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The 20 Most Badass Women From Tarantino Movies

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One thing you never have to worry about with Quentin Tarantino movies is having all the female characters in typical “damsel in distress” scenarios, desperately hoping a man comes in and saves them. They take care of themselves and have no problem roughing up a guy or two along the way. In preparation of Pulp Fiction airing this Friday at 7:30 on IFC, we’re counting down the 20 most bad ass women from the man’s filmography.

20. Broomhilda von Shaft, Django Unchained

While she’s definitely not the most independent character on the list, Kerry Washington is such a tremendous actress she somehow finds a way to exude strength and determination out of a character that seemingly doesn’t have much depth. Most of the females in Tarantino’s movies are celebrated for their willingness to attack; she showed strength in his determination to survive.

Broomhilda


19. Arlene, Death Proof

If we’re being honest, the women of Death Proof are some of the most intimidating we’ve ever seen. They’re strong, smart, and attractive, and they definitely realize it. Arlene may not be at the top of their pyramid of power, but she’s willing to step up whenever deemed necessary and won’t back down, even if it involves giving a stranger a lap dance.

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18. Jungle Julia, Death Proof

She’s the type of woman that would tell you to buy her a drink and you’d thank her for it. She’s a local DJ on the radio so everyone knows her, but that doesn’t stop her from doing whatever she wants whenever she wants. TMZ would love churning out story after story on her, but she wouldn’t give them a second thought.

Jungle Julia 1

Jungle Julia 2


17. Abernathy, Death Proof 

Besides being a hell of a dancer, Abernathy earns her place on this list by delivering the head-smashing kick of death to creepy ol’ Stuntman Mike.

Abernathy


16. Kim Mathis, Death Proof

She’s blunt and abrasive, but what separates her from the rest of the group is that her stunt driving abilities rival those of any male counterpart. She knows how to take charge and, as Stuntman Mike found out, never backs down from a fight.

Tracie Thoms


15. Bridget von Hammersmark, Inglorious Basterds

As a German film star Bridget von Hammersmark could have sat back and let World War II pass her by. Instead, she became a double agent for the Allies and was a major part in taking down the Nazis. Every moment was full of danger because one wrong move and her cover would be blown. It took Hans Landa himself to finally bring her down, but by that point her work had already been completed.

Diane Kruger


14. Vernita Green, Kill Bill Vol. 1

You don’t become a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad for nothing. The assassin, who worked under the codename Copperhead, is the lowest member on the list simply because she retired from the business and took on the role of a civilian. Still though, she may not have been in the game anymore, but that didn’t make her any less deadly.

Vernita Greene


13. Kate Fuller, From Dusk Till Dawn

She didn’t have any catchphrases or cool tattoos like Clooney’s character, but in one night Kate went from an innocent girl on a road trip with her family, to a vampire slayer on the run with a fugitive. Talk about street cred.

Juliette Lewis From Dusk Till Dawn

Juliette Lewis


12. Alabama Whitman, True Romance

You could look at the fact that she’s a prostitute that decides to change her life trajectory in an instant by eliminating her pimp and getting out of the state and that would be impressive enough. However, the moment when she faces off against Virgil, one of the toughest mafia henchmen in the movie, and comes out victorious moves her from inspiring to borderline action star. We’d love to see Patricia Arquette reprise this role. Get on it, Tarantino.

Alabama True Romance


11. Mia Wallace, Pulp Fiction

She’s the wife of Marsellus Wallace, one of the most power crime bosses in the city, so she’s definitely seen a thing or two that would ruin most of our lives forever. She’s stylized and sleek, but the only thing preventing her from being higher on the list is that, on her first night out, she overdosed and almost died. Other than her endurance, she’s one of the most iconic characters Tarantino has ever imagined. Plus, she knows her way around a corny joke.

Mia Wallace

10. Honey Bunny/Yolanda, Pulp Fiction

If there’s one woman in Pulp Fiction who knows what she wants and will do anything to get it, it’s definitely Yolanda, aka Honey Bunny. She may be insane, but that seems to only fuel her as she pokes and prods at Pumpkin’s psyche, driving him towards acts of spontaneous danger with no regard to consequences or repercussions. She’s a human wrecking ball.

