The Cinematic Reference of Classic Martial Arts Films in Kill Bill


Quentin Tarantino’s “The Bride” wouldn’t be the only female protagonist in Kill Bill therefore it wouldn’t be fair to analyze only her. The Bride’s character is a carbon copy of several material arts films that Tarantino references in Kill Bill. The films that he references are:

A Cruel Picture (They Call Her One Eye, 1974) bce2744795de0da16142e2b21f8a6088

Lady Snowblood (1973)shurayukihime-2425448

Street Fighter (1974)


City of the Living Dead (1980)


Tarantino references to Bruce Lee’s Game of Death (1978) yellow tracksuit when The Bride battles in the scene of House of the Blue Leaves in Vol. 1 (Brown, 2006).collage-2

He also casts David Carradine, who was known as Kwai Chang Caine from the 1970’s TV series Kung-Fu, to play Bill. In one of the opening scenes of Kill Bill Vol. 1, Bill takes the Bride to meet her kung-fu tutor Pai Mei who is a male tutor teaching a woman how to perform deadly kung-fu moves. Pai Mei teacher her the five-point-palm exploding heart technique that she will use to kill Bill in Vol. 2.


Two films in particular Quentin Tarantino references to are, Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance (1974), these are the blueprint of the story of Kill Bill character, O-Ren Ishii (Brown, 2006). When O-Ren Ishii’s parents are killed by her boss, she seeks revenge by killing him and then she ultimately battles The Bride later on in the film. This scene also references to the snow filled backdrop of the Snowblood films. Tarantino also introduces the character of Go-Go, who is also inspired by the Snowblood films.




Berger, A. A. (2012). Fourth edition media analysis techniques. Sage.

Brown, D. M. (2006). Tarantino and The Re-Invention Of The Martial Arts Film. Metro, (148), 100



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