ROK’s Flicks: The Hateful Eight 16



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I hated The Hateful Eight!

I loved the style, the magnificent script, the cinematography, the quality and beauty of it in 70mm print. It opens with a 3-minute old styled Overture, then after 2 hours, gives us an Intermission. The credits are written in old script, and the music by multi-award winning composer Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Untouchables, The Mission etc.) was magical. But the fairy-tale soon ended.

I’ve listened to all the hype about this being Quentin Tarantino’s “trademark” style, long been recognised as an outrageous, brilliant but bizarre filmmaker but the violence was really over the top brutality. Just how much “blood and guts” can one filmgoer stomach?

The Hateful Eight is a western set in post Civil War; it begins in the beautiful snow-covered mountains of Wyoming, where far in the distance we can see a stagecoach bleakly making its way towards us in a relentless snowstorm. In the stagecoach is John aka “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell, doing a very faithful impression of John Wayne) a bounty hunter taking his foul-mouthed prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to Red Rock for his remuneration and her hanging.

Two “hitchhikers” are also caught in the blizzard and talk their way into getting onboard. Warren’s AKA “The Bounty Hunter” (Samuel L Jackson) old horse has succumbed to the weather but he has 3 very dead and frozen bodies to transport to Red Rock as his bounty. Warren is a Union Army veteran reputedly in possession of a personal letter from Abraham Lincoln, and is an old war acquaintance of John Ruth’s. The other traveller is Walton Goggins (Chris Mannix) an ex-Confederate and the soon-to-be appointed new sheriff of Red Rock.

As the storm intensifies they arrive on the Butterfield Overland Stagecoach and take shelter in an outpost, “Minnie’s Haberdashery”.

Already taking refuge here is Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), Confederate General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), Michael Madsen (Joe Gage) and Bob, the Mexican caretaker of “Minnie’s” (Demain Bichir).

This is when the fun begins!

Polite introductory conversations around the coffee-pot soon detour into racial derisions and political taunts. No one is who we think they are.

With the exception of Ruth and the stagecoach driver, everybody in The Hateful Eight has some kind of secret that they’re hiding, some part of their background story that doesn’t check out, and some reason to hate all the other characters. At one point, Mobray proposes they divide the room between Union men and ex-Confederates, to prevent any further arguing.

Eventually the floorboards and bodies are slicked with blood and brain matter, I found this becoming gratuitous violence.

There are some very funny lines.

The usual Tarantino quirks are there – the characters are named after underrated directors, lesser B-movie starlets, and John Ford bit players. There are the usual out-of-time references e.g. to pen-pals (well before pens were invented), and after interval we have Tarantino’s voice-over giving us a catch-up.

I doubt there’ll be too many negative evaluations of this Tarantino 3 hour epic, after all, it is what you expect from QT, the humour, the anti-racism, (although there was a lot of the N-word) but I thought the brilliance of the whole production was out-weighed by the violence, horror and blood-spilling.


ROK’S RATINGS – 2.5 glasses bubbly

Rhonda O'Keefe

  1. Well it looks like QT has a few of his tried and true actors once again, Tim Roth and Michael Madden, looking forward to seeing it. Will let you know Rhonda.

  2. Well it looks like QT has a few of his tried and true actors once again, Tim Roth and Michael Madden, looking forward to seeing it. Will let you know Rhonda.

  3. I have seen it. If you like Quentin Tarantino you will love it,

    4 REPLY
    • Sharon, I’m normally a fan of QT – but this film left me cold (so to speak) ……. I found it too violent ( even more than Reservoir Dogs) and a bit boring, but I guess that possibly resulted from most of the action all happening in a room – but that’s why we love films, we all come away with a different perspective & experience

    • This film also left me cold. I think it took 2 hours of the film’s time for the stagecoach to reach the haberdashery store. Samuel L Jackson played Samuel L Jackson – a bit of a letdown for me. Channing Tatum as much as I have liked him in other movies, didn’t seem to fit in (I won’t divulge anything else). The scenery was superb. I don’t mind some blood and guts but this was overkill with no set reasoning. I did enjoy The Revenant though and also The Big Short. All different types of story telling.

  4. I do not like Tarantino films, I do not like violence for the sake of violence, the blood and gore. I love a good thriller, a story told well, if he didn’t have the violence I don’t believe any of his movies would hold up.

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