Director cameos are always kind of a touchy subject, especially in Tarantino’s case as they tend to develop more into full blown parts. It’s not like Hitchcock where you have to hunt for him; usually if Tarantino’s in his movie you can find him pretty easily. This is not always the case however. Some of them I won’t even be able to rank properly because I couldn’t find them anywhere. It’s not even just that I couldn’t find them in the film, but that I couldn’t find shots of the them on the internet. They’re not as well documented as Hitchcock’s I guess. It’s actually trickier, because I always think I’ll notice him if he’s in the film, but that’s not how it works out about half the time.
Let’s just talk about how relatively undocumented these things are. [mini rant ahead] With Hitchcock, I can find all of his cameos in literally two seconds by going to this website. Wikipedia has them too, but that other website has photographic evidence which is a lot more compelling. Or I could watch this youtube video which has cinematic evidence, which is even more compelling. See what I mean? Now Hitchcock made over fifty films, and made cameo appearances in almost all of them. Tarantino has made eight films. He has a very large following. About half of his cameos are actually small roles, so they’re easy to find. You would only have to hunt for about three or four. Not to say that he is better or worse than Hitchcock, that doesn’t have anything to do with it really. Tarantino should have a cameo video on youtube, if only to make my life easier. I’m serious. I’m going to learn how to make one, and then do it because really. I know where the Tarantino cameo is in Jackie Brown, for example, but it would be really nice to refresh my memory before I have to rank them, right? Sorry I can’t watch a two and a half hour film all over again just to find his cameo that probably doesn’t even last a minute! I’m sorry, but I just get very astounded and appalled when the internet is being unhelpful. The best resource on this is actually tumblr surprisingly enough, which is just sad. This is going to be a very strange ranking, because I don’t remember about half of them, but I’ll try my best! It should be fun anyway, and please correct me if I’m getting anything wrong, which is a distinct possibility here.
The Cameos (or appearances I suppose, if we want to be correct about it):
Coming in at number eight is…
Kill Bill Vol. 2? I know the tumblr post up there says there is no Tarantino cameo in Kill Bill Vol. 2, but imdb has him mysteriously listed as a “uncreditied voice”. I don’t really know what that means, so I’m listing it last. Any leads would be appreciated.
Seriously, I should rename this post “Where’s Tarantino?” Because for this portion of the list, no one knows!
Coming in at number seven is….
Kill Bill Vol. 1 Again, I have no clue where he is exactly, and the only description I can find is “masked corpse.” When I search on “Tarantino cameo Kill Bill Vol. 1” I get this image, perhaps suggesting he is one of the Crazy 88? I go the website that had that image and it says it is of “Miramax Executives Dispatched to Stop the Tarantino Cameo.” Rather humorous, but not very helpful.
Coming in at number six is…
Inglourious Basterds It’s getting slightly easier here. I’m not one hundred percent sure that’s him, but it sure could be. I’m definitely not going to rule it out. It came up when I searched, so that’s a good sign. He’s supposed to be a scalped Nazi, and that is definitely what that is. I haven’t noticed this either time I’ve watched the film, but if someone out there took a screen cap of it, I’m sure other people can also back me up on this. If this is indeed his cameo, then it’s a good one, more in the Hitchcock style. I’ll probably get a lot of grief when the next one comes up, but whatever. I’ll address that shortly.
Coming in at number five is….
Django Unchained I remember everyone complaining about this when the film came out, but I missed it during the film because I didn’t know what Tarantino looked like. I couldn’t comment on it, other than the fact I missed it. Watching the film again after all of this, I noticed it straight off. It is blatantly obvious. It is unnecessary, but cameos are not born out of necessity. I’m not accent expert, but his accent sounded fine to me. This isn’t the best cameo out there, but I don’t see why everyone’s complaining about it. It doesn’t take up that much time in the film, and I’m already sort of forgetting what happened. Of course, this is coming from the same person who didn’t think Russell Crowe’s singing in Les Mis was bad, so what do I know? Now it’s become one of those things that I can’t understand why everyone hates on it so much, so I defend it specifically for that reason.
Coming in at number four is…
I’m kind of conflicted on this one. While I’m not the biggest fan of the Madonna speech, I do like the line Harvey Keitel cuts it off with. That doesn’t really relate to Tarantino being there though. And he sounds really stupid when Joe’s handing out the names and he goes “Yeah, yeah, but “Mr. Brown”? That’s little too close to “Mr. Shit”.” Wow, great insight there. I really hate that line. I guess that’s how people feel about his entire performance in Django though, so I can’t complain.
Coming in at number three is…
Yeah, this one was pretty good. As far as I know, it didn’t annoy everyone like Django did. Warren has a pretty cool joint; I would hang out there if I did that sort of thing. Except for that thing where everyone has to drink whatever he puts in from of them, that would a big big problem. This one is definitely more of a part than a cameo, and I actually kind of like how he mixes it up like that. I mean, if he gave himself the lead all the time, I definitely would get annoyed, but a part like this is perfectly acceptable.
Coming in at number two is…
I don’t have a picture for this one because he’s technically not in the movie; his voice is. He’s the voice on Jackie’s answering machine. I think this is pretty clever; it’s harder to find and it’s not going to offend people. If it wasn’t for the fact that he is funnier elsewhere, this would have been number one.
Coming in at number one is….
Pulp Fiction Pulp Fiction is definitely number one. I love his part as Jimmie here; even though there are so many great things about Pulp Fiction, this is one of my favorites. When he starts talking about his coffee, I cannot keep a straight face. He’s like a whiny little kid, and while that would normally be annoying, it’s just hilarious here. Then there’s this line: “I can’t believe this is the same car.” All they did was put blankets in it! Oh man, so funny. That whole part of the movie is just hilarious, and Tarantino is (well obviously, but I mean because he’s actually in the movie) a big part of the reason why.
Whew! That was one of the most frustrating posts I have ever written, just due to the lack of information. Also, it’s hard to judge the criteria on this one, because his “cameos” are not even cameos half the time, at least not in the Hitchcock sense of the term. I can’t wait to rank his, just putting that out there. I generally like Tarantino’s cameos, or really any director cameo. It’s nice to see who’s behind the camera once in a while, I feel like it lets you get to know them better.