Kill Bill

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By Mark Ramsey | 2003/10/10

Freudian psychology teaches us that hot babes and long knives signify the male fear of castration and impotence.

Do I know how to throw cold water on a good time, or what?

Critics are calling Kill Bill one of the most violent movies ever made. Yeah, Kill Bill’s violent! After all, it’s called Kill Bill, gang, not Slap Bill Upside the Head or Noogie Bill or Buy Bill a Nice Time-Share in Miami.

Yes, the body count rivals allied losses in WWII, and what of it? There are too many actors out there, anyway. As a group they could stand some thinning, and I say let’s begin with the twins.

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Wow, that Japanese language is so funny! And it’s not what they say, it’s the uniform gusto they say it with. Everything sounds urgent! A Japanese guy could be asking if you want some tea or hysterically warning you that Mothra was about to crawl up your ass, and you wouldn’t know the difference.

Tea? Or ass? Tea? Or ass?

Uma Thurman is an assassin and a would-be bride, left at the altar for dead, who awakens from a coma after four long years to seek revenge on the jokers who done her wrong. It’s not long before marital arts yield to martial arts.

If it moves, it’s hacked, severed, sliced, trimmed, snipped, slashed and filleted. I don’t know how Uma’s blade does it, but no kitchen should be without one – even Jessica Simpson’s, where Jessica will no doubt stare at it in a display case on the wall as she puzzles out how there can be a “K” in “Knife” if you don’t even pronounce it.

Think of Uma as a Benihana chef and the cast as a table of steak, chicken, shrimp, and scallops. What happens next is violent, dazzling, shared with strangers sitting too close to you, and oh so very tasty.

Uma and her foes were once on the same side. They were the “Deadly Viper Assassination Squad,” or D.I.V.A.S. In a fit of me-too inspiration, the powers-that-be over at the Playboy mansion formed their own death squad: “Women Hefner Owns Rarely Enjoy Security,” or W.H.O.R.E.S. Says Playboy spokesperson Daisy McDukes, “Whether you’re slicing heads with a sword or slicing buns with a thong, it’s all about empowerment!”

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Speaking of Playboy, Kill Bill co-star Daryl Hannah, nowadays the spitting image of Jennifer Coolidge, is determined to resurrect her prime despite the fact that her prime has been napping on a La-Z-Boy during Regis & Kelly for some years now. Daryl has become the latest Playboy stunt nude. According to CNN, once her images were published Adobe Photoshop was hospitalized for exhaustion. Thanks to soft focus the sharpest thing in the picture is through the window: The United logo on the jet landing at LAX 25 miles away. “I wonder if they had a meal on that flight,” you’re thinking as you spy Daryl’s picture.

But about the movie….

You’ll howl with laughter when blood sprays from wounds like two half gallons of Breyers from the mouths of the Hilton sisters. Who knew a neck could spray like a fire hydrant? Bad taste, I worship at thy gnarly feet.

Speaking of which, the most horrifying thing in this movie isn’t the gore, it’s the excruciatingly extended close-up of Uma’s toes as she tries to wiggle them free of paralysis. I don’t look at my own toes this hard! This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy was having a bad hair day, this little piggy seems to be raising a foul family, this little piggy needs a manicure or perhaps a certified contractor, this little piggy is the Elephant Piggy, and so it goes.

There’s a How to Stuff a Wild Bikini-esque retro band, the “5,6,7,8′s.” There are nameless and faceless assassins in Kato masks dispatched with so much ease, you wonder what home video trained them. There are, in short, elements drawn from decades of cheesy cinema history and served up in a sampler platter that’s fresh as a newborn babe – or in Uma’s case a new re-born babe.

Michael Madsen makes a brief appearance, evidently saving his energies and the other three-quarters of his one disgruntled expression for Kill Bill Volume II. It takes a real talent to exhibit rapture, revulsion, rage, and repose with the same hangdog stare. Is this method acting or is the meth acting? I sure don’t know.

Once again, director Quentin Tarantino raids the cedar closet, brushes off a few mothballs, and peels another 70′s-era icon off a hanger. This time, it’s former Kung Fu star David Carradine. Warren Beatty was originally slated for Carradine’s role, but thanks to Warren’s estimable flair for sensing wrong which way the whimsical winds of popular appeal blow, it’s Carradine’s gig now.

What I’d give to see Uma stick it to Warren! That would be the ultimate feminist revenge!

Quentin’s gift for sparkling, witty dialogue is on full display in Kill Bill – when there’s any dialogue at all. No plot, no character, and you can’t take your eyes off of it. But if the sheer joy of gross cinematic excess turns your crank – and I do mean gross – then crank on over to Kill Bill.

Without a doubt, this is the best extraordinarily superficial film I’ve ever seen. It’s a shallow masterpiece, sure, but I’ll take my masterpieces any way I can.

Kill Bill is a Spaghetti Eastern. It’s the real Samurai Noon. It’s Itchy and Scratchy with subtitles and sexy legs. It’s ribald fun, a hilarious, furious frenzy of nerd filmmaking at its most obsessive and joyous.

Bring on the decapitations, Quentin. I’ll bring the popcorn.


Photos Copyright ©2003 Miramax Pictures

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