This Western tale has eight gun-toting ruffians holed up in a remote Haberdashery Store in the backcountry of Wyoming in the middle of a fierce winter blizzard. At first it seems like they are all strangers before some of them will even admit to be acquainted, but after time when this complicated yarn starts to unravel, we realize that none of these fellows (and the one lone female prisoner enroute to be hung) are who they said they are. There is the effete British hangman (Tim Roth) and black-hatted cowboy Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) who have been joined by two bounty hunters taking shelter from the storm. Bushy faced John Roth (Kurt Russell) is escorting his lady outlaw Daisy Domergue (a marvellous Jennifer Jason Leigh) wary that his rival the smooth talking Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson) would happily relieve him of his charge, so that he could claim the reward himself. They encounter the town’s most unlikely replacement sheriff (played by Walton Coggins), a very bitter and surly rebel General (Bruce Dern) and an oddball quiet Mexican (Demian Bichir) complete this bunch of strange strangers.
What does make each Tarantino movie such a joy is his regular ensemble of such wonderful actors who he uses time after time : none so more than Samuel L Jackson who has now appeared in seven on his movies. They are all required, this time more than usual, to give such hammy performances playing such exaggerated characters, and you cannot fail to sympathise with Jennifer Jason Leigh who has to combine that with some very nasty man-handling and some heavy blows to her face. This is no way to treat a lady, but this is a Tarantino movie after all so that is really of little consequence.
Tarantino is a cinematic genius. For example asides from all this brutal mayhem and comedy he is not afraid to tackle serious issues like racial politics. His movies are however, very much an acquired taste, and as it is one that we revel in, we are more than happy to recommend this one. That’s as long as you are not feint hearted about the thought of all that blood.