Quentin Tarantino may be one of the best-known and most influential filmmakers in contemporary American cinema. The director became a household name after his highly-successful 1994 crime film, Pulp Fiction. It is considered by many critics to be Tarantino’s masterpiece and the film’s disjointed narrative structure, multiple pop culture references, and over-the-top violence exemplified his filmmaking style.
Tarantino’s films also typically contain countless hat tips to other films that have somehow inspired the director. While documenting every single film reference in Tarantino’s entire body of work would be a daunting task, there are several films that clearly influenced some of this famed director’s most popular films. Not surprisingly, many of these films feature themes of crime and violence. Here are seven killer movies that inspired Quentin Tarantino.
1. City on Fire (1987)
This Hong Kong crime thriller directed by Ringo Lam is perhaps best-known as one of the primary influences on Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. Like Tarantino’s 1992 film, City on Fire is the story of an undercover cop who has infiltrated a gang of thieves. Like Tim Roth’s character in Reservoir Dogs, Chow Yun-fat’s character in City on Fire is also torn between his duty as a police officer and the growing sense of friendship that he feels with one of the members of the crime gang he has infiltrated.
Besides borrowing some of City on Fire’s themes and character types, Reservoir Dogs also employs a similar “Mexican standoff” scene that is found in this Hong Kong movie. However, despite some obvious and superficial plot similarities, no one would mistake Reservoir Dogs as a City on Fire clone. Reservoir Dogs’s cut-and-paste narrative timeline and pop culture-laden dialogue make the film an unmistakable Tarantino creation.