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Revenge is a dish best served in blood
By Ksenia E., Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB

Kill Bill (vol. 1)
Quentin Tarantino
Miramax (2003)

With such breakthrough and surprisingly successful films as "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs" to live up to, director Quentin Tarantino could not let his fans down with his long anticipated new movie, "Kill Bill" (vol. 1). His effort was not in vain and the movie delivered and in blood.

Revenge is all that is on the mind of former DIVAS, Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, member Black Mamba, played by Uma Thurman, after almost getting killed in her wedding rehersal. Four years after being shot and left for dead, she wakes up on a hospital bed, her legs paralyzed. Her goal, no matter what the cost, even death, is to kill all the people who were involved in attempting to kill her. She makes a check off list with the last person being Bill, the head of the assassination squad and her past fiancÚ.

The fight scenes were spectacular. Tarantino takes a bold step into unfamiliar ground with this film and dives into the world of martial arts, spaghetti westerns, and even Japanese animation. All of these styles are very foreign to him, yet he succeeded in creating a brilliant movie with a creative and almost abstract blend of the genres.

Even though this is an action film and has several different elements than his past films, you can see his style emerging in and between fight scenes. The cinematography was thoroughly thought out and well executed. Every scene was chosen to be where it was for a specific reason. For example a fight took place on a pure white snow covered ground to contrast with the blood and emphasize the slow weariness of the fighters. The dialogue was clever and interesting and somewhat out of order scenes were again used.

The characters and the actor's portrayals of them were excellent. Uma Thurman's calm determination was well played, along with Lucy Lui's (character Cottonmouth) deadly and strong leader role. Cottonmouth witnessed her parent's murder when she was seven and has since then vowed revenge. This scene was shown in anime, and the sudden change in genres made the scene's importance stand out. Go-Go Yubari, Cottonmouth's best and most insane bodyguard, was truly a frightening, yet fascinating, character. Her interesting choice of weapon, a mace on a long chain, stood out against the samurai swords and made her seem to be even more dangerous. Although Black Mamba used a samurai sword like most of the other characters, hers was made especially for this last mission of hers and was much stronger and deadlier than the other fighters.

The music was well fit for each scene, but the music that made the most impact, yet was the simplest, was the siren-like wailing that came about every time Black Mamba had a flash back of one of the people who tried to kill her. Her eyes would turn red and the music/sound would repeat a few times. Such an interesting choice of music is not seen very often was quite effective.

If you have seen any of Tarantino's past films you will know that he is not afraid to use blood. If you were in the least bit unsure of this fact, you will have no question of it after you have seen this movie. There was blood, blood and more blood spraying from everyone's decapitated limbs or heads. Although it is quite unrealistic how forcefully it sprayed out and in such great amounts, Tarantino was quite aware of the excessiveness and used the blood more as an art form. Such a thing seems ridiculous, but it is quite unique. Most people use blood either as a gross out factor, or only when necessary and just enough to show that the character is in fact bleeding. If there was a rule of the limit of blood allowed to be used in a film, the director surely threw the rules out the window. If you can't stomach blood, I suggest you see another movie. If you can, see this cinematic thrill ride.



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