Producers do take risks when they make a motion picture. Even when the studio is backing the project financially, a producer faces a reputation risk. The producer’s bankability faces risks, too. Even though Quentin Tarantino‘s career contained mostly hits, Lawrence Bender took a risk attaching his name to the Kill Bill films. Few could predict how audiences would react to such a unique action series. Would it be a misfire on the part of Lawrence Bender to produce the movie? History has answered that question.
The incredible sword fighting scenes in Kill Bill Vol. 1 helped the movie become a massive hit. The martial arts film definitely set itself apart from other action movies through drawing inspiration from classic sword-fighting films made in 1970’s Japan. Those films, however, were historical films set in the past. Kill Bill Vol. 1‘s setting is a modern one. Had the script not been written by an established hot Hollywood commodity, serious concerns would be raised about the story’s credibility. Would audiences buy sword battles amidst the backdrop of Japan and the United States in 2003?
Audiences didn’t care. They accepted the feature as a fantasy film simply enjoyed the experience. This is what can happen when brilliant fight choreography finds itself weaved into a captivating story. The uniqueness of the sword fighting scenes definitely helped the cause of making Kill Bill Vol. 1 a hit.
Films that feature a lot of sword fighting action can be captivating. The resurgence of pirate movies owes a lot of its success to audiences being enthralled with swashbuckling. An issue of concern with Kill Bill Vol. 1 involves trying to make sword fighting look credible in a modern setting. People haven’t fought with swords in well over a century.
Bender and Tarantino were able to make the strange film work.
Interestingly, Lawrence Bender’s educational background doesn’t focus on cinema studies and art. He holds a formal degree in civil engineering. That’s an atypical background for a movie producer. Apparently, Lawrence Bender wasn’t too interested in engineering. He pursued a career in dance after graduating. The creativity he developed from his dance career carried over into works such as Kill Bill.