The Best Tarantino Films (That Tarantino Didn't Direct)

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We all obviously know the genius that is Quentin Tarantino. From his feature debut "Reservoir Dogs" to his latest endeavor "The Hateful Eight", Tarantino has given us a uniquely original slice of cinema that belongs solely to him. However, there are a few films that Tarantino was a part of that share that same sense of intense, beautifully written hysteria that we've all come to know and love from Quentin that he didn't even direct. Here are some of those classics that fit in perfectly alongside Tarantino's crazed world!

1) True Romance (1993)

Kicking this thing off we got “True Romance” which was directed by Tony Scott. The film was based on a screenplay written by Tarantino and I think from the opening scene, it’s pretty obvious that this story comes from the depths of Quentin’s mind. A fanatically violent story about newlyweds Clarence and Alabama who escape from Detroit with nothing more than a suitcase filled with coke in the back of Clarence’s purple Cadillac. Their goal is to flip it when they get to Los Angeles and spend the rest of their lives kicking it in Cancun. True Romance is a lot like Terrence Malick’s “Badlands” from 1973, and you can see the similarities in with the music and the voiceovers by Patricia Arquette. The film has a superstar cast made up of quite a few of Tarantino’s go-to actors like Samuel L Jackson, Brad Pitt, and Chris Penn. Clarence, played by Christian Slater, reminds me of a more naïve, teenage version of Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle while Alabama, played by Patricia Arquette, carries some of the same bad-ass characteristics Tarantino likes to give to the female leads in his films like Kill Bill and Deathproof to name a few. I definitely would have loved to have seen Tarantino direct this in the non-linear construction it was originally intended, but seeing someone else take their spin on a classic Tarantino idea brings in that much more diversity and fun to it.

Kicking this thing off we got “True Romance” which was directed by Tony Scott. The film was based on a screenplay written by Tarantino and I think from the opening scene, it’s pretty obvious that this story comes from the depths of Quentin’s mind. A fanatically violent story about newlyweds Clarence and Alabama who escape from Detroit with nothing more than a suitcase filled with coke in the back of Clarence’s purple Cadillac. Their goal is to flip it when they get to Los Angeles and spend the rest of their lives kicking it in Cancun. True Romance is a lot like Terrence Malick’s “Badlands” from 1973, and you can see the similarities in with the music and the voiceovers by Patricia Arquette. The film has a superstar cast made up of quite a few of Tarantino’s go-to actors like Samuel L Jackson, Brad Pitt, and Chris Penn. Clarence, played by Christian Slater, reminds me of a more naïve, teenage version of Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle while Alabama, played by Patricia Arquette, carries some of the same bad-ass characteristics Tarantino likes to give to the female leads in his films like Kill Bill and Deathproof to name a few. I definitely would have loved to have seen Tarantino direct this in the non-linear construction it was originally intended, but seeing someone else take their spin on a classic Tarantino idea brings in that much more diversity and fun to it.

2) Natural Born Killers (1995)

Now if there was one project written/created by Tarantino that I wouldn’t even necessarily have wanted him to direct it would be Natural Born Killers. (Not because I don’t think he would’ve killed it, but because what we got is so unique I wouldn’t want it any different.) Tarantino came up with this story about Mickey and Mallory Knox and how this serial killing couple became celebrities, which I must say is VERY “Tarantino”. But, when he passed it on to Oliver Stone to direct, I think that was for the best. What Oliver Stone gave us is one of the most unique films to ever grace the cinematic screen. From scenes in black and white to colorfully, psychedelic scenes to a scene that is acted out like a 50’s sitcom, this film is as reckless and unpredictable as Mickey and Mallory. Now, I don’t know how much of any of those ideas came from Tarantino himself, but if they didn’t then I’m sure as hell glad Oliver Stone got to direct it and give us the Natural Born Killers we got to see. It’s important to note, however, that without Tarantino’s writing and general idea, these crazy and trippy visuals wouldn’t have worked as organically as they did. It would have just been like any rap video with trippy effects for no reason at all.

Now if there was one project written/created by Tarantino that I wouldn’t even necessarily have wanted him to direct it would be Natural Born Killers. (Not because I don’t think he would’ve killed it, but because what we got is so unique I wouldn’t want it any different.) Tarantino came up with this story about Mickey and Mallory Knox and how this serial killing couple became celebrities, which I must say is VERY “Tarantino”. But, when he passed it on to Oliver Stone to direct, I think that was for the best. What Oliver Stone gave us is one of the most unique films to ever grace the cinematic screen. From scenes in black and white to colorfully, psychedelic scenes to a scene that is acted out like a 50’s sitcom, this film is as reckless and unpredictable as Mickey and Mallory. Now, I don’t know how much of any of those ideas came from Tarantino himself, but if they didn’t then I’m sure as hell glad Oliver Stone got to direct it and give us the Natural Born Killers we got to see. It’s important to note, however, that without Tarantino’s writing and general idea, these crazy and trippy visuals wouldn’t have worked as organically as they did. It would have just been like any rap video with trippy effects for no reason at all.

3) From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Another Tarantino classic script/story was lent to Robert Rodriguez on “From Dusk Till Dawn.” It’s a story about two thieving brothers (George Clooney and Tarantino himself) who kidnap a family and force to drive them across the border to Mexico. Only problem is, when they get to Mexico to make their deal and get the money they earned, they make a stop at a bar that’s actually a feeding ground for vampires. Yeah, I know the idea kinda makes me roll my eyes too, but what’s so special about this movie is that you get all the classic Tarantino dialogue, that he’s made famous in his own films, in a story whose second half is sprinkled with influence from one of Quentin’s favorite directors, George Romero. It’s kinda like True Romance meets Night of the Living Dead, but with vampires. And if you’re a fan of Tarantino for the gore and violence and all that nice stuff, then this is definitely one for you to check out. Heads are flying everywhere.

Another Tarantino classic script/story was lent to Robert Rodriguez on “From Dusk Till Dawn.” It’s a story about two thieving brothers (George Clooney and Tarantino himself) who kidnap a family and force to drive them across the border to Mexico. Only problem is, when they get to Mexico to make their deal and get the money they earned, they make a stop at a bar that’s actually a feeding ground for vampires. Yeah, I know the idea kinda makes me roll my eyes too, but what’s so special about this movie is that you get all the classic Tarantino dialogue, that he’s made famous in his own films, in a story whose second half is sprinkled with influence from one of Quentin’s favorite directors, George Romero. It’s kinda like True Romance meets Night of the Living Dead, but with vampires. And if you’re a fan of Tarantino for the gore and violence and all that nice stuff, then this is definitely one for you to check out. Heads are flying everywhere.

- @youngxgosling