All aboard the pussy wagon as we pluck aesthetics around the world but fail to build substance. Dodge the five-point-bore-exploding-foot technique with Kill Bill this week.


Kill Bill: Volume 1
Director: Quentin Jerome Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Jerome Tarantino, Uma Thurman
Released: September 2003
Budget: $30,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $180,906,076

Kill Bill: Volume 2
Director: Quentin Jerome Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Jerome Tarantino, Uma Thurman
Released: September 2003
Budget: $30,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $154,118,820

Breakdown and Analysis

  • Throughout the Reference Degustation journey, we had bookmarked for a good time with Kill Bill based on watches years ago.
  • Oti Rankings: Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill
  • KT Rankings: Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill
  • The first volume is the better of the two offerings and felt onerous. We couldn’t quite evaluate the overall style of the films. KT gives praise to the achievement to deliver the films on it’s budget. KT felt like the experience was a fever dream but does not recall hating the experience.
  • We reflect on how Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction isn’t necessarily about character building but we were just happy to enjoy the ride. Tarantino has such a distinct voice and the fun is part and parcel of what we and many love about his films. Jackie Brown offered a more earnest attempt at storytelling including providing depth to Black characters. Tarantino was also able to interweave his style within the earnest storytelling in Jackie Brown. Kill Bill felt like a more traditional, conventional approach to storytelling.
  • Oti points out the trope of Black people dying first and while O-Ren was the first to die, Vernita was the first to die onscreen. KT mentions the cringe dialogue about Black women in Reservoir Dogs so Vernita dying early might have been for the best.
  • Kill Bill was rivalling Breakfast at Tiffanys for their portrayal of Asian people.
  • There didn’t need to be 40 minutes for a Bill and Beatrix stand off. KT does not enjoy a flashback being introduced in the last 20 minutes of a film.
  • KT wanted to address the White Saviour in the room. Oti commented while watching that somehow the two most powerful swordsmen were Bill and Beatrix. Elle Driver furthers this point by praising Beatrix as the best she’s ever encountered, KT retorts that perhaps Elle should have ventured outside of the United States.

General Questions

What are your views on the QT approach to violence? For example, how he used contrapuntal music for the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs.  < JAMIE
We both agree these films are at the top in gore. KT observes that this is Uma Thurman’s Passion of the Christ. There was the leveraging of animation to deepen the violence. Mr Blonde isn’t necessarily someone you would relate to but you dug the violence based on him being a psychopath. Kill Bill didn’t offer dimension to characters so the violence felt isolated from the core plot. Oti shares his qualm with Beatrix being able to successfully fight waves of people despite being in a coma for 4 years. He further shares his frustration with O-Ren being given a rich backstory just for aesthetics and for it to build to an anti climax. It felt like christmas trifle after 3 days, so many different styles that didn’t meld together. Like a Freddy vs Jason mutant baby. We didn’t appreciate the caricature portrayal of the Japanese men in their constant angry yelling and other portrayals in general.

QT-verse theory (films within films) < ROB
Fox Force Five. Oti shares his childhood love for Kung Fu. KT is almost certain Paula Schultz is a possible reference but that is a level of granular detail she doesn’t care about.

Is QT the best contemporary director to match visuals & music? < JAMIE
The soundtrack felt like a hodge podge nothing trifle that added nothing to the film. KT has been enjoying all the soundtracks but will not be adding Kill Bill to the rotation. It felt like a deliberate headache as if Tarantino wanted us to feel the same pain Beatrix was feeling. It felt like a school project using windows movie maker and the default sound library.

Direction/Stylistic Choices

At what point does QT’s stylised, hyper-aware of itself dialogue become a hindrance to the film rather than part of the magic/charm? < BEN
The dialogue was a hindrance. The dialogue was boring. All other offerings were fun and exciting in dialogue. From pussy wagon to everything in between, Oti felt it to be

Rewriting history < JULIO
Not so much but unfortunately our own personal history was rewritten for the worse.

California/Hollywood/Film/Genre, he’s a slave to pulp and grind house styles which shows in his sound FX and camera movement. < ROB

Pop Culture References < JULIO
Yellow suit paying homage to Bruce Lee. Clan of the White Lotus.


Feeeeeeeeeeeeet < JULIO BRENT

Tick tick tick. Toe Toe Toe.
The reluctant hero < ROB

We agree that Beatrix was not reluctant and more suited a path of revenge, understandably so.

Casting old favourites and reviving their careers < JULIO

David Carradine would be the old favourite and while Oti folds fond memories his character as Bill was less than desirable.

Racism/N word

Everytime I show one of his movies to someone that hasn’t seen them I always wait for the moment he or someone else drops that N word to see how they react. My grandmother back in the day walked out the room when I showed her Reservoir Dogs so she wasn’t fucking with it. < BRENT
Are QT race related quips justified in this film? < PAUL
Racial slurs < JULIO

KT wouldn’t say there are race related quips but the overall portrayal of Asian people and the ignorance of Beatrix and other American characters. Beatrix not realising saying she can speak Japanese to an OG man in the mountains fueled by hate.

Why does QT insist on including himself (usually as a racist) when he can’t act? < BEN
For a man that insists on casting himself and to not have a cameo is very telling.

Unrelated but vital points

  • Jackie Brown is a Pam Grier Mew 2 event.
  • David Carradine in Kung Fu is the first instance of slum tourism and was most probably the first person to take a photo with the local children.