Upon waking from a four-year coma, a wronged woman wreaks vengeance on the team of assassins who tried to kill her.
Kill Bill, the 4th film by Quentin Tarantino (and the 4th Tarantino film to be featured here on food & a film—1st, 2nd, 3rd), was released in two parts: Volume 1 in 2003 and Volume 2 in 2004. However, since Tarantino initially intended for the film to be released in its entirety, I am going to count Kill Bill as one film and include both volumes in today’s post.
Kill Bill‘s first food moment comes about 12 minutes or so into the film when Vernita (Vivica A. Fox) offers The Bride (Uma Thurman) some coffee, which she accepts with cream and sugar.
Shortly after pouring coffee for the two of them, Vernita tells The Bride that she has to fix Nikki’s cereal before taking a bowl and a box of Kaboom (a since discontinued circus-themed breakfast cereal) from the kitchen cabinet. After acquiring the cereal, Vernita grabs a spoon from the drawer before fetching milk from the refrigerator. Seconds after Vernita returns with the milk, she grabs the box of Kaboom, points it at The Bride and fires what we presume is a hidden gun from within the box of cereal. The shot causes Kaboom cereal to explode onto the kitchen floor, giving a glorious crunching sound effect when The Bride crosses the room to retrieve her knife after throwing it into Vernita’s chest.
The film’s next food moment occurs when The Bride visits Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba) at his sushi restaurant in Okinawa. Upon The Bride’s arrival, Hattori Hanzo yells to the back of house, “We have a customer. Bring out some tea, quickly.” Hanzo then proceeds to make a couple pieces of tuna sushi for The Bride, which he presents on a wooden platter, along with what looks like some gari, as well as a dish of soy sauce on the side.
A bald man, presumably the person Hanzo initially called to, comes out from the back (without the tea) and when The Bride asks for a bottle of warm sake, the bald man replies, “Sake? In the middle of the day?” Hanzo responds, “Day, night, afternoon, who gives a damn. Get the sake!,” to which the bald man replies, “How come I always have to get the sake? You listen well — for thirty years, you make the fish, I get the sake.”
Following the scene at Hanzo’s, the next appearance of food comes during a scene involving a meeting between O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) and all of the crime bosses in Japan. O-Ren is seated at the head of the table and the crime bosses are seated on either side of the table with plates of food in front of them as they toast with shots of sake. Although it is unclear as to what exactly is on their plates, we do get a pretty good shot of Boss Tanaka’s plate before he forcefully smashes his hand down onto it in anger.Majority of the final food and drink moments in Volume 1 occur during the scene at The House of Blue Leaves. Shortly after O-Ren’s arrival to The House of Blue Leaves (a restaurant and bar), she and her crew are having drinks in a private room upstairs. A server, who O-Ren’s crew call Charlie Brown based on his outfit, then brings out a tray of beers from the kitchen before returning to O-Ren’s room where Miki, one of the Crazy-88s, requests “four pepperoni pizzas.” When Charlie Brown tells him that they don’t have that on their menu, Miki responds, “I don’t’ care, bring them, goddammit!”
Finally, additional drinks moments in Volume 1 worth mentioning include the bottle of Japanese whiskey featured during the O-Ren animated sequence, Gogo at a bar drinking from a large bottle of sake, and airplane passengers being served drinks during The Bride’s return flight from Japan.
Now moving onto Volume 2, we first get a food/drink moment about 16 minutes in when Budd (Michael Madsen) is drinking from a bottle of Black Death Icelandic Schnapps. Following this scene at Budd’s trailer, Budd heads into work and upon arrival, picks up a bowl of peanuts from one of the bar tables. Budd then proceeds to de-shell a peanut; however, before he gets the chance to eat the peanut, Budd is called into his boss’s office.
The next food moment in the film occurs when Pai Mei (Gordon Liu) and The Bride are eating rice and The Bride struggles to eat with chopsticks due to her hand being sore from training.
Following the flashback scene of Pai Mei and The Bride, the next major food or drink moments happens back at Budd’s trailer where he is joined by Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah). Budd blends up a pitcher of frozen margaritas before pouring the chilled concoction into a couple of canning jars. He then hands Elle one of the glass jars telling her, “Here ya go. Wrap your lips around that.”
After this scene at Budd’s trailer, the next scene to feature feature food or drink occurs when The Bride visits Bill (David Carradine). Shortly after The Bride’s arrival, Bill constructs a sandwich with white bread, cheese, deli meat, mayonnaise and mustard, before cutting off the crusts with a large menacing chef’s knife.
Later in the evening after B.B. is asleep, Bill proceeds to take multiple shots, presumably of tequila, during his conversation with The Bride.
Lastly, the final food feature in Volume 2 occurs at the very end of the film when we see a box of Lucky Charms and a container of milk on the table in The Bride’s hotel room.
In addition to the food and drink features mentioned above, there are a few added moments worth mentioning including Budd’s grave-digging friend Ernie drinking a beer, The Bride asking for a glass of water at the diner, Pai Mei choking on a poisoned fish head, and Bill shooting a fruit bowl causing a mango to explode onto The Bride.
When it came time to decide on a menu for Kill Bill, I ultimately chose to include a component from each volume: sushi from Volume 1 and a frozen margarita from Volume 2.
The vegetable sushi assortment includes pieces of shiso, portobello, asparagus, and inari sushi, as well as oshinko and kanpyo maki. And of course no sushi platter is complete without some soy sauce, gari and wasabi.
Then for the frozen margarita I opted against Budd’s no-frills canning jar presentation and instead, poured the frosted cocktail into an actual glass and garnished the rim with salt (even though I prefer mine without) and a slice of lime.
Finally, for the tablecloth, having been inspired by the color of The Bride’s jumpsuit that she wears at the end of Volume 1, I chose a yellow fabric and draped a black ribbon over it to mimic the stripe running down the side of the jumpsuit.
And that does it for this month’s installment of food & a film! Thank you so much for reading, and be sure to check back next month for a new entry. Until then!