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Fridge / Kill Bill

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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Fridge Brilliance

  • The fact that the sequel intentionally turns the first movie on its head, enriching the first volume. Vol. 1 is a typically glorified Hollywood approach to violence, with over the top battles against legions of opponents and typically clean "boss" fights. Vol. 2 twists this around completely, rarely giving the Bride a straight stand-up fight, making the battles short and brutal, nearly killing the protagonist in a completely unceremonious manner, and making her final revenge bittersweet. Note in Vol. 1, the Bride kills scores of people including the Crazy 88's. In Vol. 2, only 1 person dies by her hand.
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  • The comical revelation of the Bride's real name (Beatrix Kiddo) is be entertaining enough, but its relevance to the plot isn't as immediately obvious. Throughout the films, Bill has always referred to the Bride as "Kiddo". Throughout the first movie, the entire audience no doubt assumed that it was merely an affectionate nickname. Instead he was addressing her formally, like a ranking officer speaking to a subordinate. Likewise, the silly "Trix are for kids" line between O-Ren and the Bride is a reference to her real name. Since they said it simultaneously, it was probably a running gag between them. This (and the fact that the Bride gives us a full origin story for O-Ren, something she does for no other character) suggests that they were once quite close. She also seems to have once gotten along well with Vernita Green, considering their mostly amicable conversation. The Bride's kill list is arranged not just for pragmatism, but sentimentality too, since she's killing those she was once on the best terms with first and then killing Bill, whom she has the most reason to hate, last.
  • Throughout both volumes of Kill Bill, every duel the Bride has with one of her major targets serves as a metaphor for her relationship with them prior to the wedding/rehearsal massacre. O-Ren's battle is the most honorable, as the two had been close friends. Green's battle is "friendly", but on a more superficial level (accounting for the attempted cheap shot at the end). The battle with Budd is indifferent (to wit, she never actually speaks a single word to him). Elle's battle is the polar opposite of O-Ren's: no honor, no respect, and no holds barred. Finally, the Bride's battle with Bill ends just like their relationship: premature, somewhat anti-climatic, and with Bill's heart broken.
    • Also worth noting that that the Bride and Bill are the only two characters who choose to kill in single combat. The Bride (who describes herself as "better than Annie Oakley") has a chance to gun down each of her targets from a distance, but never uses a gun except with Bill, who knew she was coming. She attacks each of them in person and fights to the death. By contrast, each of them tries to kill her by any means available (hidden guns, bodyguards, ambush, while she's in a coma). Bill has at least one chance to shoot her, but instead fights her to the death. Interesting, because they are all explicitly assassins, but the two of them have enough of the warrior ethos to want to kill in combat, at least when it's personal.
  • O-Ren's little speech to the Yakuza seems a little odd at first. She's in a room with almost-exclusively Japanese speaking people, yet she starts by saying, "This is important, so I'm going to say it in English." There's two bits of Fridge Brilliance here: First, she's saying it in English not so they understand it, but to show dominance over them—O-Ren is speaking to a bunch of powerful, old school Japanese xenophobes for being a 'half-breed'— addressing them in a foreign tongue. Does it get much more disrespectful? Second, she's not just talking to the Yakuza bosses. She's talking to us. This is her Establishing Character Moment. She wants to make sure we're listening and watching her instead of the subtitles.
    • Not just that. For most people, English is the official business language. She was basically telling them this was Serious Business.
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    • Additionally, cursing in Japanese is fairly different from in English. You essentially call someone a bastard using an informal "you". O-ren may have chosen English to also allow herself the chance to tell everyone exactly what the fuck was up.
  • At the chapel, the Bride and her fiance, when asked, say they don't have a favorite song. It's odd that a record store owner and his fiance (who also works at the store) don't have a favorite song. But this ties in to Bill's Clark Kent/Superman speech in the end—the Bride could pretend to be a record store employee, but in her heart she'd still be an assassin.
  • Bill's speech about why he believes Superman retains a secret identity is, of course, the exact opposite of what is traditionally believed: Bill claims that Superman's alter ego is an expression of his contempt for humanity's weakness and mediocrity. But of course Bill thinks this way: Bill is basically a Supervillain. An underworld mastermind leading a cadre of professional killers, who wiped out the entire wedding party of his former lover and dismissed it as an "overreaction." He has very little empathy for anyone, even his brother. His understanding of Superman sounds a lot like Lex Luthor's.
  • The prevalence of doubled letters in DVAS. Bill, Budd, Elle, Kiddo, Ishii, Green? (and of course, B.B., the double-luck of 88, etc.) The known civilian aliases also had double letters — Jeannie Bell and Arlene Machiavelli. But the Bride's married name, Arlene Plympton, does not.
