Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Frequently Asked Questions
Awakening from a four-year coma after she was left for dead and her entire wedding party was slain by her colleagues from the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad—O'Ren Ishii/Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu), Vernita Green/Copperhead (Vivica A. Fox), Elle Driver/California Mountain Snake (Daryl Hannah), Budd/Sidewinder (Michael Madsen), and their leader Bill/Snake Charmer (David Carradine)—the Bride/Black Mamba (Uma Thurman) seeks revenge on those who betrayed her and killed her unborn child, ultimately to kill Bill.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is the first half of the Kill Bill series, written and directed by American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Originally intended as one film, the resulting product had a running time of over four hours, so it was separated into two movies. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 was followed by Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) (2004). Kill Bill: Vol. 3 is on the IMDb books, but no release date has been set.
In the first volume, we are supposed to think of her simply as a killer. We don't know her or her background (or her name), so we cannot connect with her on the same level. We don't really know why she is after the Vipers, except for the fact that they tried to kill her and her baby. Perhaps she did something to screw them over that we were never shown, and they had a good reason to "get back" at her. We do not know the whole score in the first volume, so she is just an unknown killer. In the second volume, we learn her story and why she deserves her revenge, and therein she earns a name.
In some cultures, they teach you a way to tell many different things just by looking at the lines of the palm. So, it is assumed that she read those lines to judge the amount of time she was out. Notice the close up shot of those lines before she says, "4 years?"
No, just like we are not supposed to believe that arterial spray flows like water from busted plumbing and that a very, very old Chinese man can stand on the tip of an outstretched sword (as happens in the second volume). The film generally does not take a hard, realistic tone. It's possible that it could have been near the beginning of Buck's eight-hour (or possibly longer) shift when The Bride took him out. Perhaps the next nurse coming in decided not to check on them for a while because the nurse had other things to do, and no one found the bloody mess in the room for over thirteen hours. They were in the coma ward, where nurses possibly didn't check on the patients that often. By the time he was found, with all the usual shock of the discovery of a double homicide, it's entirely possible they didn't get around to checking his truck by the time the Bride left. Not to mention, if they did check for his truck they would see that it was still there, and possibly wouldn't check inside. Seeing as how the truck wasn't stolen, they may not have found it necessary to check it. The Bride also takes the keys to Buck's truck, and without those for identification, no one else might have known which car belonged to Buck.
Entropy is a state of disorganization or formlessness (specifically a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system). However, the word here was actually a flub by Uma Thurman. In an interview, she said that the line actually read "atrophy" but that she accidentally said "entropy" instead. They liked how it sounded, so they left it.
When the Bride and Vernita are having coffee, the Bride says, "Not a goddamn fucking thing you've done in the subsequent four years, including getting knocked up, is going to change that," and then later says that it would be fair of her to kill not only Vernita but her daughter and the good doctor. That said, by the timeline the movie sets up, it's actually impossible for Vernita to not have been already pregnant during the Two Pines massacre. The Bride woke up four years and six months later, and Nikki was four years old. Thus, Vernita would have to have been at least three months pregnant at the time. The doctor could still have been the biological father (although how he got hooked up with the still-an-assassin Vernita is unknown but not entirely implausible), and it's not a plot hole that the Bride would have no idea Vernita was pregnant, since they'd been out of touch. Vernita's daughter's complexion is no reliable indicator of parentage, as it's not unusual at all for modern Western nationals—significantly descended from black Africans who had lived in the Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East or the Americas, centuries ago, or likewise descended from the darker of indigenous tribes of the Americas—to vary in complexion across generations. A given individual's skin, hair and eye color can even be darker or lighter at different times throughout life, usually lighter in infancy/childhood and darker in adolescence/adulthood. From a casting standpoint, rarely are biologically-related characters played by blood-unrelated actors who look like they could be blood relatives. ("Hollywood"—as so many movie-production-related things are attributed—has frequently been criticized for this throughout the decades of cinema.) Barring all of that, Bill would be a believable candidate if indeed the good doctor isn't the girl's father. These paragraphs only serve to illustrate that it is very possible for the doctor to be her father.
Likely to test to see if the Bride had any skill with a katana, which she proves by slicing the baseball in half.
