We were supposed to get an O-Ren Ishii figure in Series 1 of NECA's Kill Bill figures, but Lucy Liu apparently never approved her likeness, so we had to wait until Series 2 to get an enemy that the Bride actually wanted to kill.
Member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. A cruel and heartless bounty hunter and Bill's current lover. She is incredibly jealous of the relationship the Bride and Bill once shared. Elle was trained by Pai Mei and ultimately poisoned him to death revealing how evil and trecherous a foe she really is.
When you think of a "uniform" for Quentin Tarantino movies, you think of the one the guys wear: Jules and Vincent, Mr. Pink, the Crazy 88... they all share the same tailor. But what about the ladies? They've got their own one-style-fits-all look, too, though it's not nearly as prominent. Jackie Brown bought it in a department store, Mrs. Mia Wallace wore it out on the town and now Elle Driver is the one stretching its seams.
The "it" in question is, no surprise, a black suit with a white shirt. Of course, the cut is much more flattering on Daryl Hannah than on, say, Harvey Keitel. Elle is in a more correct version of the Bride's haso no kamai stance (which makes sense, since they had the same teacher), and NECA's sculptors did a great job of making it look like there's a real body beneath that outfit.
This figure definitely looks like Daryl hannah - in fact, Elle looks more like Daryl Hannah than either of the Brides have looked like Uma Thurman, so bonus points already. She's got a wicked smile on her face and her bright blue eye is detailed well. Look beneath her wet, stringy hair, and you'll find the two welts on her cheeks that the Bride gave her.
The paint apps are great. Elle's been brawling, so her suit doesn't look pristine. The hem of her pant legs are dirtied, and she's got a huge white smudge on her elbow and side - the wages of being thrown through a wall. Her sleeves, including those big white cuffs, have a tan wash dirtying them up, as well. The touches are subtle. Other than the smear of plaster, you have to look closely to see the dirt, just like you would in real life. All very nice, and all applied well. Prototype-quality paint on a mass-production figure? Unheard of!
As mentioned previously, Elle Driver has a display base that connects with the Bride's to form a pretty impressive diorama of their trailer fight.
Elle's section is 6 1/4" wide and 3" deep, and strewn with the splinters of destroyed furniture,
a crushed beer can and a few other bits of junk. It's really neat the way NECA actually made the base look like carpeting - there are even places where the texture is different, suggesting that the carpet fibers have been moved around. That's attentive, right there.
Elle's got a red suitcase that opens to reveal a huge stack of bills. Unfortunately, only two of the bundles of money can be removed - the rest are all glued securely in place. Kind of a disappointment really, since the figure also includes the other contents of the suitcase, a black mamba.
In Africa, the saying goes "In the bush, an elephant can kill you, a leopard can kill you, and a black mamba can kill you. But only with the mamba is death sure."
Hence its handle, "Death Incarnate." Pretty cool, huh? The snake is named not for the color of its body, but the interior of its mouth, which is an inky bluish-black. Shame, then, that NECA painted its mouth pink. The snake, made from rubber and coiled around itself, is 1 1/2" wide, which would just be the perfect size to fit inside Elle's suitcase, if the money wasn't stuck in there permanently. Yeesh.
One really neat little detail is the inclusion of Elle's notepad -
like most of us, Elle looks up cool information on the internet, and she keeps it in a small, spiral-bound notepad so she can rattle it off later. From another company, we would have just gotten a solid piece painted black; NECA, however, gave us a notepad that's open, with a black cover, silver binding and white sheets. The pad is open (slightly) to the page on which transcribed all her info about black mambas - and yes, the accessory is even printed with tiny, tiny type.
Her final accessory is the Bride's sword - you can tell by the lion crest near the hilt. The blade is vac-metallized, and fits in the included sheath, to recreate one of the film's best comedic moments: a highly trained assassin learning the limitations of fighting in a cramped space.
Elle's articulation is light, but it's perfectly in line with the Series 1 figures: ankles, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. Her head is the only thing on a balljoint, though her hair keeps you from doing much with it. Despite that, this is a good figure: articulation may be minimal, but put this hateful bitch on her base across from the Bride, and you're ready for one 'ell of a throwdown.
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