Analysis of Reservoir Dogs ‘Ear’ Scene

The Onion AV Club does an analysis of the Mr. Blonde straight razor scene from Reservoir Dogs. Hard to believe that film is 20 years old.

Then there’s Mr. Blonde’s little dance routine, which Madsen performs with exactly the right degree of half-assed mockery. Given this showcase—it’s just him and someone who’s bound and gagged—a lot of actors would choose to showboat, really cut some moves. Madsen understands that Mr. Blonde is terrifying because he doesn’t give a shit, which means he isn’t gonna expend any real energy even on a performance expressly designed to humiliate a torture victim. He doesn’t so much dance as just kinda shuffle a little, doing the absolute minimum necessary to convey rhythmic movement.