First part of Tarantino's kick-ass grindhouse homage testifies to his awesome directorial development

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Choppers’ Paradise

October, 2003. Quentin Tarantino’s first movie in six years is received with howls of excitement by Tarantinophiles the world over?and the quiet, confused cluck of disappointment from certain observers, for whom its blood-spattered excess is a negligible addition to the director’s previously unassailable filmography. The fourth film by Quentin Tarantino may have loads of action, but where’s the glorious, endlessly replayable dialogue that’s the backbone of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction? Where’s the narrative complexity on show in his accomplished third outing, Jackie Brown?

Now that Vol One has made it to DVD (a no-frills release?expect a special edition after Vol Two), how does Kill Bill stack up against its director’s slim-but-hugely-influential back catalogue? The answer is, of course, at the top of the list?or very close to it.

Sure, Kill Bill is a style-over-content ode to QT’s grindhouse-based adolescence?an amalgam of all the low-rent B-movie action classics he saw while growing up in LA?but it’s also a brilliantly imagined, beautifully realised testament to his maturing ability as a multi-faceted director.

From the truly shocking pre-credits opening sequence to the final killer line of dialogue, Quentin’s first instalment of the bride-with-no-name’s bloody quest for revenge grabs the audience by the collar and rips them through a variety of genres (urban combat, Sam Fuller-style hospital nightmare, hardcore anim