DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kill Bill Vol. 2

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Even if you’ve seen the second half of Quentin Tarantino’s revenge epic, these little nuggets will give you a reason to give it another look.

1. Pulp Fiction spawned the idea.

Uma Thurman and Tarantino came up with the character of The Bride while working on the set of Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction. Tarantino mentioned he was interested in doing a revenge movie or a 1970s kung-fu movie, and Thurman envisioned a character left for dead on her wedding day like the scene that opens Kill Bill Vol. 2.


2. The volumes have distinct influences.

The Kill Bill saga was originally supposed to be a single four-hour epic before it was split into two films. Tarantino made the split by having the first film reflect “Eastern” cinematic influences like the kung fu genre, while the second film reflects “Western” influences such as the Spaghetti Western genre.


3. Warren Beatty was Tarantino’s first choice for Bill.

When Tarantino let the actor go because of creative differences, he cast David Carradine in the iconic role because Carradine previously appeared in Tarantino’s favorite childhood TV show, Kung Fu.


4. Samuel L. Jackson makes a sneaky cameo.

He briefly appears as Rufus, the wedding piano player.


5. Kill Bill Vol. 2 was not as violent as you might think.

Only three people are killed onscreen in the entire second movie.


6. Pai Mei pulled double duty.

Actor Gordon Liu plays Pai Mei in Vol. 2, but he also appeared as Johnny Mo, the leader of the Crazy 88, in Kill Bill Vol. 1. Liu was cast in the Kill Bill saga because he previously appeared in a kung fu movie called The 36th Chamber of Shaolin that heavily influenced Tarantino while writing Kill Bill.


7. Tarantino originally wanted to dub his own voice for Pai Mei.

The voice would celebrate the poorly dubbed kung fu movies he loves.


8. Pai Mei appeared in previous kung fu films.

The Pai Mei character had shown up in many previous kung fu movies such as Executioners from Shaolin and Clan of the White Lotus (both starring Gordon Liu). The character and his trademark bushy eyebrows were based on a legendary real life kung fu master known as Bak Mei, which means “White Eyebrows” in Cantonese.

9. The Bride borrowed her finishing move from another film.

The Bride’s “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique” also appears in the Shaw Brothers’ films Executioners from Shaolin and Clan of the White Lotus, which were primary inspirations behind the Kill Bill saga.


10. There are subtle tributes to Charles Bronson and Elmore Leonard.

The poster on the wall of Budd’s trailer is for a movie called Mr. Majestyk, starring Charles Bronson and written by Elmore Leonard. Most of Tarantino’s movies contain numerous references to Bronson, while Tarantino adapted Leonard’s novel Rum Punch into his 1997 film, Jackie Brown.


11. Bill’s flute was Carradine’s idea.

Tarantino added the flute that Bill carries with him to the script after Carradine brought it with him to fight rehearsals during the movie’s pre-production. Carradine, who was also a musician, made the flute himself on the set of Kung Fu in the 1970s.


12. Michael Parks also wore two hats.

Parks portrays two separate characters in the Kill Bill saga. He plays Bill’s mentor Esteban Vihaio in Vol. 2 and also played Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in Vol. 1. Parks first played the McGraw character in the film From Dusk Till Dawn, which was directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by and starred Tarantino, and later also played McGraw in Planet Terror and Death Proof directed by Rodriguez and Tarantino respectively.


13. Ricardo Montalban lost his part.

The part of Esteban was originally supposed to be played by Montalban. When Montalban couldn’t make the first table reading of the script, Tarantino had Parks stand-in and liked his take so much that he gave him the role in the final film.


14. Robert Rodriguez gave Tarantino a deal on the score.

Fellow director and Tarantino’s best friend Rodriguez wrote the score for Kill Bill Vol. 2 for free and began writing the music before any of the movie was shot. Rodriguez’s band Chingon also performs the song “Malagueña Salerosa” over the closing credits.


15. Of course there’s a movie reference in the climactic scene.

The Western playing on the TV when The Bride confronts Bill is called The Golden Stallion, starring Roy Rogers.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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