I was watching Pulp Fiction the other day, particularly the scene where Butch kills that one dude with the samurai sword. It was an awfully quick kill, and I remarked to myself that "Hmm, I guess certain things stay the same." It got me to thinking that whenever fight scenes are choreographed with samurai swords, anytime somebody gets slashed, they die a quick instant death. I never really questioned this until recently. What is it about samurai swords that causes people to drop dead instantly after one slash? I notice this phenomenon in Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Rashomon, and the whole of the Samurai trilogy with Toshiro Mifune. This stands in stark contrast to somebody who gets shot in the gut with a bullet (eg. Resevoir Dogs). Are samurai swords poisonous? Do samurai swords cause a big gaping wound with a single slash, and we as the audience are to assume that guts will spill off screen?