Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kill Bill and Miltonic Allusion: Ironside

John Milton quotes epic poetry and comments on the history of the genre in Paradise Lost, placing himself as the culmination of a tradition. Tarantino does the same thing in Kill Bill, except instead of quoting Homer he quotes, you know, like Ironside.

The siren wails as the opening theme music for Ironside. You can hear it here.

The same siren wails as she confronts Lucy Liu for the first time since getting out of a coma.

Ironside is a TV show in which Perry Mason plays a cop who gets shot and put in a wheelchair. I assumed that he was called Ironside because of the chair but it turns out, no, his name is just Ironside. So he get together a special task force of three people and ride around in a van and solve crimes. It is actually a lot like House, with the cranky with a heart of gold crippled team leader, a black guy and white guy and a white girl.

Tarantino ganks the siren theme song thing for the moment when Thurman sees her foes for the first time since getting out of her coma.

The shot and left for dead guy seeing revenge is the major link between Ironside and Thurman. But the standard thing Tarantino does when he juxtaposes Thurman with other heroes is to always point out how she is superior (except in the case of Bruce Lee). There is always a sort of a "Oh your guy can beat up ten guys? My girl can beat up 60." Mason is crippled and looking for revenge from being shot in the back. Thurman is walking around after being shot in the head. Mason needs a team of guys? Thurman needs no one.

As a side note like three years ago I saw a movie called Five Fingers of Death, a Shaw Brothers kung fu flick. When he confronted bad guys in that movie the movie stole the theme from Ironside which was used the way Tarantino used it. I am still working on getting that movie to see if there is more to say than this, but I just wanted to give a heads up.

No comments: