ByBenjamin Allen, writer at
I'm a freelance writer, interview host and film-maker.
Benjamin Allen

Quentin Tarantino is an absolute master of his craft, from Reservoir Dogs to The Hateful Eight, Tarantino has rarely put a foot (pun intended, you'll see why later) wrong - personal opinions on Grindhouse aside. As anyone who's ever seen a single scene of a Tarantino movie can confirm, the man loves a good homage. So much so, in fact, that every now and again he pays homage to himself with a very specific set of trademarks that crop up more often that you'd believe. Here are some of Tarantino's most famous trademarks.

The Inside-The-Trunk Shot

At this point, Tarantino may as well have a patent on this shot. He first used his perhaps most recognisable trademark way back in Reservoir Dogs and since then it's cropped up in Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, both volumes of Kill Bill and Death Proof. Tarantino's best bud Robert Rodriguez even used it in From Dusk Till Dawn - a film written by Tarantino.

The Crash Zoom

The crash zoom is an awesome-looking shot when used in the right context. Tarantino has perfected the art of the crash-zoom in films such as Django Unchained and Kill Bill Vol. 2.

The Mexican Stand Off

Per Wikipedia:

A Mexican standoff is a confrontation among two or more parties in which no participant can proceed or retreat without being exposed to danger. As a result, all participants need to maintain the strategic tension, which remains unresolved until some outside event makes it possible to resolve it. The Mexican standoff is a recurring trope in cinema, where several armed characters hold each other at gunpoint.

Tarantino took this concept and ran with it in Reservoir Dogs, developed it further in his script for True Romance, perfected it in Pulp Fiction and pulled off one of the greatest of all time in Inglourious Basterds. As we all know, Tarantino is a certified cinephile, and this is perhaps his greatest homage to his cinematic heroes.

The Dead-POV Shot

Similar in style to his patented trunk shots, Tarantino also loves to use a shot from a dead or unconscious person's point of view. The first time we saw it in a Tarantino flick was when Marcellus Wallace wakes up after being hit by the car in Pulp Fiction, but perhaps the best use is in Kill Bill Vol. 1 when Sheriff Earl McGraw is looking down at the blood splattered Bride. This shot even made it into Tarantino's TV directorial debut on the CSI episode 'Grave Danger,' an elongated version of another scene from Kill Bill.

The Foot Fetish

This trait probably tells us more than we ever needed to know about the filmmaker. Throughout his career it's become apparent that the man likes feet. Like, really likes them. Feet, or the discussion of feet, feature somewhat heavily in 8 of his movies (if we include the anthology picture Four Rooms), perhaps none more so than Death Proof, Tarantino's half of Grindhouse. In Death Proof, three of the main character's feet are on display, and poor Rosario Dawson even had to get her feet tickled by a fairly psychotic-looking Kurt Russell at one point.

What are your favourite Tarantino trademarks? Let me know in the comments!


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