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03rd Jun 2018

One of Quentin Tarantino’s most underrated movies is on TV tonight

Wil Jones

Kill Bill Vol 2 deserves another look

Kill Bill Vol 1 is one of Quentin Tarantino’s most iconic movies. Apart from maybe Pulp Fiction, none of his films have as many moments that have bled into pop culture so much. Uma Turman’s yellow tracksuit. The samurai sword. The use of The’ “Woo Hoo”, and Tomoyasu Hotei’s “Battle Without Honor or Humanity”. Part one of QT’s two-volume revenge fable is his most purely-enjoyable and entertaining movie, delivering a visceral adrenaline cocktail of Japanese and America cult cinema in one easy to swallow 110 minute shot.

Kill Bill Vol 2 on the other hand, which airs on 5STAR at 10pm tonight, is a bit slower and more talky, and doesn’t get as much love. And it’s time we give it another look.

Kill Bill was originally intended to just be a single film, but there was so much material in it, and Tarantino was such a big name, that instead of cutting stuff it was decided to release it as two movies. In all honesty, it would probably play better as a single feature, but the whole point is just Tarantino riffing on all his favourite exploitation genres, so it’s no harm to have a few more chapters in there just for the hell of it. Honestly, I don’t know which bits you’d cut.

Splitting the movie meant that the bulk of the plot exposition was left in the second half, making Vol 2 a lot slower, and less immediately fun than Vol 2. But there’s still a lot to enjoy. In particular, the second and third ‘chapters’ of the movie are brilliant. In “The Lonely Grave of Paula Schulz”, Thurman is memorably – and terrifyingly – buried alive, and then in “ELLE and I”, we flashback to The Bride’s training, including an incredible riff on classic Shaw Bros. kung fu films.

And of course there’s another brilliant soundtrack, including tracks from Johnny Cash, Ennio Moriconne and Meiko Kaji.

Earlier this year, Uma Thurman gave a powerful interview where, as well as joining the many sexual assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein, she opened up about how she was involved in a potentially live-threatening car crash on the set of Kill Bill. She said she felt pressured into driving the unsafe car by Tarantino, and it soured their relationship for many years. It does make us view the film in a less savoury light, but it would wrong not to at least mention in discussing the film.

Kill Bill Vol 2  is on 5STAR at 10pm tonight.