One movie, or two? One story, but two movies. One movie, lovingly known as “The Whole Bloody Affair.” Quentin Tarantino fanatics have been arguing over the status of his revolutionary Kill Bill ever since it came out. The director clearly believes it’s one movie, because he calls Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood his ninth film (and it would be 10 if Bill were two films).
At the same time, Kill Bill Vol. 1 has end credits. Tarantino agreed to film separate opening credits for Kill Bill Vol. 2, and release both movies in theaters months apart from each other. A case can be made for both arguments. Until now.
Quentin Tarantino recently appeared as a guest on our ReelBlend podcast. And while we broke down a ton of angles on Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, we also presented him with what has become known on the show as “The Kill Bill Debate.” Sean O’Connell thinks it’s two films. Co-hosts Kevin McCarthy and Jake Hamilton both believe it’s one. When Sean asked Tarantino which one he believes, he said to Sean:
Technically, you are correct. Because we released it as two movies, alright. And there is a closing and an opening credits. But since I made it as one movie, and I wrote it as one movie, that’s just some chicanery that I did in editing. [Laughs]
Now it works really good that way. And frankly, the truth of the matter is, I don't think it would've been a popular as a four hour movie. I literally had a guy say that to me. It was one of those diamond bullets. Every once in a while, somebody says something to you that, ‘Okay, I can't unhear that.’ And he goes, ‘Look, Quentin, here's the thing, man. My uncle Artie would love this movie. I mean, he would love it. He wouldn't love it at four hours.
So there you have it! Kind of. Quentin Tarantino admits that, on a technicality, Kill Bill is two movies. But he also cops to “chicanery” (outstanding word choice on his part) in the editing room, because he conceived of it being one movie. And finally, he basically confesses that he knows it wouldn’t work quite as well as a four-hour experience… even though he shows it in that version at his New Beverly theater in Los Angeles from time to time.
The debate rages on. Listen to the entire ReelBlend podcast with the Tarantino interview right here. What are you waiting for?
Quentin Tarantino’s new film is really only one film. And it’s a beauty. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood opens in theaters on July 25. Grab your tickets now.