From Dusk Till Dawn Review (1996)

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

From Dusk Till Dawn Review (1996)

Horrorific content by penguin_pete on August 21st, 2018 | Movie Review | Vampire, Cult Classic, Cannibalism, Campy, Gore

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It’s about two brothers on the lam after a bank heist who flee to Mexico and encounter vampires.

From Dusk Till Dawn was directed by Robert Rodriguez (who also directed The Faculty and Planet Terror) and stars George Clooney (from Return Of The Killer Tomatoes!), Quentin Tarantino  and Harvey Keitel  (from Red Dragon).

One night is all that stands between them and freedom. But it's going to be a hell of a night.

From Dusk Till Dawn Review

Hello, Non-Horror Fans!

It’s refreshing to review a horror movie with some mainstream appeal for a change. (waves to horror culture outsiders entering through Google searches) Hello, non-horror fan visitors! Welcome to the dungeon, we got fun and games! Just don’t play any with the creepy puppet dude, he plays for keepsies.

What more can you say about From Dusk Till Dawn than “It’s a dude flick”? It’s written by the dudest dude-flick maker that ever duded, Quentin Tarantino, and directed by Robert Rodriguez, who has a couple other horror features under his belt but isn’t intent on this particular genre. The main horror alumnus out of the cast is Tom Savini, a horror veteran with a devilish grin who is better known for his makeup and special-effects work than his acting. Here he gets to play the smug role of “Sex Machine,” a biker packing a double-barrel six-shooter codpiece.

Of course, it’s not proper to call From Dusk Till Dawn a horror movie. It’s the back half of a horror movie, sewn to the front half of an action-crime thriller. Like a human centipede, the cast is dumped out the exit of one into the entrance of the other midway through. For you non-horror fans, that was a reference to... ugh... never mind.

Draw Me A Beer And I’ll Tell You The Plot

So the Gecko brothers, Seth (George Clooney) and Richard (Quentin Tarantino), are bank robbers on the lam headed through Texas for the Mexican border. There’s an uneasy tension between them; Seth is a professional thief with standards of his own and only kills when circumstances force his hand, while Richard is a psychotic pervert who will kill just as easily for fun, but who also broke Seth out of prison last time, so Seth owes him one. They have a hostage... for awhile, and aside from an early confrontation at a liquor store and newscasters referencing their off-screen train of carnage from their recent heist, there’s very little blood shed on-screen.

The Gecko brothers meet a small family with a motor home, which is just the ride they need to bluff across the Mexican border, so that’s how they end up taking an ex-minister (Harvey Keitel) and his two kids hostage, forcing them to smuggle the robbers. They make it to “the Titty Twister,” (dude flick cheer!) a bar in Mexico, where they’ll hole up until morning to meet their connection to safe South American passage.

But then suddenly a vampire movie happens! The Titty Twister is a vampire nest operating out of an ancient Mayan temple disguised as a rowdy bar, and they just transform into fangy chompy critters at the same time every night to snack on the patrons. What was a crime thriller now becomes a desperate battle for survival, as the robbers and hostages at the center of Team Human wage war on Team Vampire until the sun comes up. Come to that, not even the vampires stay true to form; at least two of them transform into... a werebat and a werewolf?

That Made No Sense!

Of course it don’t make no sense! Look on the label, you see “sense” written there? This movie is made of: beer, violence, rock and roll, titties, action, whiskey shots, gore, trucks, pussy, swear words, motorcycles, duct tape, and greasy fajitas guaranteed to give you the shits in the morning. The only real reason it has vampires at all is because that was the only way to make it cooler.

This movie does NOT contain: Sensitivity, armpit shaving, shopping trips to Bed Bath ‘n’ Beyond, romantic candle-light dinners, mistletoe, sharing your feelings, glitter, or a New Years’ Eve party where the chief focus is whether or not a star-crossed couple will kiss. The songs “Makin’ Whoopee,” “Chapel of Love,” “Knock Three Times,” “Shoop Shoop,” and “Time Of My Life” do not appear on the soundtrack. Nobody in this movie is the wind beneath anybody else’s wings, somebody’s shoulder to cry on, or a gay friend who helps somebody get a makeover so their crush will fall in love with them. There are no giggling strolls on the beach, wine-sipping bubble-baths, tossed bridal bouquets, or dramatic baby deliveries in the back of a taxi cab.

Got A Refill On That Beer?

So yeah, what the hell, man, we’ll give it a 7. That’s pretty much based on its standing as a horror movie, because hey, it doesn’t even really try to scare you all that much. It does blow you away with one cool line and awesome scene after another. You non-horror fans in the back row should know we horror fans don’t always demand our movies make sense, which is why we have movies like 5-Headed Shark Attack.

If you were to stop and ask questions like some hipster kale-eating metrosexual, you’d wonder why the vampires insist the bar is for “bikers and truckers only,” the demographic most likely to be armed. Or you’d wonder why Cheech Marin is standing outside barking at people to come in when they’re in the middle of the desert - what, are all these people here just to cruise around the parking lot? Or why they bothered taking a teller hostage when they just dust her later. (Really, it’s so that Tarantino gets a trunk scene. Tarantino could direct The Titanic and still figure out how to work in a hostage in a car trunk.) You’d even begin to wonder why Mexican vampires need to front a bar at all, when they could just join Los Zetas and be the best assassins they have, with the bonus of all the fresh blood they can lap.

Yeah, look, if you’re asking questions, you’re at the wrong movie. Or you’re just a chick here to drool over George Clooney in his first major film role. That sleeve tattoo rules!

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