Pai Mei is based on Pak Mei, the originator of the "White Eyebrow" kung fu technique. According to legend, Pak Mei was one of the few Masters left, following the decimation of the Buddhist temples, and later sold out other Masters, to save his team and himself, during an attack that they had mounted, that subsequently went wrong. For this reason, Pak Mei Kung Fu has always been known as the "forbidden technique", and Pak Mei has been a villainous figure in Chinese folklore and film, for hundreds of years.
Quentin Tarantino originally intended to only have Pai Mei's lips speaking Cantonese, while his voice would be in English, imitating a bad dub job. Tarantino was going to provide the voice himself. In the end, Tarantino abandoned this idea, and Pai Mei (Chia-Hui Liu) speaks in his own voice.
The brothel segment, where the Bride meets with Esteban Vihaio (Michael Parks), was the last scene of the movie to be shot. It was filmed at a Mexican brothel, and all of the female extras, were prostitutes that worked there.
Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah did not get along with each other, and reportedly instructed hotel and cinema staff, to ensure that they were kept separate from each other, during the press tour for Volume 1. They were again at odds at the film's screening at the Cannes Film Festival, and ordered separate areas to be created at the after-show party, so they wouldn't clash. When the two women won "Best Fight" at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, only Daryl attended. (Uma's absence was conspicuous, considering she had gone the previous year to collect the award for her fight with Chiaki Kuriyama in Volume 1.)
In 2018, Uma Thurman posted footage online of a car accident that occurred in 2002 while filming this movie. At the time, Thurman had voiced her reservations about filming a scene while driving a car over a straight dirt road, and requested a stunt performer. However, since the scene was not considered to be a stunt, and the Stunt Coordinator was not on-set that day, Quentin Tarantino persuaded her to shoot the scene herself. While driving the Karmann Ghia, there was an unexpected turn in the road, causing Thurman to lose control of the car and crashing it into a tree, leaving her with a concussion and damaged knees. She tried to obtain the footage as proof, but Harvey Weinstein reportedly refused to release it, unless she signed a document that would release the company from any liability. Years later, Tarantino finally gave her the footage and helped her come forward, in the wake of multiple sexual assault charges against Weinstein (with Thurman also claiming to be one of his victims). Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino admitted that the incident had caused a breach in trust, which affected their working relationship for several years, but they reconciled afterwards and remain on good terms ever since.
In Reservoir Dogs (1992), Michael Madsen's character attempts to kill a cop by dousing him with a can of gasoline, intending to burn him alive. In this movie, the same gas canister can be seen in Budd's (Michael Madsen's) trailer as The Bride attempts to enter.
The film is a departure from most of Quentin Tarantino's films, in that several real-life products and brand names appear in the movie. Tarantino usually makes an effort to avoid product placement in his films.
The story Esteban Vihaio (Michael Parks) tells about Bill (David Carradine) in the movie theater sucking his thumb, is a story Kurt Russell told Quentin Tarantino. Kurt did the same thing at a drive-in theater, when he saw Marilyn Monroe on screen, as a little boy.
The reason that The Bride no longer has the "Pussy Wagon" in this movie is because in the original script that included the character of Yuki Yubari, Go-Go's sister, Yuki had destroyed it, soon after the killing of Vernita Green.
Choreographer Woo-Ping Yuen was originally set to play Pai Mei, but could not fit it in with his choreography, so Quentin Tarantino considered playing it himself for a little while, before picking Chia-Hui Liu for the part.
This movie reveals that three of the six members, of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, are not named after any species of Viper. Bill is Snake Charmer. The Black Mamba is of the Elapidae family. Elle's codename is California Mountain King Snake, a completely non-venomous constrictor. It is famous for its ability to eat other snakes, particularly rattlesnakes like the Sidewinder (Budd's codename).
The club owner hated Budd's hat, because Writer and Director Quentin Tarantino didn't like it, when Michael Madsen appeared on the set wearing it. He tried to talk Michael out of it, but that didn't help. So Quentin got back with a little change in the script the next day, and Michael Madsen had to follow it.
