Quentin Tarantino’s homage to Japanese martial-arts-movies consists of the parts. The revenge epic originally was one film but due to the enormous length it was split into Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2.
The Plot (Kill Bill Vol. 1):
The film revolves around a young woman who once was a member of the assassin squad deadly viper. When
she pregnant she decided to start a new life. But as she is about to get married her former colleagues show up and turn the wedding into a massacre. The young woman, called the bride, swears revenge.
The movie opens with a black/white scene. The bride who is already advanced in pregnancy lies in church with blood smeared all over her face. A man, Bill, walks up to her and raises his gun to shoot her in the head. Just before he pulls the trigger the woman whispers: “Bill, it’s your baby.” He shoots.
Chapter I: 2
The bride is in a typical suburb. She’s there to visit Vernita Green alias Copperhead. The bride enters the house and the two women begin to fight. Copperhead dies as the bride stabs her with a knife. When she is about to leave Vernitas little daughter walks in. The bride tells her that she didn’t want her to see all this but when she’s grown up and still hasn’t finished with this she can take revenge.
Chapter II: The blood splattered bride
Two policemen enter the church from the prologue and talk about the massacre. On closer examination of the bride they realise that she survived.
Elle Driver alias California Mountain Snake is on her way to the bride who has been in a coma for 4 years and 6 months. She has the mission to kill her with a toxin injection. But right before she can carry out her task Bill calls and tells her that he decided this way of dying isn’t worthy of the bride.
A little later the bride awakens from coma. She overpowers the caretaker who wanted to abuse her and steals his car keys. As she isn’t able to move her legs she searches the underground garage in a wheelchair. She finds the car, crawls in and tries to recapture the feeling in her legs.
Chapter III: The Origin of O-Ren
The next one on the bride’s death list is O-Ren Ishii. In this chapter her story is told in the form of an anime. After she lost her parents through Yakuza-boss Matsumoto when she was nine years old and took revenge with eleven, O-Ren advanced to one of the best killers in the world.
Chapter IV: The Man from Okinawa
After 13 hours the bride manages to move her legs. Now she’s on her way to Okinawa to get a sword from Hattori Hanzo. At first he refuses as she swore an oath not to produce any killing weapons a long time ago. But when she explains what she needs it for he finally agrees.
Afterwards the bride explains the viewer how Bill helped O-Ren to become the boss of the Japanese underworld.
Chapter V: Showdown at the House of Blue Leaves
O-Ren and her killer troop, the Crazy 88, are at a restaurant celebrating. The bride wants to kill O-Ren but first has to face her folks. She wins against all of them and so it comes to a showdown with O-Ren. The two fight a duel with Katana-swords and the bride finally beats O-Ren. Then she takes Sophie Fatale one to the hospital as she wants her to tell Bill what happened.
Prologue (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
The second is also opened with a black/white sequence. The bride drives in a cabriolet and explains in a monologue that her revenge is almost terminated and she’s about to attend to Bill soon.
Chapter VI: The massacre of Two Pines
In a flashback you find out what happened right before the massacre. It turns out that it wasn’t the actual wedding but only the rehearsal. The bride walks out to have some fresh air and runs into Bill. They have a brief chat and Bill enters the church with her. Meanwhile his killer squad assembles outside.
Chapter VII: The lonely grave of Paula Schultz
Bill warns his brother Budd about the bride. When she shows up a little later he is prepared and overpowers
her. After he injected a sedative she puts her in a coffin and buries the bride alive. The name on the gravestone is “Paula Schultz”. Then he calls Elle Driver to offer her the brides Katana sword for one million dollars.
Chapter VIII: The cruel tutelage of Pai Mei
Laying in the coffin the bride remembers her training with Pai Mei a very strict master who is known for ripping out the eyes of students who don’t obey.
After the bride calmed down she breaks the coffin with a precise punch on short distance, a technique she learned from Pai Mei. She digs herself free and heads for Budd.
Chapter IX: Elle and I
When the bride finally comes to Budd’s trailer Elle also just arrives. She hands Budd a suitcase with 1 million dollars. But when he opens it Budd is attacked by a Black Mamba that Elle hid in there. Budd dies.
As Elle is about the leave the trailer the bride attacks her. They fight and during a short break the bride asks Elle who also was trained by Pai Mei why he ripped out her eye. She tells her and furthermore explains how she took revenge and poisoned him. The bride gets even angrier and rips out her second eye. Then she leaves Elle alone in the trailer with the snake.
Chapter X: Face to Face
The search for Bill leads the bride to Mexico. She enters his house heavily armed and finds Bill together with their daughter. After the kid went to bed they have a talk. To force the bride to answer all questions honestly
he injects a truth serum. He wants to know why she left him.
Another flashback shows the bride on a mission. As she felt sick at morning she makes a pregnancy quick test in her hotel room. In the meantime her victim found out about the planned assault and hired a killer to get rid of the bride. When she is attacked she manages to convince her opponent of the pregnancy and her fear for the child and thus survives.
During their talk Bill and the bride start to fight what she ends with Bill dying because of the “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique”. She gets her sleeping daughter and drives off.
- Uma Thurman: Beatrix Kiddo
- David Carradine: Bill
- Michael Madsen: Budd
- Daryl Hannah: Elle Driver
- Lucy Liu: O-Ren Ishii
- Vivica A. Fox: Vernita Green
- Sonny Chiba: Hattori Hanzo
- Julie Dreyfus: Sofie Fatale
- The name of the protagonist is never mentioned. When she is addressed with her real nameyouhear a beep.
- One more time we see that Quentin Tarantino is a man for details. Elle Drivers code name is California Mountain Snake. Among all the code names this is the only snake that is not venomous. Elle was to poison the bride but isn’t able to do so.
- Contrary to most other action movies that are currently shot Kill Bill contains hardly any CGI scenes.
- The ranger, Earl McGraw, how examines the massacre in the church already appeared in the Tarantino universe: He played in From Dusk Till Dawn and in Planet Terror.
- The yellow suite the bride wears is the same one Bruce Lee wore in Game of Death.
- When the bride travels to Japan, Japanese is spoken there. All these scenes have English subtitles.
- In the Japanese version of the movie the scene where the bride fights the Crazy 88 is in colour. In the regular version it is in black/white.
- The “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique” doesn’t really exist. Although the idea is based on several martial arts where certain hits on acupressure points can cause the failure of a certain organ and therefore lead to unconsciousness or death.