Kill Bill Vol. 1 (VHS, 2004)

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Ed Wood for the 21st Century: Kill Bill

Apr 29, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Pretty pictures

Cons:Everything else

The Bottom Line: Pretentious mishmash of action sans story. Skip unless you're 14 years old and obsessed with women's privates and violence. Wait - that sounded better than I wanted it to!


Ed Wood for the 21st Century: Kill Bill

Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

I didn’t want to review this, I tried to restrain myself, but I just saw Equilibrium and felt the dry heaves coming on at the dearth of ideas that keep recurring like a broken record, the source of which seems to be the wunderkind of Generation X pop cinema, Quentin Tarantino.

Tarantino has made four films so far, the first of which far outdid the others in terms of story, characters, and just plain entertainment. As an aside, the best “Tarantino” by far, if you can call it that, is the story Tony Scott directed, True Romance, which Quentin sold to get the funds to make his first movie, Reservoir Dogs. After Reservoir Dogs, each Tarantino has been more bombastic, more strange, longer, and less entertaining.

The problem with Quentin is he has no real imagination. He has watched a zillion movies, mainly in the genres of crime, Hong Kong Phooey, Blaxplotation, and probably porno. His movies are a combination of these genres without obvious connections, except they are fast moving and contain heaping helpings of violence and profanity, punctuated by rock n roll soundtracks and incidental music that sounds pirated from an Ed Wood movie. To be compared to Ed Wood is not a compliment, as anyone who has seen one of his movies will attest. The viewpoint Quentin brings to the director’s chair is invariably that of a 14 year-old male obsessed by women’s private parts and gore, and, oh yes, comic books.

Of course, there is a large audience that those elements appeal to, and I could even include myself, except there is no story or plot to tie the brilliant pictures together. Probably the best comparison I can think of for the storyline would be one of those old commercials for the Veg-a-Matic “it slices! it dices! yeah!” I will give you a rundown on Equilibrium some other time, which I feel is a rip-off of the same elements, with a heaping helping of Demolition Man mixed in.

OK, here’s the story: It is a revenge movie. That’s it. The main character is known simply as “The Bride" (Uma Thurman), who is no longer welcome in my DVD player after her work here and in the atrocious sequel. Uma is shot in the head and somehow stays alive in a coma on life support. During her coma she is violated sexually by the hospital staff and paying customers. She finally wakes up and begins to take revenge on “The Deadly Viper Squad,” a secret assassination team she was once a part of. :o

The Bride, rather than becoming the super heroine that I guess Quentin was shooting for, became more the super bimbo as she sliced and diced her way through about a thousand adversaries, with yes, a Japanese samurai sword. How trite. I almost always feel like vomiting when some white bread actor starts using oriental martial arts techniques. It’s such a wanker’s dream of a hot chick beating and slicing up the opposition. Hasn’t it been done enough and does anybody really believe it‘s possible? I can tell QT has a really big thing for Emma Peel from "The Avengers," but Diana Rigg was class - Uma Thurman? Please!

In addition to Uma Thurman, Tarantino uses Sonny Chiba, whom I thought had more taste, Lucy Liu, Darryl Hannah, David Carradine, and Michael Madsen, as well as a whole host of oriental martial artists.

The Miramax DVD is presented in color, in 2.35:1 theatrical format and runs 111 minutes. A 22 minute "making of" featurette, two music videos, and some trailers are included as extras.

If you like fighting and blood and no story, this will be right up your alley, but I found it a hollow experience I won’t soon repeat. Quentin Tarantino has worn out his welcome with me.

Thanks for stopping by!


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