HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  From Dusk Till Dawn Borderline
Year: 1996
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, Michael Parks, Brenda Hillhouse, John Saxon, Marc Lawrence, Kelly Preston, John Hawkes, Aimee Graham
Genre: Horror, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 4 votes)
Review: This Texas Ranger (Michael Parks) wanders into a local liquor store in the desert near the U.S. border with Mexico and picks up a bottle of beer, then starts shooting the breeze with his friend behind the counter (John Hawkes); after a couple of minutes of small talk he heads off to the bathroom and suddenly the shop assistant has a gun pointed in his face - again. These two criminal types are the Gecko brothers, Seth (George Clooney) and Richie (Quentin Tarantino), who have recently committed robbery and murder, and they'll do anything to get away.

But quite where they end up is meant to be a surprise, except that even in 1996 when this was released, there cannot have been many fans of Tarantino going to see this who would be that shocked at the crunching gear change in plot halfway through. You could observe this collaboration between the man of the movie moment in the nineties and his cohort Robert Rodriguez, no slouch himself in the cult film department, was anticipating their later Grindhouse by telling two stories in one movie, but with From Dusk Till Dawn it was possible to argue they had pulled that off more successfully than what they did with an even more self-indulgent project later on.

Therefore for the first hour you got a gangster thriller of the sort that Tarantino had conjured up for his directorial efforts, and indeed he was originally intended to helm this as well until it was clear it was too much workload for one Quentin to handle. So while he wrote the script, there was a definite Rodriguez tone to the business in hand, sort of the high octane action he made his name with coupled alongside the dialogue Tarantino liked to pen, and he did like to hear his characters talk. Once the Gecko brothers escape the liquor store - and many liked to observe the arrogance of Tarantino cast as Clooney's brother considering their differing looks, but George was cast after many others had to turn the part down - they wind up at a motel.

They have already lost two hostages, but a spare happens to be in the back of their car; alas, Richie is left alone with her as Seth goes out to arrange the meeting point with their partners in crime, and he kills her, what with being a sex offender and all. This is a running theme of having to put up with your sibling because they are family, but it doesn't go anywhere except into the realms of ever more cartoonish violence, with the conclusion to that thread not so much Of Mice and Men and more Mexican soap opera. Just as well it's Mexico where they find themselves for the second half, but they're not alone as along the way the Geckos have picked up three more hostages, a family on a road trip to take their minds off the recent death of the mother. Nothing takes the mind off that like getting a gun in your face, it has to be said.

Though that's nothing in comparison to what's to come, and if you don't want to know look away now. The Fuller family - brother Scott (Ernest Liu in a role which conspicuously did nothing for his career), sister Kate (Juliette Lewis) and most importantly father Jacob (Harvey Keitel) - have their motorhome hijacked to cross the border and get to a strip bar out in the middle of nowhere, Seth keeping them around for a bargaining chip or three. What's vital here is that Jacob has lost his faith which is unfortunate for a pastor, but even more unfortunate for the situation they're about to find themselves in. That amounts to less a serious examination of theology as you'd get in something like The Exorcist, and more down to the fact that things are about to get a lot hairier in a genre swap.

What does that mean? If you don't know, it's that once hyped up dancer Salma Hayek does her snake dance and notices the blood dripping from Richie's injured hand after a brawl, all hell breaks loose which cues the most fun part: the vampires arrive. It's not the most intelligent way to ramp up the excitement, but who cares? Naturally all the characters know about killing bloodsuckers is what they've seen in the movies, which given there's a hefty dose of zombie lore in there to boot (get bitten and you're immediately doomed), that might not be such a bad thing. Seeing bikers Tom Savini and Fred Williamson fighting side by side was worth the price of admission alone, making for a movie that comes closer than many to the exploitation gems Tarantino and Rodriguez worshipped - including their later efforts in that direction, where they just thought about it too much. Plus where else would you get to see such cult actors as vampires? And Tarantino, too. Music by Graeme Revell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4761 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Rodriguez  (1968 - )

Hip, hard-working American film maker, a former cartoonist, who directs, produces, writes and edits most of his movies. El Mariachi worked wonders on a tiny budget, and since then he's made Desperado, the only good segment of Four Rooms, gangster/vampire horror From Dusk Till Dawn, teen sci-fi The Faculty, kiddie adventure quartet Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2, Spy Kids 3-D and Spy Kids 4-D, semi-sequel Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Frank Miller adaptation Sin City (which gained a sequel nine years later). He next teamed up with Quentin Tarantino for double feature Grindhouse, and although it flopped it did spur him to beef up the fake trailer Machete, featuring the Danny Trejo character from the Spy Kids movies, a sequel Machete Kills following soon after. James Cameron gave him Alita: Battle Angel to play with, but the results muffled his flair.

 
Review Comments (5)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: