Ten years ago this week we got the second installment of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga. While the original vision was one four-hour epic, Tarantino broke the 220-page script into two separate movies after pressure from the studio — as well as his own realization that four hours is a little lengthy for a revenge flick.
Whether or not we ever get the rumored third installment of the film is something we’ll just have to wait for. (Though I do think it’d be a fun project for Tarantino now that his Hateful Eight script has been spoiled.) In the meantime, there’s some juicy trivia to soak up from the first two kung fu bloodbaths.
1. The Bride really knows how to time her battles. In Vol. 1, when O-Ren threatens the Bride with “I hope you saved your energy. If you haven’t you may not last five minutes,” the Bride takes exactly 4 minutes and 59 seconds from the music cue to slice O-Ren’s scalp off.
2. The character Pai Mei is based on Bak Mei, an actual kung fu master. Bak Mei is known for developing the “white eyebrow” kung fu technique and is known in Chinese folklore as a rather villainous character for having sold out other kung fu masters to save himself during an attack on Buddhist temples. Eventually, Bak Mei was murdered with some believing him to have been poisoned just as Elle Driver poisoned Pai Mei.
3. Talk about doing Kill Bill started during Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarantino came up with the idea of doing Kill Bill while talking with Uma Thurman on the set of Pulp Fiction. The two were discussing the types of movies they liked and he expressed his interest in ’70s kung fu movies. They then started hashing out what would become the opening scene of the beaten Bride in her wedding gown.
4. Bill offers up a nod to the Wu Tang Clan in Vol. 2. After injecting the Bride with a truth serum, Bill interrogates her and refers to her as “a natural born killer” and “renegade killer bee.” Both of these are of course references to projects from the Wu Tang Clan and RZA, who wrote original music for both films.
5. Not that many f*cks to give. Vol. 1 was Tarantino’s first movie to feature less than 100 uses of the word f*ck, only clocking in 17 uses.