Episode 645: San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Wrap-Up by · Published July 29, 2019 · Updated August 8, 2019 In this episode, Tyler and David are joined by Terence Johnson to discuss the best of San Diego Comic-Con 2019.Related Posts:Episode 828: Sundance 2023 Wrap-UpEpisode 823: Glass MailbagEpisode 824: Being the Movie UncleTyler Takes On the Oscars and Other Stuff You Might Have…Episode 835: Oscars 2023 (Tyler's Take)Episode 829: Best Needle Drops of 2022Episode 834: Oscars 2023Episode 830: Straub-Huillet Share
I may be in the minority here but I think Vol. 1 is near-perfect while Vol. 2 is a limp letdown and the first case of Tarantino’s worst tendencies on full display… so goes without saying then that I’m perfectly content with regarding them as two separate films.
1. One of the major changes in transforming Kill Bill into two movies after the fact was the revelation at the end of part one, which originally did not happen until near the end of what is now often called The Whole Bloody Affair. That’s got to have a major effect on how we take the first 75% of what is now Volume 2. While he’s changed his tune over time about releasing the full film, he wanted that version to get out as late as ’09, even completing an originally truncated animation sequence for it when it was being put back together. Given a very weird reaction I had to part 1, I’ve been holding off on even seeing the rest until I can just watch it the way he made it.
2. In Deadwood, Titus Welliver’s character killed actor Philip Moon’s character, Lee. Later, in Lost, he killed Jacob, played by Mark Pellegrino.
He killed the carpet pissers.
I think we have Kill Bill 1 and 2 the way Tarantino made them. It’s not like he delivered an edited four hour movie and the studio just cut it in half; they knew it would be two movies during the editing. Uma Thurman may have thought she was making one film, but Sally Menke definitely knew she was making two.
He wrote, shot, initially planned it, and he and Sally were already editing it as one film. Harvey’s call and his agreement came that late in the project. Here’s one of the announcements from the time:
I wish I could source THIS part of the story, but I can’t, so only consider it lightly. In an interview given at the time, he described getting the phone call about splitting the film up. He was already piecing it together, and he was initially gobsmacked, but he calmed down and thought on it for about 30 minutes, and called Harvey back to say, “Yes, I know how to make it work.” I probably heard, rather than read, that, because I can’t find it now, and it looks like everyone got the same press release in 2003, so I would be able to otherwise.
He did like the option he came up with, but two parts was not what he’d intended to make. It was the afterthought, and until recently, he has intended to make his originally intended version a reality.
Actually, forget my ‘until recently’! It is, and always was, one film, said QT about a week ago:
…which is great, because he’s not going to wipe vol.s 1 & 2 out of existence, but now (changing his tune from, what, just a year ago?) he might choose to get around to restoring the film to what it was to be, maybe after he retires, then everyone can see it the way they want, all of which are ways with which he is happy.
I don’t know why QT would be the definitive source on this rather than, say, me, or you, or anyone else who has seen Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2. But regardless of how late in the editing process the decision was made (and it turns out to be a bit later than I thought), different editing decisions were made (like moving the Bride’s fourth wall breaking monologue to the start of the second film).
Anyway, I think it’s great if QT wants to make Kill Bill 1 and 2 into one film. He doesn’t get to pretend they already are one movie until I’ve gotten my money back for the second ticket I had to buy.