Guest Post – From Dusk Till Dawn

Mark from Marked Movies is the author of the latest Guest Post for Horror Movie Month. He takes a look at Tarantino-Clooney vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn. A huge thank you to Mark for letting me use his review; go check out his site, it’s a belter. If you want to have something featured in Horror Movie Month, email me on chris1039@hotmail.com.

From Dusk Till DawnDirector: Robert Rodriguez.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino.
Starring: George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, Michael Parks, John Saxon, Kelly Preston, John Hawkes.

Before their collaboration on the “Grindhouse” double-bill, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez joined up to do this crime/horror picture. Both Tarantino and Rodriguez’s choice actors also join the show, with the inclusion of a pre-stardom George Clooney.

Seth and Richie Gecko (George Clooney & Quentin Tarantino) are two murderous bank robbers on the run and fleeing for safety to a nightclub in Mexico called the “Titty Twister” which is reportedly a safe haven for criminals. To get there they kidnap preacher Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his kids Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu) who are travelling in their motor home. Once they reach the club though, they soon realise that when the sun goes down, they have more to deal with at the hands (and teeth) of bloodthirtsy vampires.

If this sounds rediculous or over-the-top then thats because it is. The film starts in true Tarantino fashion with the two criminal brothers dressed in black suits similiar to “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” and spouting equally impressive dialogue. This however, changes abruptly about half way in and becomes nothing more than a horror B-movie – obviously the work of Rodriguez. As much as this is quite fun, it jars with the cool and dialogue laden beggining. It’s a transition that’s not a very smooth one and feels like two different films cut and pasted together. This a shame really, because the first half of the film is up there with Tarantino’s best stuff. I would have much preffered it if he had just completed the film in that similiar style. What I was most impressed with was the effortless performance of a cool-headed but dangerous killer from George Clooney, who at this time in his career was just fresh from his “E.R.” scrubs. He is absolutely brilliant and this was just the beginning of several fitting performances from Clooney in the future.

There’s no denying that is an enjoyable gore fest with wonderful dialogue but I couldn’t help but wonder what might have been.

* * * 1/2

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9 thoughts on “Guest Post – From Dusk Till Dawn

  1. Mark Walker says:

    Thank you for that kind introduction Chris. Much appreciated and glad to be of service.

  2. Tyson Carter says:

    Loved this film, and thought Tarantino did a great job acting! Nice write up as always Mark.

  3. DrFrood says:

    Hitchcock’s Psycho did a similar jarring lurch between genres about halfway through, going from a tense thriller to horror in one fell shower scene swoop. Dusk ’til Dawn didn’t exactly manage its shift quite so stylishly, but to be fair it aims at trashy B-movie right from the start, so maybe that was partly intentional. That’s not a criticism, by the way, any more than it would be a criticism of the Grindhouse experiment. I agree that the first half is the stronger portion, though. As for it being a missed opportunity, you’re not wrong, but if Quentin was given the chance to go back in time and redo one of his films, I’d hope he’d plump for Kill Bill part 2 – that Superman speech is just painful; QT self-consciously trying to ‘do’ QT.

  4. keith7198 says:

    Ah yes, “From Dusk till Dawn”. I’ve seen this several times. A clever mix of brutal horror violence and some genuinely laugh-out-loud funny moments. This really got Clooney noticed on the big screen. Not a perfect movie but fun nonetheless. Fine review as always!

  5. Great post. Nice to see Mark make his “mark” on other sites 😉

  6. mistylayne says:

    First time I saw this I was 16 and had no idea what it was about and absolutely hated it, lol. Also my parents were horrified by it because they didn’t realize what it was about either. Revisited it later and enjoyed it though.

  7. I haven’t seen this one, though my brother has. He says it looked like they ran out of script about halfway through and said “Well, let’s throw in some vampires!”

  8. This is a love it or hate it kind of film. If you love great dramatic acting and over the top horror satire, then this is the perfect film. If you only like one or the other, this movie is going to be so so at best. I really liked this movie, especially as a Tarantino fan, and I think it’s one of Clooney’s best performances ever.
    I also got the chance to review this flick on my new blog. I would love to get some feedback from another critic. Check it out if you can.

    http://horrormoviemedication.blogspot.com/2013/02/from-dusk-till-dawn-mexican-vampire.html

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