    • Vernita's fake name, Jeannie Bell, has another significance. Jeannie Bell was the name of an actress in the seventies who specialized in Black action movies and knew kung fu. Kill Bill contains many, many nods to both martial arts and Black action genres.
    • As well as Vernita's daughter, Nikkia.
    • Adding to that, O-Ren's bodyguard, Gogo Yubari, doesn't have any repeated letters... from the Western alphabet. Her name has two repeated syllables from the Japanese hiragana alphabet, however - ごご. Hattori Hanzo's name counts in both instances - two T's in English and two は's in the Japanese. Johnny Mo, another member of the Crazy 88, has two N's in his name. The Bride's attempted fiance, Tommy, has two M's. The owner of the bar where Budd works is Larry — two R's. The only people who don't fit the naming scheme are Pai Mei, Sofie Fatale, the McGraw policemen, Charlie Brown, Esteban and, well, Buck — though Buck owns the Pussy Wagon. Two S's. Something could be said for the double-letter characters having bad sides, perhaps, but that might be looking too far into it.
  • B.B.'s name. One might not think much of it at first, but her father is Bill and her mother is Beatrix.
    • Bonus: If Bill's full name is Bill Gunn, and assuming she kept his name, then that makes B.B.'s full name...
  • When they were showing the full series of events, the preacher claims "Rufus is the man." When the Bride asks Bill how he found her, he said, "I'm the man." Bill just proved he's been hanging around from the beginning!
  • At the wedding rehearsal, Bill insists that he pay for everything. In the end, he does indeed pay for everything he's done.
  • Some tacky fridge brilliance for the opening: the reason the Bride's not catheterized when she wakes up is that Buck removed it in preparation for her rape.
  • At the meeting with the Yakuza leaders, O-Ren wears a black kimono similar to (if not) kurotomesode. In Japan, this kimono is the most formal attire worn by married women. Being a garment meant for married women, it has short sleeves. O-Ren's black kimono has long sleeves, which are worn by unmarried women. In a subtle way, O-Ren breaks traditional Japanese clothing conventions to show that she doesn't need to be married to have power.
    • Sofie Fatale also breaks convention (perhaps) for a similar purpose by wearing a male cheongsam. And since she has worn Chinese clothing on more than one occasion, it's possible that through this she's showing support for her part Chinese friend O-Ren.
  • The opening song of the first volume is "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" as sung by Nancy Sinatra. In the first volume, we see The Bride shot in the head by former lover Bill. And in the second volume, The Bride is "shot down" by her baby, who also shouts, "Bang Bang!"
  • So... why does Budd bury The Bride alive instead of killing her on the spot? Hate? To make her suffer? No... he simply believes what he told his brother a couple of scenes earlier: "That woman deserves her revenge. And we deserve to die. But, then again, so does she". He fulfills everything in those sentences by "killing" her, but letting her take her revenge if she really wants it.
    • On that note, why would Budd lie to Bill about his sword? It makes sense when you realize that Budd was trying to lure Ellie out of hiding and was offering the Bride an even playing field.
  • Even though The Bride didn't kill Budd herself, it was still a Black Mamba that killed him. That was even likely what Elle was actually going for. She saw herself as the Only One Allowed to Defeat the Bride, so naturally her favored outcome was "the Black Mamba" doing Budd in, then Elle killing "the Black Mamba". Since she believed the Bride was dead, the only way even part of that could happen was symbolically, so Elle made it happen.
  • The DVAS codenames are all snakes. By way of herpetology that most people wouldn't pick up on:
    • Elle - California Mountain Snake (aka California Mountain Kingsnake): Kingsnakes are known for eating other snakes. They are also non-venomous, making Elle's codename the only one of the group (aside from Bill, whose codename isn't of a snake), but mimic the coloration of the venomous coral snake. Not only does Elle kill or attempt to kill the most of her fellow snakes (she tries to kill Beatrix twice, and she manages to kill Budd, and let's not forget her killing Pai Mei), she also uses poison and venom to do so. She tries to kill Beatrix in the hospital with poison. She killed Pai Mei by poisoning his fish heads. Budd dies by the venom of a Black Mamba she sneaked into the suitcase. And, presumably, she dies by the venom of a black mamba. So, the non-venomous snake that eats other snakes does so by the very venom she herself doesn't possess, exactly why she fails to kill Beatrix.
    • Vernita - Copperhead: Unlike the brightly colored Kingsnake, the Copperhead prefers to camouflage itself and hide, only striking when directly provoked. They also kill their prey by ambush. Likewise, after the chapel massacre, Vernita Green quits the assassination business and becomes a soccer mom in a nice suburban neighborhood. When Beatrix appears, she tries to kill her with a hidden gun.