Obviously, we don't know, seeing as how it wasn't explained. But the best theory is that Bill used Hanzo's teachings for evil. He solely used it to kill people for profit and personal gain. As far as we know, Bill had no spiritual or moral benefit from his training or, if he did when he was younger, he'd long ago discarded it for a life of crime.
Because he dared not speak his name, as Bill was a disgrace as a student, using Hanzo's teachings for murder and profit.
During the shot where you see her sword, it is specifically designed to show other passenger's swords as well, to get us to think about this. And if we look closely, we will also see that the plane has special holders for the swords. Let's not forget that fantasy plays a big role in this film, and therein people are allowed to carry their swords in air travel. Such is the world Tarantino created. In the next scene, in the Tokyo airport terminal, we can briefly see several people carrying around swords, like they have been travelling with them.
As for why the people at all are allowed to do this, it could be a societal custom/tradition or a reflection of how policies make personal security much more of an individual's responsibility than law enforcement personnel's, not all too different from the (largely American) practical philosophies surrounding or accompanying the "right of the people to keep and bear arms". This is as if to suggest that the story's settings are like the "wild west" (the North American old west) (or greater yet, feudal Japan), whereby sheriffs and marshals (principal lawmen) have almost no deputies yet have jurisdictions hundreds of miles wide not including the even larger unincorporated territory (or "injun" land), and for whatever reason, swords take the place of firearms. In the context of air travel, swords don't present nearly as much risk of breaching the pressurized cabin as firearms or even pneumatic/hydraulic/magnetic/tension/torque shooters would, so that might explain why projectile weapons are not included, while katanas specifically could be something of a fad. Another way of looking at it is that, by adopting certain themes, Tarantino is giving a nod once again to the movies that he grew up watching. These themes are also often abundant in the cyberpunk genre.
Observing the windows while the House of Blue Leaves scene is taking place reveals snow starting to fall. A small snow storm therefore may have started when the Bride first came inside. For example, when O-Ren walks over the dance floor with the few Crazy 88s towards the beginning of the scene, there is a nice shot of a window, and the falling snow can be clearly seen. On an artistic level, this scene was written as an homage to the film Lady Snowblood, by which Kill Bill was heavily inspired. In said film, a similar setting is used for a swordfight. And it also adds to the slight undertone of mysticism throughout the film.
It reads, "Fuck U". The sneakers are Onitsuka Tiger's Tai Chi model. The soles were probably specially made for the shot where the Bride walks across the glass. There's also a brief glimpse of one when she's riding her cycle to the House of Blue Leaves, but it's easy to miss.
Having succeeded in killing O'Ren, the Bride tortures O'Ren's lawyer Sofie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus) for information on the whereabouts about the rest of the squad. She then tosses Sofie down a hill, landing her near a hospital. On board an airplane out of Tokyo, she crosses Venita and O'Ren off her hit list, leaving Budd, Elle Driver, and Bill still-to-kill. Meanwhile, having rescued Sofie, Bill pumps her for information and asks, "Is she [the bride] aware that her daughter is still alive?"
Nothing has been officially credited. However, when promoting this film, Quentin was asked on an episode of The View if he gave himself a cameo in the film. Quentin said that after the Bride decimated the Crazy 88, she looks out over the carnage and there are dozens of dead, mutilated bodies. Quentin said he put on the Kato mask and the suit and laid in amongst the bodies and played a dead member of the 88.
This takes some work, but all of the above films exist within the same movie universe. There are several links between all of the movies that can be made. The best link is the character of Earl McGraw who appears in all of the movies' continuities. McGraw dies at the start of From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) (D-D), so this would place D-D's events at the end of the timeline. Then there is Jasper who is alive in the Death Proof (2007) (DP) segment of Grindhouse (2007) but dies in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (KB¹). There is also the link of El Wray from the Planet Terror (2007) (PT) segment of Grindhouse and the town that Seth Gecko and Richard Gecko were heading to in D-D, which was also called "El Wray". Another link is Dr Dakota Block who appears in both the DP and PT segments of Grindhouse, and this is the best place to start. Block is also the daughter of Earl McGraw and sister of Edgar McGraw who also appears in KB¹ and From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999) (D-D 2).
