So I have no idea why it has taken me just about a decade of personal viewing freedom to finally watch From Dusk Till Dawn, but today, May 12, 2012, I finally have. And may I just say, like always, I’m late to one gruesome, amazing party. This is definitely not the first Robert Rodriguez film that I have been exposed to, but hot damn, its probably my favorite now. I’ve tried catching the film on TV and let me tell you: bad idea. First time I tried viewing this, I missed the first ten minutes of it and thought it was droll as hell. This is a movie you need to watch uninterrupted by commercials, and from the beginning. Especially if you are into the gritty crime/action twisted with horror genre, this film will get you aroused.
The basis of the movie is revolved around two criminal brothers Seth and Richard Gecko (played brilliantly by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino) who are trying to meet up with Seth’s “business partner” at a bar in Mexico called the Titty Twister. Apparently they need hostages to make it there and cross the boarder, so enter a broken family of 3: Jacob, Kate, and Scott Fuller. Jacob, the father, was once a priest, but lost faith when his wife died in a car accident (*shocker*). Kate and Scott, two teenagers trying to figure out where the hell their fathers faith went are struggling with the impromptu drive around the country in a trailer home bit, but the family in a whole keep it together for the most part when they become hostages. Kate, played by a young Juliette Lewis, is dynamite, playing young and innocent, but as the film goes on, she losses her innocence and becomes a bad ass, vampire fighting machine.
Where do the vampires come in you ask though? Oh about right around the half way marker, when the Gecko’s make the poor decision to treat the “Pussy” door man like shit when they walk into the bar. When the door man (one of the 3 characters that Cheech Marin plays) bitches about the beat down, which is after a very sexy, snake dance performance by Salma Hayek, the vampires bust out. Finally after so much pressure and build up, the movie explodes! BOOM! With blood of red and green everywhere, the 10 or 15 minute fight scene bursts into fire, wooden objects, crosses, and yes, even pencils. It is everything you would expect from Rodriguez and it’s just the right amount of gore and corn to keep the audience gasping and laughing. The movie goes on to have the few survivors regroup and then kick more vampire ass.
Although no vampires appear in the film until half way through the movie, they are worth the wait. I knew about this film for the majority of my life, but mostly hadn’t a clue that it was a vampire film until my recent Vampire in film and TV class that I just finished up. My professor suggested that I take a gander at the film, seeing as I prefer scary vampires over glittery ones, and boy am I glad I gave it another chance. The vampires in the film are more than grotesque, they may drink blood but their bodily fluids are green and slimy, when they are in their hunting form they are a combination of demon from hell, bats, and (because of the green body fluids) a 1984 Ghost Buster’s Slimer. But the vamps are a combination of horrifying and goofy at the same time. They are so over done in make up and prosthetic’s that you can’t help but chuckle at what some of them look like.
There is great character development for nearly all the leads, and there are some incredible, memorable one liners and zings throughout the movie. The way that it is filmed is too fold, it is that classic grind-house motif, and since Rodriguez and Tarantino are the creative minds behind it, it is their very recognizable style.
Overall, it’s sick, it’s sadistic, it’s gore, it’s horror, it’s humorous, it’s cheesy, it’s original, it’s everything you want for a fun, scary, bloody good time of a QT and Rodriguez film.
10 for 10 in the action/horror genre.