Kill Bill: Volume 1
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

     Although Kill Bill is a very entertaining movie, I want to emphasize up front that many of you, perhaps most of you, will not want to see it. The trailers for this movie do not give the slightest hint of the oceans of blood that are Kill Bill. This is, by far, the goriest movie I have ever seen, perhaps the goriest movie ever made. It easily eclipses Starship Troopers as the bloodiest movie I have seen and the gore is just about as cartoony.  Think of Highlander done in the style of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail ("I've had worse") and then imagine 2 hours of fountains of blood and you'll get an idea of what Kill Bill is like. And there are some more troubling aspects.  A pregnant woman is shot in the head. A mother is killed in front of her 4 year old child.  An eleven year old girl kills the man who killed her parents. A seventeen year old girl is a killer sociopath. I won't go on. Quentin Tarantino is a sick puppy. Kill Bill makes Pulp Fiction look like Bambi.
     If I haven't scared you away yet, Kill Bill: Volume 1 is the first half of the story of a woman (Uma Thurman) who is taking revenge on her former co-workers, The Deadly Viper Assassination Gang (Lucy Liu, Vivica Fox, Darryl Hannah, Michael Madsen and David Carradine a.k.a. Bill).  For reasons not explained in Volume 1, the Deadly Vipers attempt to kill Thurman, who lies in a coma for  4 years, only to awake and begin to wreak vengeance.  That's about all you need to know except that the Vipers have an affinity for Samurai swords and fight a la Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Kill Bill is like the inside of Tarantino's film obsessed mind.  It is a mishmash of styles from 70's American TV to Japanese Anime. There are two humorous references to Star Trek and Tarantino uses the theme from Ironside whenever Thurman spies someone she wants to kill. 
     A lot of this is very entertaining but I had my eyes closed for significant portions of the movie as severed heads, arms, legs and other body parts flew around the screen.  The cast is great, particularly Thurman.  Tarantino delayed the film by a year while Thurman was having a baby so that she could do the part.  She is literally spattered in blood for about 95% of the movie but still manages to look good.  Lucy Liu is also good but is reprising her usual character, e.g. Ling from Ally McBeal. Darryl Hannah chews the scenery quite well as a stone killer with an eye patch. Madsen and Carradine are being saved for Kill Bill: Volume 2.
     Kill Bill has to be taken as a comedy and the gore does seem to have been produced by the Monty Python special effects crew. Maybe the funniest bit is seeing Thurman on an airplane with her Samurai Sword as a carry-on.  I don't really know what to say about Kill Bill.  It is the weirdest movie ever.  But then, this is Tarantino's brain. Think about that commercial about drugs. This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.  Tarantino's brain is some weird omelet.  Kill Bill: Volume 1 is compelling but really, really gross. And there's still Kill Bill: Volume 2 to come!