From this, we can start to piece together the chronology of the universe. The events of DP must happen before the events of PT. This can be assumed by the relationship between Dr Dakota Block and Earl McGraw that is frayed in DP and most of PT, but they do make up by the end of PT. Also the lack of "sickos" in DP would suggest this is before PT. Plus, Block leaves at the end of PT, but is back working in the hospital in DP. There is also a mention "in memory of" over the radio for Jungle Julia from DP in the events of PT. So far, we have (1) Death Proof and (2) Planet Terror.
Then we can move on to Jasper. As he is alive in DP but dies in KB¹, that would place the (current) events of KB¹ and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (KB²) after the events of DP. Thus, (1) DP, (2) PT, (3) KB¹, and (4) KB². Then onto Earl McGraw who is alive in DP, PT and KB¹ but is killed in D-D, leading us to (1) Death Proof, (2) Planet Terror, (3) Kill Bill: Vol. 1, (4) Kill Bill: Vol. 2, and (5) From Dusk Til Dawn. But we have to include D-D 2 and From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (1999) (D-D 3). Edgar McGraw makes reference to the events and death of his father Earl in D-D 2, which obviously sets this film after D-D. Then D-D 3 is actually a prequel set in the 19th century, therefore it's the earliest of the connections.
In sum, chronologically the films go: (1) From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (2) Death Proof (3) Planet Terror (4) Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (5) Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (6) From Dusk Till Dawn (7) From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money
Vincent Vega (Pulp Fiction) and Victor Vega (Reservoir Dogs) are brothers.
Laurence Dimmick a.k.a. Mr. White (Reservoir Dogs) and Jimmy Dimmick (Pulp Fiction) may be related somehow, possibly father and son due to the age difference between the two.
Jack Scagnetti (Natural Born Killers) and Seymour Scagnetti (mentioned in Reservoir Dogs) could be related.
Drexl Spivey (True Romance) and Marsellus Spivey (mentioned in Reservoir Dogs) could be related.
Earl McGraw (From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill, Grindhouse) and Edgar McGraw (From Dusk till Dawn 2, Kill Bill, Grindhouse) are father and son. Grindhouse also introduces McGraw's daughter, Dakota McGraw Block.
Bill and Budd are brothers.
Sgt. Donny Donowitz (Inglorious Basterds) and Lee Donowitz (True Romance) are father and son.
Pete Hicox (The Hateful Eight) is Archie Hicox's (Inglourious Basterds) great great-grandfather.
Note that some of the names of the characters somewhat correspond with the "career choice" of the other, an example being that Drexl is a pimp and Marsellus was a diamond fence who was doing 20 years in prison. Jack Scagnetti was a popular detective and Seymour was a parole officer, etc.
"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by Nancy Sinatra: Opening titles, "I was five and he was six/we rode on horses made of sticks/he wore black and I wore white/he would always win the fight/bang bang" etc. Also plays when The Bride enters Hanzo's sushi shop, but only a brief riff.
"Music Box Dancer" by Richard Abel: Sounds like an ice cream truck; the Bride pulls up and stops in front of Vernita Green's house, checks her list, and rings the doorbell.
"Ironside (Excerpt)" by Quincy Jones: Commonly referred to [in the script anyway] as the Bride's "Vengeance theme," the screen turns orange as flashbacks of The Bride taking a pounding are shown. Means ass-kickery will ensue.
"That Certain Female" by Charlie Feathers: Cop drives through desert in car to wedding chapel; he's got sunglasses on his dashboard, wears a cowboy hat.
"Twisted Nerve" by Bernard Hermann: Elle whistles as she walks from her car to The Bride's room, the same tune a strange man whistles as he walks down the hall in Twisted Nerve. Elle gets dressed into her nurse's outfit and draws red liquid into a syringe.
"7 Note In Nero (7 Notes In Black)" by Vince Tempera & Orchestra: The Bride kills the man who was going to rape her; begins shortly after the blackout. The Bride finds out her legs aren't working, falls flat on her face, finds a buck knife [how . . . well, not ironic, but still], and slices Buck's Achilles' Tendon.
"Truck Turner" by Isaac Hayes: The Bride searches the parking deck for Buck's Pussy Wagon. She finds it, checks the keys—yep, that's it.
