Taking Out the Trash: Kill Bill

To be honest, there are no reasons for me to say these movies are trash. I found Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 each for $5; therefore it qualifies to be this week’s trash. But I love Tarantino and I think these movies are fun to watch. So, without further adieu, onto the movies. Kill Bill, both vol. 1 and 2, are a story of anger and revenge. We all know that revenge is a dish best served cold, as the old saying goes.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 starts with a bang. No intro, just the Bride (Uma Thurman) and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) going at it. There is no background and Tarantino takes the first opportunity to make us feel like we missed something big. But that is how both of these movies feel.

Kill Bill is the story of a woman, not just on a bloodthirsty rampage, but a woman on a path to kill those who killed her baby. Those people as we find out are the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and Bill (David Carradine). In a small chapel in El Paso, TX, a bride and her friends are at a wedding rehearsal. The bride was a former lover and assassin for Bill, but after becoming pregnant she ran off. Bill and his squad show up and killed nine people, but the bride survives.

Vol. 1 continues to tell the story of the bride traveling to Okinawa to meet Hattori Hanzo, a world famous Japanese sword maker. “If you’re gonna compare a Hanzo sword, you compare it to every other sword ever made… that wasn’t made by  Hattori Hanzo.” Budd (Michael Madsen) said. The bride trains and is given her sword before traveling to Tokyo. She takes on the Crazy 88’s, the Tokyo underground mob, and their leader O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) as they fight to the death. This was such a serious fight scene between the bride and Ishii, but I couldn’t enjoy it because Michael Collins, the founder of The Jailhouse, was laughing at the shishi-odoshi (I have no idea why he was laughing so hard).

Vol. 2 starts with a self-aware monologue and recounting of what happened in the first movie. But now we get an in depth look into the wedding chapel massacre. The most famous lines of movies are often the ones that go unsaid. “Bill, it’s your bab…[gun shot]” might be the most memorable quote from the bride. At first, the movie looked crude and “like they used MovieMaker2005” according to Mr. Collins. But the flashback of the chapel gives us more insight into both Bill and the bride, to give us some understanding of their reasons for these murders.

Of the five people to kill, the bride has killed two. The only three that remain are Elle (Daryl Hannah), Budd, Bill’s brother, and Bill himself. After pumping two rounds of rock salt into the bride’s chest, Budd gives her a Texas Funeral (burying her alive). With the Hanzo sword in his possession, he offers to sell it to Elle.

Vol. 2 spends much more time in flashbacks than the earlier volume and they are much more important to the story. Kill Bill Vol. 2 looks back to the wedding massacre and then later, after her being buried alive, looks back to the training of
the bride by Kung-Fu master Pai Mei.

The training sequences although not very subtle in their importance to the film, give some needed context into the lives of these characters. Also, the flashback to Pai Mei sets up a later scene in the movie.

Fast forwarding a little, Elle killed Budd with a black mamba, and after a brutal fistfight between them, the bride (who’s name, we find out, is Beatrix Kiddo) snatches out Elle’s only good eye. She lost it after calling Pai Mei a miserable old fool. Kiddo leaves Elle in Budd’s trailer and heads out to find Bill. As we learned at the end of the first, which I skipped over, Kiddo’s child is still alive. This is the first time that she ever gets to see B.B., who has been raised by Bill for the past four years.

Kiddo and Bill have one final showdown, but she uses the five-point palm exploding heart technique that Pai Mei taught her. After a brief and touching moment, Bill walks off and falls in the grass. Her blood stained and revenge driven path is over, she has…killed Bill, and has her child back.

And for anyone who thinks, this movie is weird and there are some major plot holes, for example, as Michael Collins pointed out: she killed two men in the hospital, crawled to a wheelchair and sat in a truck for 13 hours with no one noticing, just remember that it is a Tarantino film. His movies aren’t known for being the most true to life or the most full in terms of story, but they are going to be one hell of a ride.

^Image from the Wildey Theatre

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