Pai Mei punching through a wooden plank, leaving a round hole as opposed to regular wood splinters, may be a reference to this ability, attributed to several martial arts Masters, among them Masusatsu Oyama (founder of the Kyokushin school of karate) who, in martial arts folklore, is said to have punched such a hole in an oak door to grab the wrist of a burglar trying to enter his house.
The boots Uma Thurman has on, when she is buried alive, are the same boots that Michael Madsen used in Reservoir Dogs (1992), when he cut off the police officer's ear, and the same straight razor is used.
The chapter "Yuki's Revenge" was cut from filming to accommodate a new chapter, "Massacre at Two Pines" that details the attack on The Bride. An outline of the chapter was to have Yuki Yubari, Gogo's sister, seek vengeance on The Bride for killing her sister, Yuki was to be played by Ko Shibasaki, who co-starred with Chiaki Kuriyama (who played Gogo in Vol.1) in Battle Royale (2000).
At the film's first test screening in Austin, Texas, the audience gave the film a five minute standing ovation. The reaction was so overwhelming, that Harvey Weinstein did not have the research firm, conducting the screening, pass out response cards.
In the scene where Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) is being buried alive, the master shot has the pickup's headlights illuminating the graveyard. On the right of the screen, the exhumed body's gnarled hand casts a bunny-shaped shadow on its coffin.
Michael Jai White filmed several scenes in this movie with David Carradine, but these were cut from the final film, due to pacing concerns. A lengthy confrontation between the two, is the only deleted scene on the Vol. 2 DVD.
Upon capturing The Bride (Uma Thurman), Budd (Michael Madsen) utters the line "I just caught me the cowgirl ain't never been caught." This is a reference to The Driver (1978), in which Bruce Dern said, "I'm gonna catch the cowboy that's never been caught."
According to The Kill Bill Diary (written by David Carradine), the movie that The Bride and her daughter would watch, was originally going to be Disney's The Aristocats (1970). When Disney wouldn't allow it, Quentin decided to have them watch an episode of the cartoon Samurai Jack (2001). But, the film featured in the final cut (or overheard, as we only see their faces as they watch), is Shogun Assassin (1980).
The Acuña Boys is a fictional gang in Rolling Thunder (1977). Quentin Tarantino has cited that movie as a favorite. The plot of Rolling Thunder (1977) involves five murderers, who kill the wife and son of a P.O.W., and how he embarks on a quest for revenge.
Also changed from the original script, the story of Pai Mei is no longer told in a Jeep on the way to the cruel master's temple. Rather, it is now unfolded in front of a campfire somewhere in the Chinese countryside, the night before Bill and The Bride arrive. With the aid of a flute (one of the silent flutes from Circle of Iron (1978)), Bill tells the tale of Pai Mei in a "Peter and The Wolf" type fashion.
The book that Esteban Vihaio (Michael Parks) reads is "The Carrucans of Kurrajong" by Jasmine Yuen. Jasmine Yuen Carrucan was one of the crew members, and a character named Old Man Carrucan (played by Bruce Dern) appeared in Django Unchained (2012).
"Beatrix" and "Bill" both start with the letter "B", hence the naming of their daughter "B.B." There are also other "B.B." references. For example, the opening song "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by Nancy Sinatra, also when Beatrix sees B.B. and Bill for the first time, Bill points a toy water pistol and yells "Bang! Bang!"
Although Quentin Tarantino is known for never using real brands for products like cereals and cigarettes, the brand of the bread he uses to make the sandwich, during the "Emilio's killing story" scene, BIMBO, is a real and very popular brand of bread in the U.S. and Mexico.
Early posters for this movie proclaimed it as "The Fifth Film by Quentin Tarantino". Subsequent posters have not used that blurb, while the film simply says "a film by QUENTIN TARANTINO". Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) says "The 4th Film By Quentin Tarantino" at the beginning, and Volumes 1 and 2 are supposed to be considered one film. The fifth film by Quentin Tarantino was actually Death Proof (2007).
