Study Guide

Reservoir Dogs Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen)

Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen)

The Enigma

When we first meet Mr. Blonde, he comes across as one of the more sensible members of the group. When Mr. Brown is going off about how "Like a Virgin" is all about a woman who meets a man with a particularly large penis, Blonde says,

BLONDE: No, it ain't. It's about a girl who's very vulnerable. She's been f***ed over a few times and then she meets a guy who's very sensitive.

That sounds like a more accurate interpretation to us (and to Madonna; she told Tarantino it was about love, not sex). Anyway, we're starting to think that Blonde's a pretty sensitive guy himself, right?

Oh so wrong.

The other pre-heist scene we have with Blonde also makes him seem just like a regular down-to-earth guy. He's just done four years in prison and he's visiting Joe and Eddie and having some laughs and talking about life. He's basically like family to them, which explains why Eddie trusts him so much. If he was loyal when a simple name drop would've bought him four years of his life, it doesn't seem too likely he'd go crazy and mess up Joe's operation.

Madman or Misunderstood

What do you make of a guy who's so loyal to his friends that he goes to jail rather than rat on them—and then turns around and doesn't give a thought to shooting a crowd of innocent people? Who casually tortures a cop? Is he just flat-out nuts, or does he have some kind of warped moral code we just don't get?

We know from Pink and White's conversation that Blonde went nuts and started shooting the civilians when the alarm went off at the jewelry store. We don't really know why, just that it happened and that it was "the most insane f***ing thing I have ever seen." Pink even says that, "I came this close to taking his ass out myself" and describes Blonde as a an unprofessional psychopath; you never know what a psychopath is going to do.

When we finally see Blonde, he needs no introduction. We've already heard about how crazy he is and now we get to witness his craziness first hand. Except… he doesn't really seem crazy at all. In fact, he's a really laid back, cool dude. He's so cool that during his escape he was not only able to take a cop hostage, but to hit up a drive-through and order some fries and a soda. When White starts yelling his lungs out at Blonde, he calmly responds, "Are you gonna bark all day little doggy, or are you gonna bite?" This guy is the definition of cool.

Until he loses it.

Then we get one of the most unfortunately memorable scenes of the movie. We know something's a little off when Blonde talks about why he started shooting civilians. He simply says that they set off the alarm when he told them not to and that they "deserve what they got." Seems a little extreme, but maybe that's what it takes to be a hardened criminal.

When the torture scene happens, however, we get a whole different picture. Blonde doesn't want information. He says, "It's amusing to me to torture a cop." Blond himself is pretty amusing in this scene. He grooves out to some '70s music, and pretends like torturing was the cop's idea, and like he hadn't even considered it until Marvin brought it up. He pretends like he's going to shoot him, then laughs, and… cuts his ear off.

Then he talks into the ear, and tells him not to go anywhere while he goes out for a minute.

If you think Blonde can't get any more demented, think again. He goes out to get gasoline, which he dumps all over Marvin before flicking his lighter.

This all isn't bothering Blonde one bit. If you had any doubts about Blonde's sanity, now you know that our first impression of him as a psychopath from White and Pink's conversation was completely accurate. The dude isn't misunderstood; he's seriously messed up, but still cool—no one said psychopaths can't be slickly dressed. He really rocks those aviators.

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