1. Kill Bill Vol 1 + 2
The second Quentin Tarantino film on this list, Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (as the two volumes put together are sometimes known) is a 4 hour epic of revenge that swaps styles at will, riffs on spaghetti Westerns, Yakuza films and Shaw Bros. kung-fu movies as well. It’s an utterly ridiculous, but also infectious piece of filmmaking that shows Tarantino at the top of his game.
The film follows The Bride (Uma Thurman), an assassin who leaves her wayward life behind to settle down to a quiet life, until her former lover and old boss, Bill, arrives with his gang of assassins to beat her to death on her wedding night, killing everyone else at the ceremony. The Bride survives the night, but when she wakes up from a coma, her baby is gone and she wants revenge.
The “gimmick” of this film is that each member of Bill’s Deadly Viper Assassination Squad has a different style, with its own corresponding film genre. O-ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) is a Yakuza boss (despite being half-American and half-Chinese), Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) is living a suburban home life, while Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) and Budd (Michael Madsen) are living in the desert, letting QT riff on his love of Westerns.
The movie is incredibly entertaining, showing off Tarantino’s skills as a writer and director in their purest form. It’s the last whole feature film that Tarantino worked on before moving onto his “historical period,” and perfectly encapsulates his appeal for a whole generation of filmmakers.
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