Pai Mei was a legendary master of the Bak Mei-style kung fu. He was the teacher of Bill, Elle and Beatrix and was responsible for the removal of Elle's right eye. He was the one who taught Beatrix the fatal movement known as the Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique and the Three inch punch. Pai Mei was poisoned by Elle, as a revenge for snatching out her eye.
Back in 1003 ("one-double aught-three") in China, as Pai Mei was traveling down a road, a Shaolin monk crossed paths with him. Pai Mei gave a slight nod to the monk, who did not return one. Although the motives of the monk remain unknown, whether it was an insult or a misunderstanding, Pai Mei tracked him down at the Shaolin Temple. He demanded from the head Abbot to kill himself as a mean of retribution, yet the Abbot refused, and Pai Mei massacred all the 60 monks who resided in the temple.
Bill and Elle's trainingEdit
Pai Mei was once the master of Bill and Elle Driver, and taught them the style of kung fu known as Bak Mei. During his training, Bill learned that Pai Mei hated Caucasians, Japanese and Americans. This was proved true when asked of her abilities, Beatrix spoke of her samurai background and was hence laughed at.
During her own personal training, Elle called Pai Mei a "miserable, old fool", a statement that triggered Pai Mei's fury, which resulted in Elle losing her right eye. From that day, Elle had a powerful hatred towards Pai Mei.
Pai Mei was approached by Bill and asked if he could teach Beatrix the secrets of kung fu similar to how Bill was taught. After a short disagreement, Bill and Pai Mei had a small fight which eventually displayed Bill's desire to strongly have Beatrix be trained by Pai Mei. After the fight, Pai Mei accepted and offered to teach Beatrix the ways of kung fu.
As Beatrix entered his garden and training area, Pai Mei insulted her as her Mandarin was "lousy", she barely speaks Cantonese, and she only knows Japanese. Pai Mei told her that he despises the Japanese. After asking her about what skills she possesses, Pai Mei asked her to show them to him. He then ordered her to go to the rack of mounted Jians and draw one out. Pai Mei then explained to Beatrix that if she is well handled with a sword, she should be able to strike at him. Pai Mei then offered that if she was able to lay one blow on him, he will admit she is superior and call her master.
A fight between Beatrix and Pai Mei broke out as Beatrix was swinging her jian trying to strike at Pai Mei. Pai Mei successfully dodged all of her attacks without difficulty. During the fight, Pai Mei disarmed Beatrix and told her that she had shown nothing to him so far.
He then asked to show him her Tiger Crane style martial arts. As the fight continues, Beatrix was still unable to hit Pai Mei as he blocked and dodged all of her attacks. After she was knocked off her feet to the ground, Beatrix tried to use a rock to strike at him. Aware of what she was doing, Pai Mei grabbed her arm to a twisted formation as he spoke to her.
In pain, Beatrix spoke of what Cantonese she knew and accepted that Pai Mei was superior and if he was to teach her, she will have to do everything he says and obey his demands. After asking and confirming that she will obey his commands as student, he accepts her and tells her that her training begins on the next day as she can use the current day to rest and get comfortable.
Pai Mei also taught Beatrix manners; as was shown, during dinner, Beatrix's found it very hard to eat white rice with sticks (as her hand was severely hurt from hitting wood), so she attempted to eat with her hands. Annoyed, Pai Mei threw the contents of the bowl to the floor, commenting that if she wants to be treated as a human being, she ought to eat like one.
While Pai Mei was known to be the only one to master the Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, and according to Bill, he did not teach any of his students how to perform this move, Pai Mei eventually shared with Beatrix his sacred secret, one she would later use to kill Bill.
At some point after Beatrix finished her training, Elle killed Pai Mei by poisoning his fish heads. It is uncertain whether Elle did this during the course of her own training or whether she made a separate trip after Beatrix's training.
As Pai Mei was dying, he said, "Elle, you treacherous dog . . . I give you my word . . . " Elle stood above him, laughing; she said to him "To me, the word of an old fool like you is worth less than nothing."
This information inspired Beatrix to pluck out Elle's other eye during their final confrontation years later.
- Master Martial Artist: Pai Mei's martial art skills are beyond the human level. He was able to kill 60 Shaolin Monks, single handed. He seemingly beat up (the already trained) Bill and easily beat the martial arts proficient Beatrix. He was the creator and sole practitioner of the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. He easily tore out Elle's eye. He was so skilled that the only way anyone was able to kill him was via poisoning (Elle).
- Superhuman Speed, Balance and Reflexes: Pai Mei was easily able to dodge Beatrix's furious sword strikes and land perfectly on her sword. He (ironically) tore out Elle's eye in the blink of an eye.
- Extended Lifespan: Pai Mei was born, potentially a long time, before the year 1000 and lived, seemingly in perfect health, all the way to the year 2003 and most likely would have lived a lot longer had he not been poisoned.
- In one version of the script, Pai Mei's lips would be speaking Cantonese while his voice (dubbed by Quentin Tarantino) would be heard in English, imitating a bad dub job. This was ultimately decided against, and Mei's dialogue was not dubbed.
- Pai Mei's age is an exaggeration (it is not uncommon for legendary/folklore rulers and characters to have exaggerated ages in China). Although he appeared physically fit and healthy, Pai Mei wouldn't have sustained his life so extraordinarily on a limited diet of rice and fish heads.