17 things you (probably) didn't know about Kill Bill 1 & 2

  • 17 things you (probably) didn't know about Kill Bill 1 & 2

Did you know that the first volume of Quentin Tarantino's kung-fu masterpiece Kill Bill came out in cinemas this week in 2003? 

Bet you didn't, unless you have a ridiculous memory for film release dates.

So here are another 17 things about both Kill Bill movies that might entertain you...

1. The Bride's rude shoes

As the Bride prepares to cut through the Crazy 88 in The House of Blue Leaves, a shot from underneath the glass floor reveals that the soles of her trainers read "Fuck U".

2. Gogo's sound effect

During the fight scene between Gogo Yubari and the Bride, when the flail rebounds, hitting Gogo on the back of her head, the sound of bowling pins being knocked over can be heard when Gogo falls through the table beneath her.

While shooting the scene, Chiaki Kuriyama - who plays Gogo - accidentally hit Quentin Tarantino on the head with her ball and chain while he was standing by the camera.

3. Tarantino's cheap gifts

While filming Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman chatted about the movies that they would like to make, and the pair came up with the idea of a '70s style kung-fu flick.

Tarantino then gave the Kill Bill script, and the role of the Bride, to Thurman as a 30th birthday present.

On Valentine's Day, the director sent the script to cinematographer Robert Richardson - along with a bouquet of roses - to entice him to work on Kill Bill .

4. Hanzo's clever hideout

The Bride visits retired sword master Hattori Hanzo in his hiding place - a sushi restaurant on the island of Okinawa - to convince him to make her a sword.

The Japanese regard Okinawa as the worst place in all of Japan to get decent sushi, so Tarantino's decision to have Hanzo own a sushi restaurant meant that he could lie low and not be bothered by anyone looking for him after taking his blood oath.

5. The 5.6.7.8's were discovered by Tarantino by chance

After initial location scouting in Japan Tarantino was in a store where he heard girl band The 5.6.7.8's playing over the store's speakers.

He asked a store assistant who the band was, but didn't have enough time to visit a music shop to get their CD; so he had to beg the clerk to sell him their copy and when he got back to America, he immediately signed the band to play at The House of Blue Leaves.

6. O-Ren Ishii's fight scene foreshadowing

When the Bride and O-Ren Ishii are squaring up outside The House of Blue Leaves, O-Ren says, in Japanese, "I hope you saved your energy. If you haven't you may not last 5 minutes."

From the moment that O-Ren steps forward and the music kicks in, it is exactly 4 minutes and 59 seconds until the Bride delivers the fatal blow, scalping O-Ren.

In the film's early stages, the Bride was supposed to decapitate O-Ren, but it was changed because, had she been beheaded, O-Ren would have never realised that the Bride was brandishing a true Hanzo sword.

7. The O-Ren manga-style flashback animation wasn't inspired by manga

While speaking with Indian director Anurag Kashyap, Tarantino admitted that the manga sequence of O-Ren Ishii's rise to the top of Japan's criminal underworld was inspired from a Hindi-Tamil film, 2001's Alavandhan.

Tarantino explained: 'yes, I saw this Indian serial-killer film which showed violence as animated'.

According to David Carradine, the samurai sword-wielding man who kills O-Ren's father is a younger Bill.

8. Tarantino changed O-Ren's nationality because he wanted Lucy Liu

Originally, Tarantino wrote the part of O-Ren Ishii to be Japanese with the intention of casting a Japanese actress, but before casting began, he saw Lucy Liu in Shanghai Noon.

Impressed with her performance, the director immediately changed O-Ren into a Chinese-Japanese-American so that Liu would fit the part.

9. Tarantino didn't intend for the Crazy 88 sequence to be in black & white

The Japanese version of Kill Bill has the Crazy 88 fight sequence in full colour, but the Motion Picture Association of America demanded that Tarantino tone down the blood-splattered scene.

In the 1970s and '80s, American TV channels would show kung-fu movies, and to conceal the bloodshed from censors, would turn the action to black and white.

