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Kill Bill References Guide/American and Euro Cinema

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives

< Kill Bill References Guide

This section shows references to American and Euro Exploitation & Mainstream Cinema in Kill Bill. It also lists actors who inspired parts of the film.

Actresses

Nicoletta Machiavelli

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  • There is a reference to the Italian actress Nicoletta Machiavelli (Navajo Joe, Giarrettiera Colt). One of the Bride's fake names is: Arlene Machiavelli.

Jeannie Bell

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  • There is an homage to the blaxploitation star and playmate Jeannie Bell (TNT Jackson). Vernita Green's new name in Kill Bill is Jeannie Bell.

Classic Exploitation Cinema

Eaten Alive (1977) Directed by Tobe Hooper

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  • Quote used by Buck in Kill Bill: "My name is Buck and I'm here to fuck".
  • Follow up to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).
  • In Eaten Alive, the character Buck is played by Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.

Twisted Nerve (1968) Directed by Roy Boulting

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  • The tune whistled by Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) in the hospital is the same as that whistled by Martin Durnley in Twisted Nerve.

Game of Death (1978) Directed by Robert Clouse

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  • The Bride's yellow track-suit is a direct homage to the one worn by Bruce Lee in Game of Death, the last and unfinished Bruce Lee movie.

Black Mama White Mama (1972) Directed by Eddie Romero

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  • The music "Police Check Point" composed by Harry Betts is used in Kill Bill.

Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1974) Directed by Bo Arne Vibenius

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  • Elle Driver's look is inspired by Christina Lindberg's character in Thriller: A Cruel Picture a swedish rape and revenge film.

Switchblade Sisters (1975) Directed by Jack Hill

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  • Elle Driver's one eyed look and personality also inspired by the character of Patch in Jack Hill's Switchblade Sisters.

Escape From New York (1981) Directed by John Carpenter

  • Elle Driver and Snake Plissken could be brother and sister.

Bury Me an Angel (1972) Directed by Barbara Peeters

  • In the script, The Bride says that "she went on what the movie advertisements refer to as a Roaring Rampage of Revenge". This 1972 Exploitation film (also a female revenge film) tagline reads: "She's a Howling Hellcat Humping a Hot Steel Hog on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge!"

Rolling Thunder (1977) Directed by John Flynn

  • Action/Revenge film starring William DeVane and Tommy Lee Jones
  • One of Tarantino's favorite films, he used its title for his own distribution company, Rolling Thunder Pictures.
  • The Acuna Boys' name is taken directly from the name of the gang of villains in 'Rolling Thunder'.

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) Directed by H.B. Halicki

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  • The row-of-sunglasses on Sheriff Earl McGraw's car dashboard gag is a direct lift from the opening scene of the original Gone in 60 Seconds.

Circle of Iron (1979) Directed by Richard Moore

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  • aka The Silent Flute

The Doll Squad (1973) Directed by Ted Mikels

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  • This story of female assassins kind of inspired the DiVAS. The DiVAS also wear similar outfits to the girls in The Doll Squad.

Violent City (1970) Directed by Sergio Sollima

  • O-Ren killing the 2 bodyguards is rather from the Charles Bronson flick Citta Violenta from Sergio Sollima. Bronson is one of QT´s fave actors and as a fan of polizios and spaghetti westerns he sure as hell knows Sollima.

I Spit On Your Grave (1978) Directed by Meir Zarchi

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  • Plot similarities, female revenge, very violent, self justice.

Ms .45 (1981) Directed by Abel Ferrara

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  • Female Revenge.

Three Tough Guys (1974) Directed by Duccio Tessari

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  • aka Uomini Duri
  • O.S.T. composed by Isaac Hayes
  • The main theme from this movie is used in Kill Bill during the The Bride Vs. Pai Mei fight sequence.
  • Run Fay Run is used during O-Ren's anime sequence when she kills the General.

Mainstream Classics

Grease (1978) Directed by Randal Kleiser

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  • Pussy Wagon lyric in the song Greased Lightnin':

"We'll get some purple French tail lights and thirty-inch fins, oh yeah/A palomino dashboard and duel muffler twins, oh yeah/ With new pistons, plugs, and shocks, I can get off my rocks/You know that I ain't braggin'/she's a real pussy wagon....

Citizen Kane (1941) Directed by Orson Welles

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  • There is an homage to Citizen Kane (1941) in the early moments of the film. As Black Mamba lies in a coma, she is silhouetted against a background of the window of her hospital room.

The Lodger (1927) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

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  • The Bride walks in the glass floor

The Charlie Chan Series

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  • It is said that Earl Derr Biggers was tired of the sinister and evil image of Orientals in detective novels, and in retaliation he created his good and affectionate detective, Charlie Chan. Chan debuted in the novel "The House without a Key" (1925).
  • Chan was a Chinese-Hawaiian-American, who approached his cases with a patient Eastern calm and worked to understand the characters of the people he jeopardized. He was distinguished by his quoting of Confucius and his ever-present "Number One son".

Black Sunday (1977) Directed by John Frankenheimer

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  • The trailer for this film which contained a split screen sequence inspired the opening Elle Driver sequence.
  • The character played by Martha Keller goes into a hospital and disguises herself as a nurse to kill Robert Shaw's character with a poisoned syringe.

Dressed To Kill (1980) Directed by Brian DePalma

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  • Killer nurse, split screen.

Miller's Crossing (1990) Directed by The Coen Brothers

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Scaramouche (1952) Directed by George Sidney

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Blade Runner (1982) Directed by Ridley Scott

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  • Daryl Hannah improvised the scene where Elle Driver's eye gets removed by The Bride and she goes "nuts". She did this because she thought it would make Quentin Tarantino laugh. He did and that scene entered the final film. She sustained injures from breaking so many things in the bathroom. This scene is very close to Pris' death, a character played by Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner.

Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (1982) Directed by Nicholas Meyer

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  • The opening quote comes from this film: Khan said: "Ah Kirk, my old friend. Do you know the Old Klingon proverb that tells us 'Revenge is a dish that is best served cold'? It is very cold in space."
  • Buck's trucker friend wears a Star Trek belt.

Shanghai Noon (2000) Directed by Tom Dey

  • Starring Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson and Lucy Liu
  • Go Go’s technique with the ball.

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  • Jackie Chan ties the rope to the horseshoe, he kicks it,and wraps it around his neck in the same way.

Modesty Blaise (1966) Directed by Joseph Losey

  • Starring Monica Vitti.

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  • A sexy, hip female secret agent. Second QT connection: The book Vincent is reading in Pulp Fiction.

The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz (1968) Directed by George Marshall

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  • Screwball comedy starring Bob Crane and Elke Sommer.
  • Name Referenced in Chapter 7: "The Lonely Grave of Paula Schultz".

Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (1941) Directed by Victor Fleming

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  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, and Ingrid Bergman.
  • Name Referenced: Beatrix used from Beatrix Emery character played by Lana Turner.

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983) Directed by Henry Jaglom

  • Comedy starring Karen Black and Michael Emil.
  • Title of deleted Chapter from the script "Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?". This is possibly a reference to both the film and the old folk song used in the film, as the flighty neurotic character Black plays in the film separates from her husband, meets another man and gets pregnant by the end of the film. The folk song goes "Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy? / Can she bake a cherry pie, charming Billy?, in addition to this, another version of this song was sung by Gina Young with lyrics that included "Here comes the bride, all dressed in white."