The car seen behind Bill, when he visits Budd at his trailer, is a De Tomaso Mangusta, an Italian sports car, put into limited production by De Tomaso. Later De Tomaso developed a related vehicle, the Pantera, which was sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealerships in the late 1960s. Because of its speed, agility, timing, and thick coat, the mangusta (Italian for mongoose) is the only animal capable of killing a cobra in a straight fight.
Julie Dreyfus suggested two popular pieces of music for the movie. The first one being "The Chase", where Elle drives to Budd's trailer, the second one being "The Sunny Road To Salina", where The Bride walks through the desert to Budd's trailer. Julie's father is a record producer, who owns the rights to the soundtrack of Road to Salina (1970), from where the pieces of music come.
In the scene, in which The Bride and Bill meet on the porch of the church house, the street in the background is labelled "Aqua Caliente", which is a reference to For a Few Dollars More (1965). Aqua Caliente is the place where Indio (Gian Maria Volonté) and his gang duel with Manco (Clint Eastwood) and Colonel Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef).
When The Bride first arrives at the hacienda where Bill is staying, she walks past several hotel clerks in the lobby, who are all out of focus. One of the clerks in the background is Producer Lawrence Bender.
In the documentary, "A Man Can Do That", Quentin Tarantino notes that Budd, in Kill Bill, was a nod to Director Budd Boetticher. Budd's sense of morals, is certainly an homage to those of Randolph Scott's in Boetticher's "Ranown" films.
The turquoise car that The Bride drives in this movie is a Volkswagen Type 14 Karmann Ghia, named after its German and Italian designers. Judging from the design details, it seems to have been manufactured around 1970, by Volkswagen's Brazilian branch.
During Reservoir Dogs (1992), Mr. White says that "The gut is the most painful place for a man to be shot, other than the kneecap.", and in the confrontation in Bill's home. Bill threatens to shoot The Bride in the kneecap, where he "hears is the most painful place to be shot."
Daryl Hannah (Elle Driver) owns the car (a 1980 Pontiac Trans-Am) her character drives in the film. However, she owns the one that was used for promotional shots, because Michael Madsen (Budd) got the working Trans-Am before she got to it.
The book that Esteban Vihaio reads is "The Carrucans of Kurrajong" by Jasmine Yuen. In Django Unchained (2012), the character Django is from the Carrucan plantation. This is an obvious reference to this movie and Jasmine Yuen Carrucan.
As The Bride is walking under a very bright sun through the desert just before the trailer incident, the music played is "Sunny Road to Salina", composed and performed by French 1960s crooner Christophe. Later on, The Bride is told that Bill's hacienda is "on the road to Salina", a reference to the film, in which the aforementioned track was originally heard, Road to Salina (1970).
The name of the book that Esteban is reading is "The Carrucan's of Kurrajong" by Jasmine Yuen. This is not a real book. The book functions not only as a prop, but as an inside joke. It's a tribute to a member of the film crew, Jasmine Yuen Carrucan. Kurrajong is a town in Australia, Jasmine Yuen Carrucan is Australian. In other words, the Carrucans who live in Kurrajong (the native aboriginal name for a town). Kurrajong is located in the far northwest of Sydney between Palm Beach and the Blue Mountains (near Richmond). Kurrajong is a species of bottle tree native to Australia and New Guinea, as well as New Zealand from fifty million years ago. (Kurrajong comes from Dharuk Garraju, the language of a now extinct Aboriginal tribe, and means "fishing line", as fishing lines were made from kurrajong bark.)
Unlike every other Quentin Tarantino film (including Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)), this movie doesn't end with "written and directed by". Instead, Tarantino shows his own credit at the end of the main credits, but before the crew credits, for the various locations at which Kill Bill was filmed.
Daryl Hannah provided her voice as narrator of a black mamba documentary produced in 2013 by Earth Touch USA, much in a similar fashion to Elle Driver reading aloud what she could find online about the same species.
