Classic Rewatch

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Uma Thurman has unfinished business to take care of in Tarantino’s fourth film. 

Here comes the bride! In today’s Lockdown Rewatch Uma Thurman, who turns 50 today, is on a journey of revenge… And when she reaches her destination she is gonna Kill Bill! Volume 1 of the 2003 Tarantino love-letter to 1970’s grindhouse cinema has extraordinary stunts (who can forget The Bride taking on the Crazy 88 in the House of Blue Leaves) and dialogue as sharp as a Hattori Hanzo blade. The stylish flick also features a memorable anime sequence, buckets of gore (and we mean buckets), amazing music, and Thurman in a killer Bruce Lee inspired yellow jumpsuit. What more could you want?

But did you know…

1) Tarantino and Thurman started developing Kill Bill during the production of Pulp Fiction; in between takes they would talk through character descriptions and plot points. Thurman came up with the very first appearance of the Bride; battered and bruised in a wedding dress. Roughly a decade after finishing Pulp Fiction, and a slight delay due to Thurman’s pregnancy and several script reworkings, Tarantino finally started production on Kill Bill in 2002. 

2) The Kill Bill saga is split into two parts but it was all filmed in one go. Production on both volumes combined took 155 days on a comparatively small $55 million budget. And while both parts tell the story out of chronological order, and – in true Tarantino fashion – skip around in their time frame, they were actually primarily shot in order. “We trained a bit here, two months here, and then went to Beijing and then shot four months in Beijing,” said Thurman. “All of the Asian section was primarily in the first movie, and the majority of the second movie was all shot after, here [in America]. And then we finished the movie in Mexico.” 

3) Tarantino tried to avoid digital effects and CGI at all cost, staying true to the 1970s Chinese cinema that inspired the look and feel of Kill Bill, “That shit looks good, but it looks like a computer did it,” he commented, “I’d rather have it look good and look like a cool ’70s thing.” One of the practical effects used is filling condoms with fake blood and popping them during key moments.

The clip is from the short documentary The Making Of Kill Bill.