Kill Bill Vol. 2: 30 Easter Eggs You're Likely To Miss
Here are 30 things to watch out for in Kill Bill 2.
Tarantino's two-part epic Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 has changed platforms once again--the movies have left Netflix and are now streaming on Hulu, as of April 2020. We know you're going to rewatch these classics, so watch out for these tidbits when you do. Check out our gallery Kill Bill: Vol. 1 Easter eggs as well.
When watching Kill Bill: Vol. 2, the second half of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu meets spaghetti Western epic, it quickly becomes apparent that this is an entirely different kind of film from Vol. 1. Whereas Vol. 1 favors quick edits, Vol. 2 drags moments out. Where Vol. 1 punctuates its founts of blood with quippy one-liners, the victims in Vol. 2 bleed more realistically, and the comedy is more situational.
Vol. 2 is Tarantino working at a languid pace, letting his characters mosey along to their destinations. Perhaps they mosey a bit too much if we view Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 as two separate films. But together, the two halves of Kill Bill complement one another. If Vol. 1 is about the deliberateness of revenge and the single-minded pursuit of it, Vol. 2 is about its complications and intricacies, and the ways that guilt catches up with its perpetrators and victims.
1. Organ Player
Long-time Tarantino collaborator Samuel L. Jackson has a brief cameo as Rufus, the organ player at the Two Pines chapel where the Bride's wedding party is slaughtered.
2. Framed In Black And White
The lone figure, framed in a doorway, is a common visual in Western films, meant to highlight the isolation and separation the protagonist feels from the rest of the characters. Its most notable usage is in John Ford's The Searchers (1956); John Wayne is framed in the doorway of the Jorgensen homestead at the film's conclusion.
3. Warren Beatty as Bill?
David Carradine was not Tarantino's first choice to play Bill. He originally wanted Warren Beatty to play the role, and he envisioned Bill as a suave, debonair type. But Beatty declined the role because he didn't want to be away from his kids for so long, and he actually suggested Carradine as the better alternative to him.
4. A Very Long Take
In Vol. 1, there was an impressively long tracking shot in the House of Blue Leaves. The show-off shot in Vol. 2 comes near the end of Chapter 6, right when the wedding rehearsal begins. The crane shot begins in the chapel, zooms out of the front doors past the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, and upwards into an establishing shot. The audience hears the gunshots go off and the church bell rings, bringing the scene to a close.
5. Bill and Budd's Feud
The split between Bill and Budd is alluded to but never explained. But in an interview with Coming Soon, Carradine revealed that the two brothers split over a mutual love for Elle Driver (played by Daryl Hannah). Clearly, Bill won out, which also explains the rift between Budd and Elle as well.
6. Tobacco Spit
After shooting The Bride with a shotgun full of rock salt, Budd spits a stream of tobacco juice on her face. In an interview with Deadline, Tarantino admits to doing the spitting himself. He says he felt responsibility for making sure the take was successful and looked realistic.
7. Paula Schultz
Budd buries The Bride in the grave of Paula Schultz. During the scene right before The Bride goes into the ground, we can see the coffin and rotting corpse of Paula Schultz to the right of the frame. In a quirky bit of dark humor, the corpse's hand makes a bunny shadow against the light.
8. Michael Jai White Deleted Scene
There is an entire fight scene that Tarantino removed from Vol. 2. It features Michael Jai White as a kung fu student seeking revenge for his master. He, along with his associates, challenges Bill to a fight. Bill obliges and makes quick handiwork of all of them. The deleted scene is available on the film's DVD and Blu-Ray.
9. Flute Scene
In the script, Bill tells the story of Pai Mei as he and The Bride are driving in Bill's jeep. In the movie, the storytelling takes place by a campfire. The flute that Bill uses to narrate the story is the same type that Carradine used in the film Circle of Iron (1978).
10. A Nixed Cameo
Originally, Quentin Tarantino intended to play kung fu master Pai Mei himself, and he even participated in training with the rest of the cast. But in the midst of shooting the House of Blue Leaves sequence, Tarantino decided that he was having more fun behind the camera than he would have in front of it. The role of Pai Mei went to Gordon Liu, who also played Johnny Mo, the leader of the Crazy 88, in Kill Bill: Vol. 1.
11. Carrie Tribute
In the 2012 Sight & Sound poll, Tarantino named Carrie as one of his Top 12 films of all time. In Vol. 2, the shot of the Bride's outstretched hand, reaching out from Paula Schultz's grave, is a clear tribute to the final jump scare in Carrie, when Carrie's hand reaches out from her grave to grab Sue's arm.
12. Once Upon A Time
The image of the Bride walking across the blurred desert landscape is nearly identical to the iconic flashback scene in Once Upon A Time In The West, starring Henry Fonda as Frank.
13. Meet The Black Mamba
Elle Driver plants a venomous snake in a bag of money, and the snake kills Budd by biting him three times. The snake is a Black Mamba, which is also the assassin code name for The Bride. Thus, in a figurative manner, Tarantino attributes Budd's death to The Bride's "roaring rampage of revenge."
