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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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.