Kill Bill Guns for Vid Sales

As anime fans drool over talk of an animated prequel to Kill Bill, the first half of director Quentin Tarantino’s two-part revenge opus slices its way to retail shelves across North America. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 arrives on home video just in time to get fans even more worked up for this Friday’s theatrical release of Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

Featuring a lengthy anime sequence animated by Production I.G., Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is a simple revenge story that weaves in visual references from ’70s chop socky theater fare and Bruce Lee works like The Green Hornet and Game of Death. Uma Thurman stars as an assassin who was gunned down at her wedding by her own employer, Bill, played by David Caradine of TV’s Kung Fu. Having survived the attack, “The Bride” proves that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

In press materials, Tarantino comments on his involvement with the animation, saying, "I love anime, so there was no way I was going to just turn my script over to these guys, as great as I think they are. I wanted to have the fun of directing anime." The filmmaker drafted a detailed script for the sequence and spent six hours acting out the movements for each shot for the animators.

Production I.G., founded by producer/director Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and character designer Takayuki Goto, has previously been involved in the production of Ghost in the Shell (1996), Mobile Police Patlabor (1990) and the series Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995). More recently, the studio has produced original works such as the feature Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1998), the CG-2D hybrid Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) and the series Kaidomaru. The animation studio is now working on the sequel Innocence: Ghost in the Shell.

DVD extra features include The Making of Kill Bill: Vol. 1, musical performances by the 5,6,7,8’s and trailers for other Quentin Tarantino films. The Buena Vista Home Entertainment release retails for $29.99.