Wednesday, June 10, 2009

David Carradine: Late To The Party

Let's talk about Kill Bill 2.

Maybe I should write up another David Carradine film, one of his seventies classics like Bound For Glory, Boxcar Bertha, or The Long Riders. Or one of his great exploitation movies instead, like Death Race 2000 or Q The Winged Serpent. Or maybe I should write about one of the batshit crazy movies he made during the lean years, when his cache, self respect, and common sense where at a low ebb. Doing so though, would be dishonest. True more people have probably seen the Kill Bill saga then all the above movies combined, and that’s a damn shame, but that doesn’t change the fact that Carradine had his finest moment in this film.

Though Kill Bill 2 is of course spectacular fun, filled with Kung Fu, Impossible Escapes, Spaghetti Western Staredowns and crushed eyeballs galore, the moment I’m talking about is the final showdown, where after nearly four hours of righteous vengeance fueled ultra violence, the final confrontation between Bill and The Bride takes place in the form of a conversation. This is where Carradine comes in. It’s helpful to remember that you as the audience has spent two movies screaming for this rotten bastard’s blood and when you finally get in the same room with him, you’re almost horrified to find that you like him. Carradine is not only able to convince you that The Bride wouldn’t run a sword through his neck within fifteen seconds of seeing him again, he almost has you hoping she won’t. During the almost half hour long conversation, Carradine is charming, laugh out loud funny, scary as hell, vulnerable, lethal, and tender, often all at once. And when his time comes and he says goodbye with the rudest word he’s got you’re sorry to see him go out, but glad that he did it so well.

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