From Dusk Till Dawn
Dir: Robert Rodriguez
Star: Quentin Tarantino, George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 1996
Format: DVD R2

After a bloody escape from a court room Seth Gecko (George Clooney) aided by his ever so mentally unstable brother Richard (Quentin Tarantino) make good their escape with a bank teller they have taken hostage.(in real life, Tarantino's former acting coach) Stopping at a lone liquor store on the way to the Mexican border for refreshment, the killing spree continues leaving the liquor store attendant popping corn and the store ablaze. Calmly leaving the carnage behind behind them the two brothers resume their journey to the border.

After hijacking a mobile home or RV at a small motel, the Gecko brothers use their new hostages of a retired preacher called Jacob (Harvey Keitel) and his two children Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu) to smuggle them through the border and transport them to a small bar to rendezvous with their associate Carlos who will give them sanctuary in Mexico for a percentage of their ill gotten gains. The bar chosen for the rendezvous is out of the way, always busy with bikers and truckers, is open "From dusk till dawn" and has the lovely name of "The titty twister" emblazoned across a huge neon sign which leaves nothing much to the imagination.

In accordance with the hours of the bar, Carlos (Cheech Marin) arranges to meet Seth and Ritchie at dawn. So the merry bunch have to endure the night in a bar surrounded by semi naked women gyrating their bodies all around them.(and who wouldn't like a bar like that) Once they manage to get served by the barman (Danny Trejo) they find a table to enjoy the spectacle around them just in time to see the star attraction of dancer Satanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek) who seems to have taken quite an interest in Ritchie. The brothers soon discover that they are surrounded by vampires and as the doors of the bar are locked they must fight to survive......

A triumph by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino this film is a kick ass horror action fest. The script courtesy of Quentin Tarantino is terrific and typical Tarantino, taken from the story by Robert Kurtzman and incorporating elements from plenty of cult movies. A splendid supporting cast including John Saxon, Fred Williamson, Michael Parks and special effects and horror make up guru Tom Savini. Loaded with quick one liners and featuring some excellent direction by Rodriguez the film is a must for horror fans. As with his other work notibly Desperado, From Dusk till Dawn maintains a kinetic energy from start to finish and the inevitable influence of Tarantino is plainly evident, all serving to make an over the top kick butt movie. A little camp and over the top in places but loaded with dark humour, including inventive ways of vampire slaying and in general it's orchestrated chaos makes it more enjoyable and leaves you eager for more.

George Clooney is actually very good as Seth Gecko and he seems to have been gifted with the best lines and seems quite at home with the gun toting anti-hero role. Quentin Tarantino gives what you would expect and the chemistry between him and his on screen brother is great. The ever alluring Salma Hayek is at her most rivetingly sensual and her eerie performance will have most heterosexual men reaching for the remote control to rewind and watch again right up until the point that she gets ugly. Juliette Lewis slips into the role of Vampire Killer from "innocent teenager" effortlessly and certainly steals several scenes from her on screen father played by Harvey Keitel.

Very gory and excessively violent but that is what you want isn't it, the film does tend to thumb it's nose at some standard horror movies cliches. One or two of the effects do tend to look a little too CGI for my taste but the good use of traditional make up and effects makes a nice change to recent offerings. Dismembered body parts, gallons of blood (red and green varieties) and the odd head rolling around here and there in addition to the seductive and near naked dancers make you wonder how they got the film through the censors, but damn if you ain't glad that they did. If you want to watch an action / horror film with a difference then From Dusk Till Dawn should be near or at the top of your list, it is over the top and a little extreme but it will keep you entertained.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Picture 1.85:1 / 1.33:1 Widescreen Good transfer and crisp image
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Very cool
Features Excellent animated menus
Very funny audio commentary by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez
Stills gallery
Some cool deleted and alternate scenes
Cast and crew biographies,
A series of outtakes or bloopers
Cool music video's for Tito & Tarantula - "After Dark" and ZZ Top - "She's Just Killing at me" as featured in the movie.
Documentaries "Hollywood goes to Hell" and the "Art of Making From Dusk Till Dawn"
Original Theatrical trailer
Features "Full Tilt Boogie" a stylish and unique behind the scenes docu-movie made during the filming of From Dusk Till Dawn by the girl who made the coffee on the set of Pulp Fiction. The films candid and in your face style captures the cast and crew of the film at their best and worst, leading to some humourous contributions from certain members. Also covering the victimisation of independant film maker's and specifically Robert Rodriguez by the motion picture trade unions threatening to call a strike and shut down the production. A superb and at times quite mad addition to this great collector set.
Verdict Excellent 2 disc Collectors Edition, with plenty of interesting and fun goodies. Also comes with a playable demo of the "From Dusk Till Dawn" PC game.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home