Fashion be damned: Pop culture is just one big Hometown Buffet for writer-director Quentin Tarantino. Nowhere has that sensibility been more apparent than on his hand-picked soundtrack choices, and this oft tongue-in-cheek tale of a female assassin's revenge (his first film in six years) is no exception. With dizzy, almost palpable glee, Tarantino evokes the international hall-of-mirrors influences that energize martial arts films and much of Asian pop culture in general. Thus the hip-hop of Wu Tang's RZA (who, along with composer Charles Bernstein, concocts what passes for the score's traditional cues) somehow finds itself but one ingredient in a heady souffle that includes vintage TV and film cue rarities (Al Hirt's main title from The Green Hornet
, Bernard Herrmann's haunting theme from Twisted Nerve
, the spaghetti western melodrama of Luis Bacalov's "The Grand Duel," Isaac Hayes in full blaxploitation mode on "Run Fay Run"), Charlie Feathers' vintage rockabilly and a pan-kitsch sensibility that encompasses Zamfir, Nancy Sinatra's angst-in-the-pants take "Bang, Bang" and Santa Esmeralda's disco-era workout of "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." Tarantino's contemporary Japan-Pop selections are no less giddy, ranging from Meiko Kaji's sultry "Flower of Carnage" to The 220.127.116.11's loopy "Woo Hoo." It's everything we've come to expect from a Tarantino score (including dialog excerpts and a few sound fx stingers), with a madcap trip around the pop music world thrown in for good measure. -- Jerry McCulley
The first film in six years from acclaimed writer-director Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. 1 is certain to create a stir. As with all of Tarantino's films, music plays a major role. For Kill Bill Vol. 1, a martial arts flick about an assassin who seeks revenge, The RZA from the multiplatinum-selling Wu-Tang Clan takes centerstage, surrounded by the sort of vintage, quirky tracks that made the soundtracks to Tarantino films such as Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown such fan favorites.