Esteban Vihaio mentions to The Bride about following the "road to Salinas" to track down Bill. James Dean was driving on the road to Salinas on September 30, 1955 when another driver swerved onto the highway, resulting in the crash than ended Dean's life. However, Esteban actually said "Salina", not "Salinas", as in the aforementioned Road to Salina (1970).
The gun that Bill used appears to be a Colt Single Action Army, or "Peacemaker", and had a bird's head grip (a modern innovation). It is chambered for .45 caliber, as seen on the back of the bullet fired, in the internal gun shot, in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003).
At one point in the film, while talking to The Bride, Bill is holding a Hanzo sword, while a film plays in the background. In the film, the characters are about to get in a tustle. When Bill puts the Katana down, the BANG sound it makes matches with the visual of a character being punched in the film in the background.
Ricardo Montalban, who Quentin Tarantino had originally wanted for the cameo of Esteban Vihaio was famous for playing Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek (1966) season one, episode twenty-two, "Space Seed" and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Khan (Montalban) set out to get his revenge on Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner), after Kirk exiled him to the planet Ceti Alpha V.
This film was released the same year as another revenge film, The Punisher (2004). John Travolta, who starred in the movie, as the film's main antagonist Howard Saint, starred opposite Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction (1994).
One of the comic books Bill mentions, when he shoots Beatrix Kiddo with the truth serum dart, is "Batman". Uma Thurman appeared in Batman & Robin (1997) as Poison Ivy. Quentin Tarantino starred opposite George Clooney (Batman/Bruce Wayne) in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Arnold Schwarzenegger (Mr. Freeze) starred in Conan the Barbarian (1982), in which Conan (Schwarzenegger) seeks revenge on Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), who murdered his tribe.
Quentin Tarantino: [long take] The "Massacre at Two Pines" ends with the camera following The Bride down the aisle away from Bill to the altar. We then "float" away from the altar, down the aisle, past Bill, out the door to the awaiting members of the DiVAS. Once they enter, the camera cranes up off the ground where we hear the pandemonium inside the chapel until finally fading out. All in a single take.
Quentin Tarantino: [Red Apple Cigarettes] The brand of cigarettes smoked in this film, as noted by the eagle logo below the filter seen in close-ups, is American Spirits. However, when The Bride meets with Esteban (Michael Parks), a pack of Red Apples, Quentin Tarantino's signature brand of fake cigarettes, can clearly be seen on the table.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Daryl Hannah improvised the scene where Elle Driver's eye gets removed by Beatrix Kiddo, and she goes "nuts". She did this because she thought it would make Quentin Tarantino laugh. He did, and that scene was in the final film. She sustained injuries from breaking so many things in the bathroom.
Quentin Tarantino has hinted at two possible spin-offs, one being an all animé backstory of the DiVAS, and the other, being a spin-off in the future, where Vernita Green's (Vivica A. Fox's) daughter, Nikki (Ambrosia Kelley), goes on a quest for revenge against Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman).
Every villain killed on-screen, excluding the ones in the animé sequence, is killed by a female character. (The Bride: Vernita Green, Buck, Gogo, the Crazy 88s, O-Ren Ishii, Bill; Elle: Budd, Pai Mei; O-Ren Ishii: Boss Tanaka; Gogo: Tokyo Business Man)
In an earlier draft of the script, Beatrix Kiddo doesn't remove Elle Driver's remaining eye, Elle is killed by having her throat slit. In the final film, however, Beatrix Kiddo leaves Elle Driver alive.
The climax of the film was originally written as a sword-fight on the beach, under the moonlight, between Beatrix (clad in her wedding dress) and Bill. When the production ran long, Harvey Weinstein insisted Quentin Tarantino cut the scene back. All that remains, is Bill's brief reference to such a fight, while Beatrix sits on his sofa, and the poster for the film, with Beatrix in the dress, holding her sword.
