Kill Bill: Volume 1 – Review

dvd-killbill1200Kill Bill: Volume 1

with Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah
Directed and written by Quentin Tarantino
by Chad Van Wagner

Damn the intelligencia: There’s still that ludicrous dividing line between “high” art and “low” art. When the hipster contingent claimed director Quentin Tarantino as their own when Reservoir Dogs hit, there was a new appraisal of “lowbrow” film, which the film geek circles buzzed on like a million slumming bees.

With Kill Bill: Volume 1 (Volume 2 should be on DVD by the time you read this), Tarantino made ’em put their money where their mouth was. No clever dialogue, no wink-at-the-camera, no film student safety net. KB is basically two-plus hours of old school graphic mayhem, and a lot of former supporters blanched. Y’know what? Screw ’em. If there was a better time at the movies in 2003 than Kill Bill: Volume 1, I missed it.

Granted, the film is not for everyone. The legendary Tarantino violence registers a few notches higher on the blood and guts scale, and more than a few notches lower on the irony scale, so people who snickered at the over-the-top gunplay of, say, Pulp Fiction, had a bit more to deal with this time around.

Once the viewer gets used to that, they can simply sit back and plug this garishly Technicolor, borderline surreal melodrama directly into their brain’s pleasure centers and go to town. Uma Thurman, in case you hadn’t heard, plays a professional killer prevented from turning straight by her former employers. They try to wipe her out, but only succeed in pissing her off. There’s more to the story than that, but it’s apparently all in Volume 2, so you don’t need to worry about the details this time around.

Like any good cartoon-like action film, description is impossible. Suffice to say, if you have a strong tolerance for severed limbs and arterial spray, you need to see this. Oddly, this modern day samurai tale reminded me most of Evil Dead II in its depiction of impossible grievous bodily harm, and KB is every bit as sick/fun. An absolute blast.