Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Day 253: From Dusk Till Dawn

My formative years were really filled with an embarrassment of well made movies. I just wish I hadn't known so much about this going in. If you've never seen it and somehow don't know what its about, try to stay pure. I would love to hear from someone who somehow saw this movie cold. Spoilers start next paragraph.

From Dusk Till Dawn was the highly anticipated collaboration between Quentin Tarantino's writing and Robert Rodriguez's directing. This came at a time when both were red hot properties. The first half of the movie is Tarantino through and through. The Gecko brothers, played by George Clooney and Tarantino himself are on a tear towards the Mexican border. Michael Parks is a law dog with the bad luck to cross their path. The opening shoot out in a gas station and the subsequent flight from the law is intense. The Geckos take a family hostage and hide in their camper as they cross the border. Juliette Lewis and Harvey Keitel are two thirds of the family. The real fun starts when they get to the spot where Clooney is meant to connect with Cheech Marin (in one of three roles he plays in this)...a strip club called the Titty Twister.

Little do the patrons know, the club is a den of vampires and the customers are there as the buffet. All of a sudden, after some grand Tarantino tension, all hell breaks loose and vampires are suddenly everywhere. The cast quickly gets narrowed down to a few badass survivors (and Juliette Lewis) who have to make it until dawn.

The action in the first half is serious and intense while the vampire killing in the second half is kind of goofy. People get turned left and right, betraying each other. The cast of bar patrons is stacked with people like Fred Williamson and Tom Savini who bring just the right grindhouse charm to the whole thing. What could have been another Pulp Fiction totally gives up the ghost of being a serious film by turning horror and how you handle that turn in the movie will determine how much you like it, I think.

I rolled with it pretty well and ended up enjoying, but not loving the movie. Your mileage may vary.

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