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I might never have liked you. Point of fact, I despise you. But that doesn't suggest I don't respect you. Dying in our sleep is a luxury our kind is rarely afforded. My gift to you.
~ Elle Driver venting her hatred towards Beatrix Kiddo as she prepares to kill her, only to be forced by Bill to abort this attempt moments later.

Elle Driver, also known as California Mountain Snake, is the secondary antagonist of the Kill Bill series, serving as a major antagonist in Vol. 1 and as the secondary antagonist of Vol. 2. She is an arrogant and sadistic swordswoman loyal to Bill, as well as a enforced member of Bill's elite group of assassins known as the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad; along with Vernita Green, O-Ren Ishii, Budd, and the film's protagonist, Beatrix Kiddo, alias Black Mamba and The Bride.

She is portrayed by Daryl Hannah, who also portrayed Pris in Blade Runner and Nancy Archer in the remake of Attack of the 50-foot Woman.

History

Elle Driver was a cruel and murderous swordswoman who served Bill as an enforced member of the DeVAS. It quickly transpired that Elle and the Bride despise each other with a passion; each considers the other her archnemesis. One of the reasons for that hatred is that the Bride is Bill's mistress, and Elle was jealous of her for being loved by Bill - thereby implying that Elle had some kind of sexual relationship with Bill at a time different to when he romanced with The Bride back then. Nonetheless, they do seem to treat each other with a grudging respect. Elle even describes The Bride as "the greatest warrior [she] had ever met" and also said that she deserved better than to have supposedly met her end at the hands of someone like Budd. (The latter claim, however, seems to be a statement of vanity in that she was declaring herself the one worthy to kill The Bride.) She was trained by Pai Mei, like Bill and The Bride, but Elle disrespected Pai Mei and he plucked out her right eye. She has worn a distinctive eye-patch ever since. In retaliation, she murdered Pai Mei by poisoning his fish heads. After the Massacre in the Two Pines Chapel Bill learns that the Bride isn't dead, but in a coma. With Bill's orders, Elle disguises herself as a nurse and visits the hospital where the Bride lies. While she is approaching to inject the Bride with a deadly poison, Bill calls her to abort the mission. Although Elle wants to kill the Bride while she's incapacitated, she obeys Bill, to wait till the Bride is out of the coma.

When the Bride is captured by Budd (Sidewinder), Budd calls Elle to offer her the Bride's Hanzo sword. Elle agrees to pay one million dollars for the sword, on the condition that Budd makes the Bride suffer till her last breath. Budd buries the Bride alive, but the Bride escapes from the grave and goes to Budd's trailer. Elle pays Budd for the sword with a suitcase full of money. But Elle puts a black Mamba (the Bride's former codename) on the bottom that bites and kills Budd when he opens the suitcase. Elle calls Bill and blames the Bride for Budd's death. She also claims that she killed the Bride by burying her alive and tells Bill the location of the grave. Elle takes the sword and the money back. When Elle is about to leave the trailer, she is attacked by the Bride. A fight between the two women ensues, and because Budd owned a Hanzo sword himself (he lied that he sold the sword) they fight with equal swords. During the fight, Elle reveals that she killed Pai Mei by poisoning the fish heads he had eaten for dinner in retribution for him snatching her eye out. In knowing this, the Bride decides to make Elle suffer, instead of killing her instantly. She snatches Elle's left eye out and stomps on it, leaving the disfigured Elle thrashing about blindly and swearing profusely in Budd's trailer with the black mamba. Elle's fate is left unknown, although it is presumed that she may have been killed by the black Mamba.

Personality

Thought that was pretty f**kin' funny, didn't you? Word of advice, s**thead: Don't wake up.
~ Elle threatening a comatose Beatrix Kiddo.

While all of the Deadly Vipers are ruthless, violent, and dangerous, Elle is the only one who can be called genuinely evil: she is cold, remorseless, and sadistic, and takes real pleasure in killing innocent people. She is also characterized as being deeply envious of The Bride, her rival for Bill's affections. Nevertheless, Elle has a grudging respect for her, and wants to kill her in a manner befitting a warrior.

Trivia

  • Quentin Tarantino said that he planned for a third volume franchise and he said that 's Vernita Green daughter Nikki will receive training from Elle and Sofie Fatale to exact revenge on The Bride for her mother's death.

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