Thought Reservoir Dogs put Quentin Tarantino’s name on the map, the release of Pulp Fiction is the film that emphatically catapulted the quirky director into the mainstream consciousness of moviegoers and pop culture enthusiasts.
Whether you’re a huge Tarantino fan or wholly indifferent, there’s one thing we can all agree on: his films are uniquely saturated with endless profanities and, at times, an almost cartoon-esque depiction and volume of violence.
With The Hateful Eight – Tarantino’s latest movie adventure – set to hit the screen on December 25, Oliver Roeder of the statistics-oriented website FiveThirtyEight recently decided to take stock of Tarantino’s work and catalog the prevalence of profanity and violence across all his more memorable films.
Interestingly, the look into Tarantino’s film history reveals that while his use of swear words has gone down considerably over time, the level of on-screen violence – measured in the number of on-screen deaths – has increased dramatically.
Looking for an explanation as to why, Roeder comes up with a rather plausible theory.
“Part of this is probably his films’ growing budgets — it’s much cheaper to drop a dozen f-bombs on celluloid than to drop a dozen samurais,” Roeder writes. “If you want to jolt audiences on the cheap, you do it through swearing. If you want to do it with a budget, you slice some people in half. “Reservoir Dogs” was made for about $2 million in today’s dollars, per IMDb. The “Django Unchained” budget was just more than $100 million. “The Hateful Eight” cost $44 million.”
Make sure to check out Roeder’s piece in its entirety for even more interesting data regarding Tarantino’s films, including a breakdown of which profanities are used most frequently along with a fascinating distribution chart which maps the volume of profanity and deaths across each minute of every film.