Kill Bill: Vol. 1 | 2003
Quentin Tarantino's fanboy collage of genres isn't as indigestible as it sounds, but is less integrated than the director's previous outings, dulling the emotional impact of the revenge epic.
We’ll come to the ‘El Paso’ wedding chapel in Vol. 2.
‘The Bells’, the home of Vernita Greene (Vivica A Fox), where the main film kicks off is, as the title says, in the ‘City of Pasadena’. It’s 5506 Atlas Street at the southeast corner of Alpha Street in South Pasadena. And it’s not the fetching shade of green seen in the film.
If the Bride/Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) had taken the Pussy Wagon directly to the home of Vernita Greene on waking up from her four-year coma, she wouldn't have had far to go. The hospital, where the comatose Bride is abused by the sleazoid Buck, is St Luke's Medical Center, 2632 East Washington Boulevard, near Altadena Drive, north Pasadena, which closed in February 2002 and is now used exclusively as a movie set.
But it’s quite a journey between the two Pasadena locations, via Japan.
But it is the real Tokyo in which the Bride, on her bike, trails O-Ren (Lucy Liu) on Rainbow Bridge (seen also in Lost In Translation), the illuminated suspension bridge crossing northern Tokyo Bay, between Shibaura Pier and the Odaiba waterfront development (man-made islands in the Bay of Tokyo) in Minato.
The entrance to the tunnel, though, where the Bride pulls up alongside Sophie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus) may be more familiar to US filmgoers. It’s the familiar western entrance to the Second Street Tunnel at Figueroa Street, downtown Los Angeles.
O-Ren's 'House of Blue Leaves', where Kiddo sees off the Crazy 88, was also built in the Beijing Film Studios.
As a cinematic kung fu devotee, Tarantino was determined to shoot the martial arts scenes in China. The Beijing studio, where Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor was also shot, was built in 1949 under the aegis of Chairman Mao, ostensibly to produce propaganda movies, but seems to have been a pet project of Madam Mao, who's tastes supposedly leaned more to The Sound of Music.
See Kill Bill Vol.2