It is a common fan theory that Samuel L. Jackson's character of Rufus, the piano playing drifter, waa actually Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction (1994). At the end of Pulp Fiction (1994), Jules says he wants to "Become a drifter, and walk the Earth." In this movie, Rufus at one point says "I was a drifter..." while telling his story in the church. However, there is no proof to this theory, because when Rufus says "I was a drifter", he also says "I was a Coaster, and I was a Temptation. If they came through Texas, I played with them", implying that he played back-up for the bands The Drifters, The Coasters, and The Temptations. Whether or not Rufus was actually Jules Winnfield, telling tall tales, only Tarantino knows for sure.
Despite The Bride's name being bleeped out in Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) and for two-thirds of this movie. Her name is spoken or revealed on more than one occasion. When someone calls her Beatrix and it's bleeped, it is simply muffled and is still audible, and if you're good at reading lips, you may be able to figure it out. Also, Bill refers to The Bride as "Kiddo" in the flashback scenes. While this is both his pet name for her, and a common term of endearment, it is also her last name.
In an interview, Quentin Tarantino stated that there will be a Kill Bill: Vol 3, but it wouldn't happen for a decade, and he also discussed the possibility of a spin-off centering around Vernita Green's daughter Nikki, who seeks vengeance upon The Bride. The plot of Kill Bill: Vol 3 could possibly be about The Bride, who is forced to return to her former violent life, when Nikki Green kidnaps her daughter B.B., in order to lure The Bride into a deadly trap, and The Bride learns Nikki is not acting alone, and is working with Elle Driver, now a blind swordswoman.
During the scene in which Bill shoots the bride with truth serum, and then interrogates her, he calls her a "natural born killer" and also a "renegade killer bee", which references projects of the Wu-Tang Clan, a member of which (RZA) wrote much of the original music for the two films.
During the end credits, the names of actors and actresses playing characters on The Bride's "Death List Five" list are crossed off, that is, those characters who die on-screen. In order, as per the "Death List Five", it is Lucy Liu (O-Ren Ishii), Vivica A. Fox (Vernita Green), and Michael Madsen (Budd). However, a question mark appears over Daryl Hannah (Elle), since it is technically unknown as to her condition, though, being now completely blind, heavily bleeding from her (second) destroyed eye, and trapped in a trailer with an agitated Black Mamba in the middle of the desert, she has very little, or no, hope to survive. David Carradine (Bill), who dies on-screen, has his name appear before the aforementioned cast members, yet his name is not crossed off.
The scene in which Budd opens the case to reveal a black mamba, that bites him in the face, was inspired by, and borrowed from, Venom (1981), in which Susan George opens a crate containing a black mamba that bites her in the face.
Esteban Vihaio (Michael Parks) explains to Beatrix, that Bill is passionate about blonde women, after seeing Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), that he saw with Vihaio when he was six years old. According to this, Bill is sixty-four-years-old during the events of the movie.
Despite The Bride having a Hanzo sword made especially for her, she only uses it successfully once: against Cottonmouth and the Crazy 88 in Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003); all of The Bride's other targets were killed by other means.
Before Chapter Six was changed from "Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?" to "Massacre at Two Pines", Samuel L. Jackson's wife, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, was supposed to play a character named L.F. O'Boyle, a casino owner, who Bill personally dispatches, after toying with her.
The Bride using a method that kills Bill five paces after being struck is a symbolic reference to her Black Mamba namesake, the bite of which is sometimes claimed to be able kill a victim within five paces of being bitten.
In the original script, the fight between Beatrix Kiddo and Elle Driver was supposed to resemble her fight with O-Ren Ishii. Quentin Tarantino revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he changed it the day after catching a showing of Jackass: The Movie (2002) at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas.
During the scene toward the end of the film where Bill and Beatrix are talking in the living room, Bill refers to her as a "natural born killer". Quentin Tarantino wrote the original screenplay for Natural Born Killers (1994).
In the scene where Uma Thurman is taking the pregnancy test, she consults a watch. This watch is a replica of a Rolex Daytona. You can tell it's not a genuine one, because the markings on the face don't match an original.