Honey Bunny


11. Zoe Bell, Death Proof

Not only does the stuntwoman, who’s playing herself in the role, strap herself to the front of a muscle car and let her friends drive as erratic as possible, she does it for no other reason than because it’ll be fun. She endures a horrendous car crash that would have left most others maimed, then finds the strength to, not just survive it, but to hunt down the one responsible for it and beat him to death.

Zoe Bell Death Proof

zoe Bell Death proof 2


8. Santanico Pandemonium, From Dusk Till Dawn

No one could have played this role better than the snake-wrapped Salma Hayek. She delivered the perfect amount of sexuality, mystery, and intimidation that turned what could have been a small, forgettable role into an unforgettable scene. She goes from giving Richard a shot out of her mouth one minute, to devouring souls the next.

Salma Hayek


7. O-Ren Ishii, Kill Bill Vol. 1

O-Ren worked her way up from a poor girl whose parents were murdered to the leader of one of Tokyo’s biggest crime organizations. She single-handedly exacted revenge on Matsumoto, her mother and father’s killer, by executing him herself. On top of all that she led the Crazy 88, was one of the deadliest assassins in the world, and gave Beatrix one of the most epic battles in the Kill Bill duology.

O-Ren Ishii


6. Mallory Knox, Natural Born Killers

Unlike most female characters that are partnered with a psychotic killer, Mallory isn’t innocent, a victim, or simply someone along for the ride; she’s just as dangerous as Micky, if not more sinister because of her seemingly harmless demeanor. She was probably the first serial killer you wanted to dress up as for Halloween.

Mallory Natural Born Killers


5. Gogo Yubari, Kill Bill Vol. 1

Do you think Tarantino had any idea how much Gogo was going to steal the show in Kill Bill Vol. 1? Her battle with Beatrix was one of the most exciting ones in the film simply because you felt like she had finally met a foe that matched her in talent and skill. Unfortunately she didn’t last long, but if Tarantino ever decides to do a spinoff film about Gogo’s life, no one would be complaining.

Gogo Yubari


4. Elle Driver, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2

What made Elle so terrifying is that she possessed all the knowledge and training that Beatrix had obtained, as well as a Hanzo sword, but the difference with Elle is that she seemingly had no conscious and was willing to color outside the lines to reach her goal, while Beatrix was still governed by her morals and honor. Since, technically, we never saw Elle die, there’s still hope for her to return if the constantly rumored Kill Bill Vol. 3 ever comes to fruition.

Elle Driver


3. Jackie Brown, Jackie Brown

The most impressive part of Pam Grier’s amazing comeback performance is that, out of all of her legendary roles, this may be her most iconic. The poise and charisma that Grier exudes every time she appears onscreen feels almost tangible. This was a much more subdued film for Tarantino, but Jackie Brown is one of the sharpest characters he’s ever penned.

jackie brown


2. Shosanna, Inglorious Basterds

After watching her family be brutally murdered by the Nazis and barely escaping with her life, Shosanna refused to become a victim and slowly planned out a path to revenge. Not only did she get justice for her family, she brought down the entire Nazi party. She locked in Hitler and their leadership, then burned it to the ground as they were forced to stare at a giant projection of her face, laughing, knowing a single Jewish woman was responsible for their demise.

Shosanna Inglourious Basterds

Shosanna Inglorious Basterds


1. Beatrix Kiddo aka The Bride, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

Beatrix is arguably the most iconic character in the Tarantino filmography, and rightfully so. If you need further evidence why she’d be considered at the top spot, simply look back at the number of fantastic characters on the list she battled against in Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2. But what made her so great was that she was a polished killing machine in one instance, and a loving mother in the next. Her ability to compartmentalize her life and turn on assassin mode when necessary makes her the most cunning and dangerous of all. The scariest foes are the ones you trust until it’s too late.

The Bride


Catch Pulp Fiction on IFC this Saturday 4:30p.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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