DVD of the Day: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

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From Dusk Till Dawn


The Stats


Director:  Robert Rodriguez

Writers: Quentin Tarantino & Robert Kurtzman

Actors:  George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Quentin Tarantino, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Salma Hayek, Tom Savini, Fred Williamson

Producers:  Gianni Nunnari, Meir Teper

Cinematography:  Guillermo Navarro


Release Date: 1996

Run Time:  108 Minutes

Color:  Technicolor

Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1

Language:  English, Spanish


Did they look like psychos? Is that what they looked like? They were vampires. Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are!


The Plot


Fugitive bank robbers, Seth and Richie Gecko, kidnap an ex-preacher and his two children to get across the border into Mexico to evade capture.  Ending up at an all night biker bar, they encounter an unholy surprise.



Analysis


From start to finish, this film is pretty much pure and complete insanity from the mind of Robert Rodriguez.  Half crime thriller and half vampire splatter-fest, this film pretty much never stops the action from beginning to end.


The fist half is a suspenseful crime film.  Everything is beautifully set-up and explained.  We get character backgrounds and exposition.  Who are the Gecko brothers? Why are they on the run? Who is the Fuller family? Why are they traveling cross-country? Why has the preacher lost his faith?  Then the two sets of families cross paths and the story really begins.  The two fugitive bank robbers take a family hostage to Mexico in an effort to escape U.S. justice. Then half-way through the movie… BAM! Vampires. It never apologizes for it’s ridiculousness and it’s fucking tremendous.


There in lies its brilliance.  It sets up a great story and gives you a ton of character development and almost throws it all out the window.  Except it really doesn’t.  All of the character development that was built up before the vampire slaughter still comes into play in the climactic moments of the film.  You do care for these characters.  Thanks in no small part also to the tremendous performances of George Clooney as Seth Gecko and Harvey Keitel as Reverend Fuller.  For those who have really only ever seen Clooney as the charming, debonair type, you really need to see him as Seth Gecko… a violent bad-ass.


On top of everything else, the vampire scenes are fun. Sometimes really goofy, but oftentimes incredibly violent.  The Make-Up Effects team did an incredible job with the vampire creature effects.  Interestingly enough, this film did the “bumpy forehead” vampire look BEFORE the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series made it popular.



The Lowdown


From Dusk Till Dawn is half crime movie, half vampire movie… but all awesome.

Adolfo

Adolfo is a pretentious film douche bag that feels better about wasting four years of film school by posting movie reviews online.

About Adolfo

Adolfo is a pretentious film douche bag that feels better about wasting four years of film school by posting movie reviews online.
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