14. We Need First Aid!
There's some gallows humor when Budd is slowly dying from snake poison in his trailer; you can see a First Aid kit on the nearby countertop.
15. Marty Kitrosser
During the comedic scene when Tarantino reveals the Bride's real name, the teacher is taking attendance, and the first name she calls is "Marty Kitrosser." Martin Kitrosser is Tarantino's script supervisor on all his feature films, from Reservoir Dogs to Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
16. An Iconic Fight Choreographer
The fight coordinator for the Kill Bill films is Yuen Woo-Ping; he's done stunt and fight work for many classic kung fu action films. Among his most well-known films are Drunken Master, Once Upon A Time In China, Once Upon A Time In China II, The Matrix trilogy, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Ip Man 3, and Ip Man 4.
17. Gas Can
Michael Madsen, who plays Budd in Kill Bill: Vol. 2, also played Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs. You can see a tribute to this character by the door of Budd's trailer; it's a squarish gas can that's very similar to the one that Mr. Blonde used to douse a cop with gasoline.
18. Framed in Color
Here's another example of the "character framed in a doorway" Western trope. This time, it's when The Bride is leaving Budd's trailer after gouging out Elle's remaining eye and leaving her for dead. Later, during the end credits, there's a massive question mark over Elle's name, implying that she may have somehow survived her painful ordeal.
19. Car Crash
In an interview with the New York Times, Uma Thurman discussed a stunt she did in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 that went terribly wrong. Tarantino wanted The Bride to drive down a stretch of road in Mexico, and he pressured Thurman into doing it instead of having a trained stuntwoman do it. Thurman ended up crashing the car, causing permanent damage to her neck. It created friction between Thurman and Tarantino that only abated once Tarantino helped track down the notorious footage.
20. A Real Brothel
To film the scenes of The Bride meeting retired pimp Esteban Vihaio, Tarantino used an actual Mexican brothel. Correspondingly, the extras in the background of the scene are real prostitutes.
21. Michael Parks Plays Dual Roles
Michael Parks plays the role of retired pimp Esteban Vihaio. He also played Sheriff Earl McGraw in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, making him one of two actors (the other is Gordon Liu) to play two distinct roles in the Kill Bill films.
22. The Carrucan's of Kurrajong
The novel Esteban is reading is The Carrucan's of Kurrajong by Jasmine Yuen. Jasmine Yuen Carrucan was the second assistant camera for the Kill Bill films. Kurrajong is the name of a town in Australia, the country Carrucan calls home.
23. Red Apple Cigarettes?
It's difficult to tell due to the light exposure of the shot, but according to a report in the New Yorker, the box on Esteban's table is a pack of Red Apple Cigarettes. Red Apple Cigarettes is a fictional brand that appears in nearly every one of Tarantino's films.
24. Fate of the Pussy Wagon
The Pussy Wagon is absent from Kill Bill: Vol. 2, and The Bride tells Esteban that it "died." It's never explained further, but in a press conference attended by IGN, Thurman said the plan was to have Elle blow it up in the desert. In the original script, Yuki Yubari (the sister of GoGo Yubari) was responsible for the vehicle's destruction. However, Yuki never made it into the final film.
25. Thumb Sucking
Esteban tells the Bride a story about how when Bill was a child, he saw a Lana Turner film and began sucking his thumb. This was based on a real story that actor Kurt Russell told Tarantino about his childhood. In Russell's case, however, the woman was Marilyn Monroe instead of Turner.
26. Shogun Assassin
The movie that The Bride and B.B. watch together is Shogun Assassin, a cult classic from 1980. If the voiceover sounds familiar, you might be a '90s hip hop fan; it's the same monologue that opens GZA's East Coast classic rap album, "Liquid Swords."
27. Dim Mak
The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, which The Bride uses to kill Bill, has its roots in a Chinese apocryphal "death touch" technique known as dim mak. Some martial artists believe that by hitting a person's pressure points, one can do things like disrupt the victim's heart. And some medical practitioners have sought to validate this theory by connecting Eastern medicine pressure points to human anatomy.
28. Magpies and Cereal
Near the end of the film, the cartoon that B.B. watches on television is "The Talking Magpies" (1946). Tarantino loves placing boxes of cereal in his films, like the Fruit Brute box in Pulp Fiction and the Kaboom box in Kill Bill: Vol. 1. In keeping with this pattern, you can see a box of Lucky Charms to the left of the TV.
RZA, the de facto leader of the Wu-Tang Clan, scored several sections of Kill Bill: Vol. 1. In Vol. 2, a Kill Bill-inspired Wu-Tang Clan song plays during the end credits. It's called "Black Mamba," and it features one of the last original performances by the late Ol' Dirty Bastard, who died of a drug overdose in 2004.
30. End Credits Scene
If you stick around through the end credits, you'll be treated to an outtake of Uma Thurman as The Bride, gouging out a Crazy 88 member's eye. You can hear Tarantino's voice directing the action in the background.
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