Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and Kung Fu’s David Carradine
Whether it’s the vengeful harpy Uma Thurman or the lean, cat-like David Carradine of Kung Fu fame, Tarantino’s films have always been bursting with wild and wonderful characters.
Kill Bill Volume 2 is no exception. In the same vein as Volume 1, it’s a heartfelt homage to cult films, B-movies and kitsch Japanese gangster flicks, stealing a few from other movies along the way.
1. Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, to Tony Tarantino, an actor, and Connie McHugh, a nurse. He is of Italian-Irish-Cherokee ancestry.
When he was young, he adored martial arts films and movies with death and humor in them. He also loved watching the old Abbott and Castello Meet Frankenstein movie.
It was in a Chinese kung fu movie that Tarantino first came across Michelle Yeoh’s screen presence. The actress is known for flipping backward and kicking ass with her full body movements.
She has proven her talent in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Tomorrow Never Dies. However, the director said that he was not interested in casting her in Kill Bill. Instead, he would have cast Uma Thurman’s daughter Maya Hawke in the role.
2. Uma Thurman
After a string of low-profile roles, Uma Thurman gained some attention with her role in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994). She won an Academy Award nomination for her performance as the villainess Poison Ivy and later appeared on Broadway.
She reunited with Tarantino for the two-part martial arts action film Kill Bill (2003/2004), portraying assassin Beatrix Kiddo, known as The Bride, out for revenge against her former team of assassins after they crash her wedding chapel and kill everyone.
Lucy Liu plays O-Ren Ishii, a former Deadly Viper who became a leader of the Japanese Yakuza and becomes one of The Bride’s first targets.
Her acting has also improved in the last few years, appearing in a mythical monster film in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) and playing a powerful Parisian woman in Bel Ami (2012). Her comedy “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” (2006) did not do so well at the box office, but her more serious films have been consistently praised for their nuanced performances.
3. David Carradine
David Carradine was a character actor who portrayed the warrior monk, Kwai Chang Caine, in the television series Kung Fu. He also reprised his role in a 1990s sequel series, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
Born on December 8, 1936, in California, USA, he was the oldest child of John Arthur Carradine and Ardanelle Abigail. His parents separated when he was seven years old, and he attended various boarding schools and foster homes.
He had a turbulent childhood. He was frequently abused by his mother and his father. He attempted suicide when he was five.
He grew up to be a highly successful actor, appearing in more than 100 films and being nominated for four Golden Globe Awards. He was also a musician and a director. He was also a father to four children. He died of autoerotic asphyxia in 2009 and was found dead at his hotel in Thailand.
4. Lucy Liu
Born in New York to Chinese immigrants, Lucy Liu is a highly successful actress who has become an icon in Hollywood. She has made a name for herself through her role in Charlie’s Angels and Chicago, and has also found success on television.
She has a number of starring roles on her credit list, including Payback (1999), and Southland (2012-2014). She currently co-stars in the TV series Elementary as Joan Watson, which is based on the Sherlock Holmes tales.
She is a UNICEF Ambassador and has traveled to Peru, Russia, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, and Lesotho to show children firsthand how clean water can help them survive. She has a passion for visual art and has incorporated painting and drawing into her work. She graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City, and studied at NYU and the University of Michigan.
5. Chiaki Kuriyama
Chiaki Kuriyama first achieved widespread recognition as an actress in Japan for her starring roles in the horror films Shikoku (1999) and Ju-on (2000). Following feature appearances on several notable Japanese television programs, she made her Hollywood debut as Gogo Yubari in director Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 film Kill Bill.
She is also known for her role as Takako Chigusa in Kinji Fukasaku’s 2000 action movie Battle Royale. It was this film that made her famous and introduced her to the Western audience.
After the success of her debut film, Chiaki travelled to the United States for training and to attend the Los Angeles premiere and New York opening of Kill Bill. During her time in the US, she wore a yellow track-suit similar to Uma Thurman’s in Kill Bill.
Chiaki Kuriyama is an extremely talented actress who has starred in many of the greatest films of all time. She has been praised by both her fans and the filmmakers alike.
6. Daryl Hannah
After waking up from a coma five years later, Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) is furious that she has been ignored by Bill (David Carradine). Her revenge mission is to kill her former co-assassins Lucy Liu, Vivica A Fox, Michael Madsen and Daryl Hannah.
It’s a bit of a ‘paying homage to’ here: Tarantino draws on his love for old gangster movies, including the kitsch Japanese fu flicks of Seijun Suzuki and cult TV shows like The Green Hornet.
In a sequence that evokes the ‘Johnny Mo’, ‘Drunken Monkey’ and ‘Five Point Palm Exploding Heart’ prowess of early fu films, Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) sics a black mamba on her former partner Budd and reads him important facts about it as he lies paralyzed. She also taunts him with the fact that she was taught by Pai to poison his favourite food in retribution for plucking out her eye after she called him a’misery old fool’.
8. Kim Basinger
The former model turned Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger looked stunning at the NYC world premiere of Grudge Match (also the Tribeca Film Institute’s Annual Benefit). She wore a navy, three-piece pinstripe suit by Ralph Lauren Collection, and swept her long locks back in a tight low ponytail.
Born in Athens, Georgia, Basinger began her career as a fashion model at the age of 16. She appeared on dozens of magazine covers and worked for several ad agencies before moving to Los Angeles in 1976. Her first acting role was as the lust object in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again (1983), but it was her performance as Vicki Vale, a photojournalist, in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), which helped her become an internationally known star. She was also a co-star in the film noir classic L.A. Confidential (1997), which earned her the Academy Award for best supporting actress.
9. Sonny Chiba
Sonny Chiba was a Japanese actor and martial arts buff who dazzled audiences in more than 100 films, including Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. He was also one of the first Japanese actors to become a household name in the West, starring in a slew of action movies that were a lot of fun to watch.
Sonny Chiba’s illustrious career began in the 1960s when he was spotted by the Toei film studio and soon began racking up credits in samurai and martial arts flicks. He became a popular international star thanks to the kung fu movie boom that was started by Chinese legend Bruce Lee and his fellow countrymen.
10. Chiaki Kuriyama
Chiaki Kuriyama is a Japanese actress who has starred in a number of films in Japan and the United States. She made her feature debut in the 1999 horror film Shikoku and appeared in Battle Royale, which earned her the lead role as Takako Chigusa.
She also acted in Rokubanme no Sayoko and a TV series called Toire no Hanako-san before making her Hollywood debut in Kill Bill Cat. Her character Go Go Yubari is based on Takako Chigusa in Battle Royale, and she is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite go-go dancers.
In addition to her roles in films, Kuriyama is also a singer and model. She is a size 0 in the American standard for women’s clothing.