Saturday, November 17, 2018

Movie Review: "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996)

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Year: 1996
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

A pair of criminals takes a vacationing family hostage to escape into Mexico where they plan to meet their partner at a trucker bar. This bar turns out to be a vampire haven, and now the criminals and the kidnapped family are left fighting for their lives.

From Dusk Till Dawn 1996 movie still Robert Rodriguez Quentin Tarantino George Clooney
"I don't believe in fucking vampires, but I believe in my own two eyes, and what I saw is fucking vampires!" (Image Source)
Kidnapping, Clooney, and a vampire striptease...what's not to love? "From Dusk Till Dawn" is directed by Robert Rodriguez, who has directed other movies like "El Mariachi," "Desperado," and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico." The story is by Robert Kurtzman with a screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino, who besides being a prolific director has been a writer of such films as "True Romance" and "Natural Born Killers." The centers on a professional criminal named Seth Gecko (George Clooney), who is often left cleaning up the messes created by his psychopathic brother Richard (Quentin Tarantino). On the run from police, Seth and Richard take a former pastor named Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his kids Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu) hostage. Richard plans to use them so they can hide in their RV and cross from the United States into Mexico. Once in Mexico, Seth plans to meet up with an old partner who owes him some money at a trucker bar called the Titty Twister. The group sits down to have a drink and enjoy the entertainment until his partner arrives. When it turns out the bar is actually a den for vampires, all the patrons of the bar must team up to survive until dawn.

From Dusk Till Dawn 1996 movie still Robert Rodriguez Quentin Tarantino George Clooney Juliette Lewis
"Are you a faithless preacher, or are you a mean motherfucking servant of God?" (Image Source)
Robert Rodriguez made his mark on the film industry making excessive action films. "From Dusk Till Dawn" is most certainly an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek action horror that is a lot of fun. The main character of this movie is a pretty despicable criminal, but luckily, he's played by George Clooney, who is a charming enough actor to make the character likable regardless of his immoral actions. The character of Richard, however, is supposed to be a creepy pervert, which makes Quentin Tarantino the perfect choice for this role despite his lack of actual acting talent. Clooney and Tarantino are both great in their roles, as are Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis. We also get some nice homages to classic B-movies with the inclusion of Fred Williamson, who made his name in 70's exploitation cinema, and well-known make-up artist Tom Savini, who has worked on horror films like "Friday the 13th," "The Burning," and "The Prowler." It wouldn't be a Robert Rodriguez joints without his mainstays like Cheech Marin and Salma Hayek. The story is simple but effective. It's really just about a group of people fighting for survival like most horror movies. There's not much depth beyond that, so it sounds sort of boring, but rest assured that when the gang gets to the Titty Twister, all hell breaks loose. That's when the quippy dialogue, the entertaining action sequences, and the stellar makeup and effects work come into play, making the overall experience of watching "From Dusk Till Dawn" really fun. The vampires look super creepy, and the blood and gore are abundant and sufficiently exaggerated to an intentionally cartoonish level.
From Dusk Till Dawn 1996 movie still Robert Rodriguez Quentin Tarantino George Clooney Salma Hayek
"Psychos don't explode when sunlight hits them, I don't care how fucking crazy they are." (Image Source)
"From Dusk Till Dawn" is a bit dated in its content and overall aesthetic, but it is still a worthwhile watch for fans of Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, and George Clooney.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.3/10
RT Rating: 63%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
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  1. let's not forget to mention the absolute cult "art of seduction" scene with Tarantino and Hayek!
    movie is worth watching just for that...

    1. Hi, Bo!

      That is definitely a great scene! And, the film as a whole is endlessly quotable! Thanks for reading our review!

      Lolo & BigJ