"The Grand Duel, M10" by Luis Bacalov: The "Wiggle your big toe" scene.
"The Grand Duel (Parte Prima)" by Luis Bacalov: 1st part of the anime sequence.
"I Lunghi Giorni Della Vendetta" by Armando Trovajoli: O-Ren's father is killed by the Yakuza.
"Run Fay Run" by Isaac Hayes: Sniper O-Ren shoots a man in an entourage of limousines; he's got a beautiful woman on each arm.
"Bang Bang (Excerpt)" by Nancy Sinatra: The Bride enters Hanzo's sushi shop.
"Wound That Heals (aka Kaifuku Suru Kizu)" by Salyu: The Bride looks over rack after rack of swords in Hanzo's attic.
"The Lonely Shepherd" by Zamfir: Hanzo inspects and gives the sword to The Bride.
"Armundo" by David Allen Young: The presentation of Sofie Fatale, GoGo Yubari and Johnny Mo.
"Yakuza Oren 1" by The RZA: O-Ren speaks to the Crime Council after decapitating Boss Tanaka.
"Green Hornet" by Al Hirt: The Bride arrives by plane in Tokyo, walks through the airport. Gogo drives O-Ren through town surrounded by men on motorcycles. The Bride flies through town on her yellow motorcycle.
"Battle Without Honor Or Humanity" by Tomoyasu Hotei: The Bride speeds away at the stoplight; O-Ren and subordinates walk through House of Blue Leaves.
"I Walk Like Jane Mansfield" by The 126.96.36.199s: Ends as O-Ren enters.
"I'm Blue" by The 188.8.131.52s: Plays during the scene involving O-Ren's dart and Gogo's investigation.
"Woo Hoo" by The 184.108.40.206s: Long shot of The Bride walking through restaurant to bathroom, Sofie walking to bathroom, ends with The Bride hearing Sofie's ringtone.
"Ironside (Excerpt)" by Quincy Jones: The Bride sees Sofie in the ladies room. Vengeance theme.
"From Man to Man" by Ennio Morricone: The Bride calls out O-Ren Ishii. O-Ren watches The Bride slice off Sofie Fatale's arm, and the restaurant patrons exit the building as she bleeds profusely.
Soundeffects by Flip Sting: The Bride vs Gogo—The Bride backflips over Gogo's ball-and-chain.
"Crane" by The RZA: The Bride, surrounded by Crazy 88s looks at them in the reflection on her sword.
"I Giorni Dell'Ira (Day Of Anger)" by Riz Ortolani: The Bride removes a Crazy 88s eyeball; we switch to black-and-white.
"Champions Of Death" by Shuzsuko Kibushi: The Bride faces off against Johnny Mo's two swords upstairs.
"Super 16 (Excerpt)" by NEU!: O-Ren retreats to the garden.
"Police Check Point" by Harry Betts: The Bride fights Crazy 88s, flips over one's back.
"White Lightning" by Charles Bernstein: The Bride is cornered with a speared Crazy 88; gets an idea.
"Nobody But Me" by The Human Beinz: The Bride, two swords, slices off legs of Crazy 88s.
"Banister Fight" by The RZA: The Bride and Johnny Mo face off whilst standing on a banister. The Bride slices his legs off.
"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" by Santa Esmeralda: O-Ren removes her shoes, and she and The Bride fight; ends when The Bride's back is sliced open.
"The Flower Of Carnage (Shura No Hama)" by Meiko Kaji: O-Ren drops her sword; she's been scalped.
"Yagyu Conspiracy" by Toshiaki Tsushima: Background music of the "second reason" speech The Bride makes to Sofie Fatale while she lies in the trunk of her car.
"The Lonely Shepherd" by Zamfir: The Bride writes her death list on the plane/end titles.
"Urami Bushi" by Meiko Kaji: End titles.
The uncensored DVD edition of Quentin Tarantino's homage to the Asian cinema has been released only in Japan so far, and therefore is simply one of the most discussed versions. Tarantino mentioned the longer Japanese version in an interview even before the theatrical release, thus additionally heating up the discussion. The final scene, which can be seen in full color in the Japanese version only, and also other extended scenes of violence made this version extremely popular.