The film, to be shown uncut on Saturday 31 May on Channel 4, will follow a live opera broadcast from Glyndebourne.
Reservoir Dogs portrays a bungled diamond robbery that results in a procession of casually violent and messy ends for the villains whose colour- coded pseudonyms include Mr Orange, Mr Pink and Mr White.
Notable scenes include actor Tim Roth's character bleeding to death, a policeman's ear being sliced off and another man being slashed across the face in a torture scene.
Channel 4's decision was immediately condemned by the National Viewers and Listeners Association, which said the station had sacrificed responsibility in the pursuit of publicity.
The NVLA's founder Mary Whitehouse said: "Given the present concern about violence in our society, Channel 4 should look beyond what publicity they are going to get from this."
Channel 4 said the film would be screened well after the 9pm "watershed".
"It will be screened after 10.30pm, depending on when exactly the performance of Manon Lescaut finishes," saidspokesman Chris Griffin-Beale.
"We will preface the film with a Film Night Special on Tarantino which places the film in its context. Tarantino is a known quantity now and the ball is in parents' court as to whether they let their children see it."
But Mrs Whitehouse said: "Fourteen out of 20 children have a TV in their bedroom and they can catch this film after they've kissed their parents good night."
n American actor Johnny Depp made his directorial bow in competition at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday with a movie about a snuff movie, writes Sheila Johnston in Cannes.
The Brave tells the story of a native American who agrees to die on camera to give his family a better life.
Depp said: "If it was just about a man selling himself to be in a snuff movie, it would be sensationalistic and I wanted to avoid that."
The film's British executive producer, Jeremy Thomas, was behind the controversial Crash. The Brave has yet to find a distributor in the UK.Reuse content