Wednesday, October 31, 2007

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Fear 0 /5
Gore 3 / 5
Entertainment 4 / 5
Creepiness 1 / 5
Nightmares 0 / 5
Very fun and very entertaining outlaw / vampire movie from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez (they who brought you Grindhouse). With a cast that includes George Clooney(come on, you know he's good), Harvey Keitel and Cheech Marin in three differing roles, the chances that this will go wrong are slim.
Generally I find Tarantino's scripts to be either very good or very bad. I still think Reservoir Dogs is a great film while Death Proof was a snoozefest that went absolutely nowhere. The emphasis on drawn out dialogue is here, Tarantino's constant trait, and it works well here since the over all tone is light and slightly comedic. This is where Clooney really makes the film shine. His ability to appear consistently irritated at all the time in this movie is great - he doesn't seem angry or gruff like one would expect from a tough leading man. Instead, he seems like he's been waiting in line all day or stuck in traffic. Pissy and short. It's hilarious.
Essentially, the first hour and and 15 minutes of this is standard Tarantino fare: Clooney and his brother (played "well enough" by Tarantino himself) are a couple of low-lifes who kidnap Harvey Keitel and his family, forcing them to drive to Mexico to get them out of the country. Keitel is a pastor who has lost the faith following his wife's tragic death. They cross the border and wind up at an improbable bar named The Titty Twister way out in the middle of the empty Mexican desert. After scuffling with Danny Trejo and watching Selma Hayek perform an exotic dance with a big snake, the people running the bar transform into vampires and attack everyone. There's really no explanation for this and by this point you don't care.
Clooney and Keitel are joined by Fred Williamson and Tom Savini and they managed to kill off the vampires, but find themselves locked in the bar, backed into a corner as they try to keep out the other vampires trying to get in. Simple, standard horror fare from this point out.
From Dusk Till Dawn is very creative and has a lot of laughs - again mainly from Clooney, though Cheech Marin is hilarious as he spits out bad pun after bad pun. The gore is all latex and cheese, tons of fun and the vampires all look to be straight out of 1985 (think Fright Night). There is a ton of action and, unlike most Tarantino films, it has a straight forward, easy story that doesn't muck things up or complicate things. The film knows what it's supposed to do and it does it well. Great tongue-in cheek horror film. one of the few shining moments in 1990's horror.
- Complaint Department

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