Quentin Tarantino's eighth movie The Hateful Eight lands a widespread theatrical release this week. Wait. He's only made eight films? It's hard to believe that since his career kicked off proper with 1991's Reservoir Dogs he's only gone behind the lens a smattering of times. It feels like so much more, considering the massive impact he has had over cinema. Taking the time to develop films - not rushing, in order to get them just right - is another element he's nabbed from the filmmaking greats, alongside his habit of pilfering themes and even plots from the works of those he admires.
There's still no mistaking his own style - you know when you're watching a Tarantino movie. And so, with his latest tale on the way, now's as good a time as any to look back over his finest movie moments. Oh, and just to clarify: films he's directed and written are included in the following list. So what are you waiting for, motherfucker?
25. Louis loses it with Melanie
The film: Jackie Brown
The moment: Louis (Robert De Niro) and Melanie (Bridget Fonda) exit the mall, their part in Jackie's plan complete. As they head toward the car Melanie won't quit hounding Louis, because he can't remember where he left the car. She trails behind him, nipping at him like an ankle-biting pup, rattling off his name in an annoying manner and doing everything in her power to irritate him. He pulls out his gun and shoots her right in the parking lot of the mall.
Coolest element: Louis' reaction immediately after he plugs her full of lead. "See?" he says, after locating the car. "Just where I said it was."
24. The Wolf saves the day
The film: Pulp Fiction
The moment: Winston Wolfe swoops in to save Vince and Jules' collective ass, after they arrive at an associate's house in a car splattered with Marvin's brains. With Jimmie's wife Bonnie due home at any moment, it's up to Harvey Keitel's uber-suave man of the hour to motivate their lazy butts and remove every trace of the murder. Which he does, by issuing a mission statement of pure criminal class.
Coolest element: Keitel's performance. He's the very definition of debonair charm, decked out in a spotless tux, hair coiffed back. Every part of his plan is revealed without so much as a raised inflection. Killer.
23. Miles to go before they sleep
The film: Death Proof
The moment: Arlene, Shanna, Julia and Lanna, leave the bar after Stuntman Mike receives his lapdance prize from Arlene. The quartet hit the road, rocking out to some jams, unaware that the murderous nutjob is on their tail. His 'death proof' car slams over theirs in a hellish display of vehicular carnage.
Coolest element: The fact that it's happening! We expect that the four women will last the entire movie after the opening 45 minutes are dedicated to their story. That's not the case whatsoever. Another of Tarantino's trademark designs: building expectation and smashing it to pieces.
22. The Bear Jew
The film: Inglourious Basterds
The moment: Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and his crew of Jewish American "inglourious basterds" capture a German officer during their campaign to acquire 100 Nazi scalps. In a drawn-out moment Raine presses the German sergeant for intel. His response? A big "fuck you." Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz arrives to deliver punishment: he bashes his brains in with a baseball bat.
Coolest element: Raine's gleeful reaction when the officer refuses to comply. "Actually, we're all tickled to hear you say that. Quite frankly watching Donny beat Nazis to death is the closest we get to going to the movies."
21. There will be (Calvin Candie's) blood
The film: Django Unchained
The moment: Calvin's rage bubbles up at the dinner table. Unable to contain his fury after deducing that Schlutz and Django's Mandingo plan was all a ruse, he smashes his hand down onto the table, breaking a crystal wine glass. Blood trickles from the splinters of broken glass now embedded into his palm. He brings in the big guns, and sets about exacting revenge on those who dare make him look foolish...
Coolest element: Got to hand it to DiCaprio on this one. The entire scene was improvised after he brought his fist down so forcefully, that he broke the glass. All that blood wasn't corn syrup; it was his.
20. Copperhead's comeuppance
The film: Kill Bill Vol. 1
The moment: The Bride (Uma Thurman) pulls up to a home in the middle of suburbia, the first stop on her kill list. She's welcomed in by Vernita Green, one of her former colleagues who betrayed her, and the pair make small talk. Then proceed to completely trash Copperhead's white-picket homestead... until her daughter walks in. An absolutely spectacular piece of fight choreography.
Coolest element: Hatchets are buried as the two share coffee... which is all a sham, as Vernita then goes to shoot The Bride. Who tosses a knife and buries it in her chest. Brutal and unexpected.
19. The regulators
The film: Django Unchained
The moment: Tarantino's knack for comedy excels in this extended scene, as an army of white supremacists headed up by Don Johnson's "Big Daddy" argue about the problem of wearing white sacks on their heads. The whole thing plays on for too long, which is precisely the point. Hearing these men bicker about the efficacy of their disguises is hilarious. "I watched my wife work all day getting 30 bags for you ungrateful sons of bitch," complains one rider. "Nobody is saying they don't appreciate what Jenny did..." comes the reply.
Coolest element: The squad is full of actors who only appear for cameos in this scene. Jonah Hill's voice can be heard, along with Tarantino's - disguised in a thick Texan drawl.
18. The high speed chase
The film: Death Proof
The moment: The tables are turned on Stuntman Mike as Abernathy, Zoe and Kim sacrifice the Dodge Challenger to completely derail the psychotic driver. He's eventually offroaded. The girls yank him from the 'death proof' machine and proceed to beat the ever-loving shit out of him. Stuntman Mike's pleas for forgiveness at the end, are up there with some of the worst snivelling ever captured. "I was just playing around," he insists. That's not gonna cut it for this bunch.
Coolest element: This honor goes to stuntwoman Zoe Bell who not only acts as herself in the movie, but does all of the "Ship's Mast" stunts at high speed. No CGI here.
17. The Titty Twister erupts
The film: From Dusk Till Dawn
The moment: The turning point in the movie. Richie Gecko's lapdance abruptly ends and the doors to the Titty Twister are closed... for feeding time. The patrons, staff and musicians transform into their vampiric selves and chow down on the humans trapped inside. Poor Kate, Jacob and Scott really had no idea what they were getting themselves into with the Gecko brothers, did they?
Coolest element: Satanico Pandemonium, the effortlessly gorgeous Salma Hayek, straddles Seth Gecko to tell him how she's planning to kill him. "Welcome to slavery," she says, about to drain his blood. "No thanks, I already have a wife," Clooney fires back in an awesome improvised one-liner.