    • O-Ren - Cottonmouth (aka Water Moccasin): A semiaquatic species, Cottonmouths are so named because of their threat display, in which they open up their mouths and display the bright white color inside. O-Ren chooses to confront Beatrix in a straight fight, she wears an all-white kimono, and her fight takes place in the snow, which is composed of water.
    • Budd - Sidewinder: Lives in the desert, and its unusual "sideways" way of moving is an adaptation to that habitat. Budd lives in a trailer in the middle of the desert, and refuses to confront her in a straightforward manner.
  • When Beatrix finds her daughter, she is watching Shogun Assassin, an adaptation of Lone Wolf and Cub about an executioner for the emperor who is betrayed and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Minus the "traveling with a young child" aspect, this is Beatrix's story. Bill, in addition to telling his daughter about his past history with Beatrix via the goldfish metaphor, has been using a work of fiction to hint to B.B. at the details of her mother's story least just prior to Beatrix's arrival, and possibly has been showing this movie to her multiple times.
  • In Vol. 2, we learn of the Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. Beatrix uses it to kill Bill. He asks her why she did not tell him that Pai Mei taught her the technique. She says that she doesn't know why. It's possible that deep down, she did not trust the man that she loved. She had a fear or suspicion that he would betray her someday. Sadly, he did.
  • Hanzo's line at the end of his monologue about his promise to God that he would never make another sword, "If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut." has a Double Meaning: the sword is sharp as a blade of legend, yes... but she will not have to cut God. God has already been cut by Hanzo's betrayal of his oath.
    • It's probably also a reference to a zen koan: "If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.", so nothing will distract you from reaching enlightenment, or as in here: revenge.
  • In Vol. 1, the Bride arrives at the House of Blue Leaves wearing clothing that is obviously inspired by Bruce Lee's jumpsuit in Game of Death. The brilliance comes from the connection between Bruce Lee and David Carradine. Lee originally came up with the idea for Kung Fu but, because of that good ol' Hollywood racism, was passed over due to his Chinese heritage. Instead, the show casted David Carradine in the lead role. This movie could potentially represent Bruce Lee's vengeance on Carradine, and pays homage to the various periods of martial arts movies, starting with the Kurosawa-era samurai films (O-Ren), blaxploitation (Vernita), Chuck Norris era/pseudo martial artists like Steven Seagal (Budd), and then finishing with an evil version of itself (Elle)
  • The Bride broke Bill's heart twice. The first time when she disappeared and the second time when she used the Five Point Palm Exploding Technique on him.
  • Why would Vernita keep a box of children's cereal away from her daughter's reach? To stash a gun in case of an intruder of course.
  • When Pai Me over powers the Bride, he says that her arm is his now. Later the Bride, snatches out Elle's eye as retribution for killing Pai Mei. In a way, Pai Mei got his revenge from beyond the grave as the arm the Bride uses to blind Elle was "his".
  • During their final talk in Vol.2, Bill calls Beatrix "a renegade killer bee", as opposed to a "worker bee". And in Vol.1, an updated version of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" (also popularly known as "The Green Hornet theme") is played when Beatrix travels to Tokyo to confront O-Ren and her forces. Also, Beatrix's signature outfit is yellow, with black stripes, much like a bumblebee...
  • Hanzo's flashback speech near the end of Volume 1 ("Revenge is never a straight line...") not only serves as a lesson for the Bride, but is also an apt description of Tarantino's non-linear storytelling style.
Fridge Horror
  • Vernita's unseen husband likely had no knowledge of his wife's past. The poor guy was going about his normal life, only to return home to find his wife brutally killed and their young daughter scarred for life. And he will probably never know why.
    • And if the Sequel Hook pans out, what will happen to him when Elle takes Nikki under her wing?
  • Bill says that he ended up discovering that the Bride was alive by tracking down who he thought had killed her. Given that Karen Kim was the only one at the time who would have known the Bride was alive, it is likely she was the one (willingly or not) who ended up leading Bill to the Bride. And given the type of person Bill is, she likely ended up dead any way.
  • Budd, getting the upper hand on Beatrix, paralyzed her and rendered her as utterly helpless as possible. He's looming over her, alongside a creepy dwarf, both of them leering at her and commenting on the shapeliness of her breasts and overall attractiveness. Budd is Bill's brother and her former colleague in the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, but he is also a sleazy loser who works as a bouncer/janitor in a shitty, hick strip club. Was Beatrix, who days before just recovered from a four year catatonia in which she was violated repeatedly, afraid Budd and/or the midget stranger would subject her to that again? Only this time, with Beatrix fully aware it's happening?
  • When Esteban's prostitutes get pregnant and have sons, they join an organized crime gang working for Esteban known as the Acuna Boys. But what happens when they have daughters? The girls probably grow up to become prostitutes just like their mothers. Considering Esteban is 80 years old, it's possible some of the prostitutes working for him were born into the "family business".


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