, and Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs

EW revealed that Tarantino originally wrote the part of hitman Vincent Vega for Michael Madsen, who he really visualized in the part, especially after Madsen starred in Reservoir Dogs. Sadly for Madsen, he already signed on to star in Wyatt Earp, which was set to film at the same time as Pulp Fiction, and he was already committed to that film instead.

It’s interesting because since Travolta got the role, I couldn't imagine anyone else as Vega! Could you?

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29.There’s a classic horror easter egg in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Flamethrower scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood vs flamethrower scene in The Thing films

Toward the end of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, there’s a rather comical scene whereby Rick Dalton arms himself with a flamethrower and kills one of the members of the Manson family. This could definitely be an easter egg that relates back to the classic horror, The Thing, in which R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) does exactly the same to one of the infected humans. Kurt Russell also appears in both films, so I’d like to think this is pretty intentional of Tarantino.

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30.Eli Roth directed the film-within-a-film in Inglourious Basterds.

31.Uma Thurman got in a bad car accident on the set of Kill Bill, which was also covered up for years.

32.The famous dance scene in Reservoir Dogs was mostly improvised.

Mr Blonde dancing in Reservoir Dogs

Mr. Blonde’s dance sequence from the torture scene was actually improvised for the most part. Cinema Blend records that when Madsen talked to Tarantino about his character’s dance scene, he recalled how the director never made the actor dance in rehearsal because he was so intimidated by it. “I didn’t know what to do. In the script, it said, ‘Mr Blonde maniacally dances around. And I kept thinking, ‘What the f**k does that mean? Like Mick Jagger, or what? What the f**k am I gonna do?'”

Who would have thought? The outlandish dancing in such a sadistic scene was absolutely nailed by Madsen.

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33.Leonardo DiCaprio actually sliced his hand open in this Django Unchained scene.

Calvin Candie bloody hand in Django Unchained

Remember DiCaprio’s twisted and villainous Calvin Candie? Well, in his most crazy and memorable moment, DiCaprio’s real misfortune turned an already intense sequence into something all the more terrifying. When talking to Variety, producer Stacey Sher, said that DiCaprio accidentally cut his hand, but carried on acting anyway.

“Leo had slammed his hand on the table countless times, and he moved his hand further and he crushed a crystal cordial glass…blood was dripping down his hand. He never broke character. He kept going. He was in such a zone. It was very intense. He required stitches.”

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34.Kill Bill’s production took 155 days, with 8 weeks of this on one sequence.

Lucy Lui as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill

The average movie apparently spends 146 days in production, and Time Magazine reported that Kill Bill took 155 days. Sounds about right? Well, 8 weeks of that time was apparently on one sequence! The sequence in question? The Crazy 88 sequence where The Bride fights O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) and 88 yakuza.

Of course, with such intensive fight choreography, I can’t say I’m all that surprised, but I wonder how the key cast members felt?!

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35.Margot Robbie actually wore Sharon Tate’s jewelry in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

In the film, Margot Robbie took on the task of portraying 1960s star Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson family at 26 years old. According to Town and Country Mag, Robbie was loaned some very special accessories from Tate’s sister, in the form of Tate’s own jewelry.

When speaking to Today, Robbie said it was very sad to be that closely connected to Tate, and it would kind of hit her at moments, the tragedy of it all.

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36.Will Smith could have been Django.

Jamie Foxx image of Django Unchained replaced with face of Will Smith

It’s hard to envision Django as none other than Jamie Foxx, but Tarantino actually had Will Smith in mind for the titular character. According to Screen Rant, Smith’s reps wanted him to take the part, but the actor turned it down because he felt like Django wasn’t really the lead role and he would have been playing second fiddle to the character of Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Ouch, what a mis-prediction!

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37.The production team had their work cut out for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

1960s Hollywood set design for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood film

The production team for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood transformed Tinseltown back to the landscape of the late 1960s, thanks to retro facelifts across Hollywood Boulevard and Westwood Village, but it wasn’t all easy.

As stated in IndieWire, it was a challenge for Tarantino to convince the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to let him restore parts of Hollywood Boulevard, but using his passion for Hollywood and showcasing how he wanted to mirror the things that made the city famous at that moment of time, he managed to get the restoration going.

The restoration included bygone cultural fixtures such as the Pussycat Theatre, the psychedelic Aquarius Theatre, and Peaches Records & Tapes. With the Pussycat Theatre recreation, the team took the entire facade, rebuilt it, piece by piece, with cranes, and put it back up with the neon sign.

But the hardest makeover was, in fact, creating an original Taco Bell. Apparently, the location team managed to find a place down south where a guy had closed a restaurant and was able to tear it down to open a new restaurant, and instead, he let the crew renovate it back to an original looking Taco Bell, with its original signage and Taco Bell man.

The efforts certainly reflected in the surreal flashback of 1969 LA in the film!

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What BTS fact or easter egg shocked you the most? Tell us in the comments! Why not share your favorite Tarantino film of all time while you're there!