While promoting the release of “Django Unchained” at NPR, Tarantino made it clear that performing actual actual cruelty on screen is one line he won’t cross:
“The only thing that I’ve ever watched in a movie that I wished I’d never seen is real-life animal death or real-life insect death in a movie. That’s absolutely, positively where I draw the line. And a lot of European and Asian movies do that, and we even did that in America for a little bit of time. … I don’t like seeing animals murdered on screen. Movies are about make-believe. … I don’t think there’s any place in a movie for real death.”
Tarantino is a man of many opinions about the state of cinema, both past and present, and this is one of those cases where he’s absolutely correct. The days of unchecked animal cruelty as seen in “Cannibal Holocaust,” along with “The Adventures of Milo and Otis,” are long behind us for good reason. Putting an animal in peril for the sake of getting the shot is never worth the fatality.
Lately, “Nope” has provided the industry with an opportunity to talk about how we utilize live animals on set. There’s even been an uptick in recent years of substituting live animals for either motion capture performances or CG replacements, as seen in one of 2022’s biggest blockbuster hits, “RRR.”
There’s currently no word on what Tarantino’s 10th and, supposedly, final feature will be, but if you want to hear more about what the “Jackie Brown” filmmaker thinks about movies, you’ll likely find him on his new show, “The Video Archives Podcast.”
“Django Unchained” is currently available to rent on most VOD streaming platforms.