Tarantino adopted this in the Crazy 88 fight sequence - rather than, as most people think, using it as an homage to those films - he successfully used the old trick for its original purpose.

10. There are many references to Reservoir Dogs

While the Bride gets buried alive, the cowboy boots that she is wearing are the same pair that Reservoir Dogs' Mr. Blonde - played by her burier Michael Madsen - wears, and the cutthroat razor that she pulls from those boots is the same razor that Mr. Blonde uses to cut off the policeman's ear.

As well as that, Mr. Blonde's petrol canister, which he uses to douse the cop with the intentions to burn him alive, is seen in Budd's trailer.

Also, when Beatrix confronts Bill in his home, he threatens to shoot her in the kneecaps, which he "hears is the most painful place to be shot" - in Reservoir Dogs, Mr White tells Mr Orange that "the gut is the most painful place for a man to be shot other than the kneecap".

11. Pai Mei was going to have a really bad dub job (on purpose) and was going to be played by Tarantino

Originally Quentin Tarantino wanted Pai Mei to speak Cantonese, while his voice to be a bad dub job in English (a la 1970s kung-fu films), with Tarantino providing the voice himself.

After the actor who was set to play Pai Mei dropped out, Tarantino considered doing the role himself, before giving the part to Gordon Liu - who also played Crazy 88 leader Johnny Mo.

In the end, Tarantino abandoned his 'bad dub' idea and had Liu speak Cantonese with subtitles.

12. The Mexican scene was filmed in an actual brothel

In Vol. 2, the Bride ventures to Mexico to meet Esteban Vihaio, Bill's father figure, to find out the whereabouts of Bill.

Vihaio is a pimp and leader of an organised crime gang, and the scene in the brothel that the Bride meets Vihaio is an actual Mexican brothel.

The segment, which was the very last scene to be shot, featured the real-life brothel's actual prostitutes to appear as extras.

13. Daryl Hannah over-reacted her eye scene to make Tarantino laugh

In the scene where Beatrix Kiddo snatches out Elle Driver's last remaining eye, Driver goes nuts in the bathroom of Budd's trailer.

Daryl Hannah threw herself around the floor in a bid to make Quentin Tarantino laugh, and was successful and the director put the scene in the final film.

Hannah sustained injuries from breaking so many things while thrashing around on the bathroom floor.

14. All of the villains are killed by women

All of the films' bad guys are killed by a female character, including in the anime sequence.

The Bride kills Vernita Green, Buck, Gogo, the Crazy 88s, O-Ren Ishii and Bill; Elle kills Budd and Pai Mei (who may not be a villain), O-Ren Ishii kills Boss Tanaka, and Gogo Yubari kills the perverted Tokyo businessman.

15. Kill Bill is actually a failed TV show from Pulp Fiction

In Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace - Uma Thurman's character - was in a failed pilot of a TV show called Fox Force Five.

One fan theory suggests that Kill Bill is the failed pilot, as the characters match up with Bills Deadly Vipers Assassin Squad:

“There was a blonde one ... she was a leader. The Japanese fox was a kung fu master. The black girl was a demolition expert. French fox’s speciality was sex. [Mine was] knives.”

Blonde girl: Elle Driver, Japanese girl: O-Ren Ishii, Black girl: Vernita Green, French girl: Sophie Fatale and knife speciality was Beatrix Kiddo.

16. Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah hated each other so much that they had to stay separate

The two main female stars of the Kill Bill films did not get along while filming and while on the press tour for the first film, hotel and cinema staff were instructed to ensure that they were kept separate from each other.

At the Cannes Film Festival, separate areas had to be created at the film's screening after-show party so that they wouldn't clash.

17. Unsurprisingly, a whole lot of fake blood was used

Christopher Allen Nelson, who worked on the special effects, stated in an interview that over 450 gallons of fake blood was used in the two movies.

This is almost enough to fill an average-sized 4 by 5-foot hot tub, which holds 475 gallons.

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