Uma Thurman, Kill Bill -- Vol. 1
Credit: Kill Bill: Andrew Cooper

The split ”volumes” of Quentin Tarantino’s blood-spurting action epic ”Kill Bill” are so different in tone and pace, it’s hard to believe a good Solomonic (or Sonny Chiba-esque) chopping wasn’t always part of the plan. With the more meditative stuff sliced off into a putative sequel, Kill Bill — Vol. 1 became an even purer exercise in mayhem, with niceties like exposition, character development, and even Tarantino’s trademark dialogue quirks all winding up like so many phantom limbs.

Uma Thurman, the unlikeliest of vengeance-crazed Valkyries, able-bodiedly leads us through a K-tel collection of the greatest grind-house genres of the ’70s. And while it’s too bad the old, seedy Times Square didn’t survive long enough to show the grandest exploitation movie ever made, you can always invite a few hookers and crack dealers over, let someone pee in your home theater, and make believe.

EXTRAS Obviously saving the good stuff for a complete DVD double-”Bill,” Tarantino skimps on bonuses this go-round. The crumbs: unexpurgated footage of girl group the’s and a 20-minute making-of doc, worthwhile mainly for an excerpt from the climax-influencing ”Lady Snowblood.”

Kill Bill -- Vol. 1
  • Movie
  • 112 minutes
  • Quentin Tarantino