Quentin Tarantino: 20 Movies -- and Posters -- You've Got to See!
ROLLING THUNDER (1977)
Directed by John Flynn, written by Paul Schrader and featuring a young Tommy Lee Jones, this brutal movie tells the story of a P.O.W. (William Devane at his most badass) who returns from Vietnam, loses his family, gets his hand mauled by a bunch of goons, and then goes on a savage payback bender.
A second-rate (but deliriously entertaining) Italian giallo from director Umberto Lenzi features a bus full of tourists in Barcelona who get picked off one by one by a killer who takes a tell-tale souvenir from his victims — that's right, an eyeball!
THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS (1978)
Enzo G. Castellari's spaghetti WWII adventure — and loose inspiration for Tarantino's latest — may be low budget, but you have to admire how much bang the director gets for his buck. Stars Bo Svenson. Was also released as G.I Bro to cash in on co-star Fred Williamson's blaxploitation fame.
THE SAVAGE SEVEN (1968)
Biker flick directed by Richard Rush (The Stunt Man) and starring Larry Bishop, who turned up nearly four decades later in Kill Bill and also starred in the 2008 Tarantino-produced biker film Hell Ride. One of the film's taglines was: ''The roar of their pipes is their battle cry...the open road their killing ground!'' Less significantly, The Savage Seven was also reportedly Penny Marshall's film debut.
VANISHING POINT (1971)
Classic American antihero road movie directed by Richard C. Sarafian and starring Barry Newman as a loner in a 1970 Dodge Challenger who races from Colorado to San Francisco on a bet. Heavily referenced in Tarantino's Death Proof.
THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE (1972)
Who could resist being sucked in by this Euro slasher's tagline: ''See why she had to kill every man on his wedding night!''? The film was part of a triple feature during one of Tarantino's L.A. grindhouse festivals with Asylum of Blood and Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary.
TWISTED NERVE (1968)
Former child star Hayley Mills (The Parent Trap) stars in this British chiller that features an infectious whistling theme from Bernard Herrmann that Tarantino also used in Kill Bill.
''Cold Steel on the outside...All Woman on the Inside!'' That's Sondra Currie's Lacy Bond in this sexploitation-with-a-badge cult classic from Lee Frost, the same fella who directed Chain Gang Women and The Black Gestapo.
THE GIRL FROM STARSHIP VENUS (1975)
A.k.a., The Sexplorer; a.k.a., Diary of a Space Virgin. Here's one that Tarantino programs on his racier grindhouse movie nights. A beauty from Venus touches down in Swinging London to research human mating rituals. Needless to say, she gets a crash course.
Another Italian giallo thriller, this one is from B-director Armando Crispino and starring Ray Lovelock, Barry Primus, and American expat actress Mimsy Farmer. No great shakes, but the finale is definitely worth sticking around for.
PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW (1971)
Rock Hudson, Telly Savalas, and Angie Dickinson star in this trashy and lost curio written by Gene Rodenberry (Star Trek) and directed by Roger Vadim (Barbarella). Hudson plays a very, very naughty high school coach.
MACHINE GUN MCCAIN (1969)
Action movie star pairings don't get a lot unlikelier than John Cassavetes and Britt Ekland. But that's the combo you'll get in this Italian mobster cheapie with the saving grace of an Ennio Morricone score and the lame-but-pithy tagline: ''Even the Mafia Calls Him Mister!''
CHINESE HERCULES (1973)
Bolo Yeung is the ''Super-human Beast of the East'' in this chopsocky Tarantino pick, which he has been known to screen as part of a double feature with Ron van Clief's Black Dragon.
REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS (1976)
Maybe the Citizen Kane of '70s pom-pom films, which anyone who's seen Tarantino's Death Proof (think Mary Elizabeth Winsted's character) knows is one of the genres nearest and dearest to the director's heart.
THE SELL-OUT (1976)
A bicentennial-year spy flick starring Oliver Reed and Richard Widmark. Admittedly not a great movie, but Tarantino has a soft spot for this one because when he saw it one of the reels was missing and he says that made the movie even better. It may have been the inspiration for the 'missing reel' gags in Grindhouse.