Every single one of Quentin Tarentino’s films revolve around one crucial aspect that is undoubtedly “his thing.” It isn’t the murderous criminals, the style of film, or the repeated use of Samuel L. Jackson. It’s the blood.
Tarentino’s second highly anticipated western “The H8ful Eight” (to-be-released in 70 mm cinematic format on Christmas day, 2015 and digitally for wider consumption across theaters on January 8, 2016) has had official teaser trailers released, fan art created, and speculation beyond belief. There is a tremendous cult following for Tarentino’s films, but it’s hard to believe that they could be so popular without some kind of hook.
For example, the new one-sheet posters for “The H8ful Eight” display 8 blood-red streaks parallel to each other, four at a time, save for a few streaks marked grey against the snowy mountain background to represent the characters depicted on the posters. The first poster shown on the left has two of the blood streaks marked grey for characters simply named “the hangman” (played by Kurt Russell) and “the prisoner” (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh). Meanwhile the poster on the right shows one blood streak towards the bottom marked grey to signify “the Mexican” (played by Demian Bichir).
It can only be speculated what the blood-red streaks are meant to symbolize, but it seems that the placement of the grey marks and the alignment of the blood could portray some character underpinnings that could possibly trace the importance of the characters to the film. Not much is known at first about each personality in the film except for their name which could, in essence, capture the entire metaphorical layout of the movie.
To sum everything up, Quentin Tarentino loves to play off of the old style films from the 60’s and 70’s that really were just some of the greatest and worst films of all time (I mean, there were just some pieces of garbage back in the day). However, I believe what Tarentino chooses to do with these types of films is to almost gut them and redesign them in the image of someone who sees the world for what it really is. The world is a scary place with people who live by the code of “kill or be killed” and I think that’s what this movie is going to encapsulate, much like many of Tarentino’s other movies. But that’s his thing; blood (or at least the metaphorical charm of blood).
After you read this, go out and search for an old short story written by Bret Harte called “The Outcasts of Poker Flat.” Read up and get a preview for what this movie is basically going to be about. It’s not quite the same in how it’s told or what the endgame is, but Quentin Tarentino probably gave this short story a spin before sitting down to write his eighth film.