Feature by: Jack Foley
PART of the fun of watching Quentin Tarantinos Kill Bill
is picking out the references, or actors, you have seen from other
In typical QT fashion, the references are expertly observed,
without ever feeling as though they might get in the way of the
Here are some of the more obvious quick facts - feel
free to let us know of any more that you notice!
l Quentin Tarantino describes Kill
Bill as a duck press of all the grindhouse cinema
hes absorbed over the past 35 years.
l In the climactic House of Blue
Leaves sequence, the samurai fighters in clashing Bruce Lee outfits
square off over a glass nightclub floor (shot from below) that
would not look out of place in Seijun Suzukis hip gangster
drama, Tokyo Drifter (1966).
l Previous nods to the kung fu
explosion of the Seventies have appeared in other Tarantino movies.
For instance, True Romance
contains echoes of Sonny Chibas ultra-violent Streetfighter
movies (as well as clips), while Reservoir
Dogs contains a nod to Hong Kong action movie, City of Fire.
l For Kill Bill, Tarantino cast
Sonny Chiba as a renowned samurai sword master and revived the
character, Hattori Hanzo, from the series Shadow Warriors. However,
Hanzos habit of pausing to recite passages of scripture
when he was about to kill had already been handed down to the
philosophical killer played by Samuel L Jackson in Pulp
l Tarantino cast Chinese martial
artist/actor Gordon Liu Chia-hui as both Johnny Mo, a leather-clad
leader of the Crazy 88s bodyguard squad in Tokyo, and as
Pei Mei, a popular white eyebrow monk character from
several vintage Shaw Brothers films. In this case, he was casting
against type: Liu always played stalwart (or occasionally comic)
heroes in his Shaw films, while Pei Mei (often portrayed by actor,
Lo Lieh) was one of the studios darkest villains, betraying
his musical brothers to the Manchu tyrants in pictures like Liu
Jia-liangs Executioners From Shaolin (1977).
l Of Kill Bill, Tarantino states:
"I have said many times that there are two different worlds
that my movies take place in. One of them is the Quentin
Universe of Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, which is heightened
but more or less realistic. The other is the Movie World. When
characters in the Quentin Universe go to the movies, the stuff
they see takes place in the Movie World. They are a window onto
that world. Kill Bill is the first film Ive made that takes
place in the Movie World. This is me imagining what would happen
if that world really existed, and I could take a film crew in
there and make a Quentin Tarantino movie about those characters."
l Tarantinos view of the
Tokyo underworld would not be complete without Go Go Yubari, the
fetching and ferocious teenage bodyguard to O-Ren Ishii (Lucy
Liu). Tarantino had written the role for the actress, Chiaki Kuriyama,
after seeing her in the cult classic action film, Battle
Royale, the final film directed by the late Kinji Fukasaku.
l Go Gos weapon during her
battle with The Bride resembles both the lethal yo-yos wielded
by the schoolgirl super-heroines on the long-running Japanese
TV series, Sukeban Deka, and also the title tool in one of Tarantinos
all-time favourite martial arts movies, Master of the Flying Guillotine
l For the male bosses who inhabit
the Tokyo underworld, Tarantino hand-picked some of his favourite
Japanese actors, including Jun Kunimura (from Takeshi Miikes
Audition and Ichii: The Killer)
as the headstrong Boss Tanaka, and Kazuki Kitamura as Boss Koji.
l The anime sequence was sub-contracted
to one of Japans leading animation studios, Production IG,
which has been associated with some of the most original and intellectually
challenging anime of the past decade, including Mamoru Oshiis
Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Hiroyuki Okiuras Jin-Roh:
The Wolf Brigade (1999) and Blood: The Last Vampire (2000).
l The costumes worn by the Crazy
88s in the House of Blue Leaves are a twist on the white shirt,
black ties and black suits that Tarantino made famous in Reservoir
Dogs and Pulp Fiction. In Kill Bill, a small black mask is added
to the ensemble, in homage to the outfit worn by Bruce Lees
character, Cato, on The Green Hornet.
l Uma Thurmans yellow jumpsuit,
in the same sequence, is an exact copy of the tracksuit worn by
Lee in Game of Death, the film he left unfinished at his death