The first time I saw Kill Bill Vol 1 was the opening day back in October 2003. I had read the script a year prior, so I knew alot about what was going to happen. What I didnt know was how the film would hit me when I actually sat down and watched it come alive. From the opening Fulci-esque shot of The Bride’s bloody beaten up face shivering in fear I knew I would love it.
Each chapter brought us into different Grindhouse realms which I thought was a brilliant concept by QT. We went from Blaxploitation to Giallo to Pop Samurai Films mixed with a whole different cinematic themed layer featured on the soundtrack. QT mixed samurais with spaghetti westerns, blaxploitation with kung fu, British horror with giallo cinema and all kinds of other pleasantly satisfying twists.
NOTE TO NEW VIEWERS: The House of Blue Leaves battle must be seen in color to be fully appreciated. The black and white just doesnt do it justice at all. Thats one thing I really didnt like when I saw the film. It just dulls things down so much. Definitely get the Japanese cut of Volume 1 if you can.
When I saw Volume 2, several months later, I was just thrilled by it. I think I may even like Volume 2 more than Volume 1. It gave us more time to spend with the characters and was more emotional for me personally. I think The Bride Vs Elle in Budds trailer is one of QTs best directed sequences so far. Its so fast, brutal and FUNNY. Its like everything QTs movies are about distilled into one big fight. I also think The Brides first introduction is one of his best filmed sequences as well. Its like he was channeling DePalma for that, but he did it in his own way. With the giallo music from Next! Its one of my favorite sequences in any of QTS films.
With Kill Bill, QT jumped off the bridge of his safer, earlier dialogue driven works and took the plunge into all out visual/action storytelling like his onscreen film mentors: Leone, DePalma, Chang Cheh, Lau Kar Leung, Kinji Fukasaku, Fulci, Scorsese, DiLeo and on and on. What we got was an exciting, darkly funny, throroughly entertaining bloody lovefest on film.
I’m really looking forward to his next Grindhouse film Death Proof and of course his next epic film, the WW2 Men on A Mission/Spaghetti Western inspired Inglorious Bastards!