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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed this film, but I was left a little puzzled at the end by what
I'd just watched in terms of what type of movie this is.
It starts off as a very Tarantino-esquire film, it's clear that he wrote it as his famous dialogue is present. It's an enjoyable crime thriller much along the lines of Tarantino's other works (such as Pulp Fiction & Reservoir Dogs) but with a bit of Robert Rodriguez flare shown during the action sequences.
Then with about 50-ish minutes left, the style film changes entirely. It becomes another film, it goes from stylish crime thriller to random vampire action movie. It's almost as if Tarantino left the room while writing the script and somebody wrote the rest of the film for him, it loses it's Tarantino charm and becomes a predictable, gore fest, vampire flick.
I'm a fan of Vampire films, so I still enjoyed the movie, but I can see why others don't like it. The acting is of high quality, especially from Geroge Clooney who outdoes himself, and in parts saves the film.
8/10 - Watch with an open mind.
I loved this film for many reasons. For one, the switch from a crime
thriller to a horror thriller was seamless. I for one had not heard
much about this film before I watched it, and I assumed the TV Times
were mistaken in called this a gory horror thriller. To me, it was a
simple crime thriller, the norm which is expected from Tarantino's pen.
However, the switch was such a shock and so fast, that I didn't now
what happened I was amazed at this revelation, since there was no word
of any horror topics beforehand in the script. It was completely out of
the blue, and resulted in a pleasant surprise.
And the thing that's interesting is that BOTH halves to this film, both the crime section and horror section are enjoyable. The first half has less action, but tension does mount between Keitel and Clooney, while Tarantino is in the back, paying special attention to Keitel's daughter. A great premise with an equally great script in the first half. The second section is also great because of the horrific violence and as I heard mentioned before, the unique ways on how to kill vampires.
The script is witty and full of dark humour, "I have 6 little friends and they all run faster than you.", and the intro is certainly one of the best I have seen in months. The characters are well established, with Clooney as the 'gentleman' (well, not really) crook, Tarantino as his psychotic brother (who, strangely, I found difficult not to warm to) and Keitel is the preacher who has lost his faith, the hostage who will help out later when the satanic hordes unleash themselves.
A special mention must go to Salma Hayek for that special dance. ;) While this film was never made out of blockbuster material, it is still very understated, taking a unique and perhaps surreal viewing on the horror genre, all the while using horror stereotypes. As far as graphic violence is concerned, it is on par with the likes of Evil Dead (well, perhaps not THAT bad).
For once, this is a film which doesn't give the viewer all the answers beforehand. You are in the same boat as the characters and you don't know what's in store for them. If you hadn't seen this before, without any knowledge of the movie, you'd be in for a huge surprise as I was.
An 8/10 for it's script (thanks to Tarantino) and the actors who, while not trying too hard, make this an enjoyable horror flick with a difference.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'From Dusk Till Dawn' is kind of brilliant, brutal, bloody, Tarantino,
horror, silly and funny. It is brilliant, brutal, bloody, horror, silly
and funny the way Sam Raimi's 'The Evil Dead'-series is all those
things, the twist here is a screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino.
This means the first hour is just brutal and bloody, sometimes a little
funny, in the 'Pulp Fiction' kind of way.
We see two brothers named Seth (George Clooney) and Richie Gecko (Quentin Tarantino). They are bank robbers, although they do the occasional killing as well. We learn they want to reach the Mexican border. That the entire state of Texas and the FBI are looking for them is a problem so they force the Fuller family to bring them across the border with their motor home. Father Jacob (Harvey Keitel) used to be a minister but gave up faith after his wife died in a car crash. He travels with his adopted son Scott (Ernest Liu) and his daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis).
So we have the first hour, filled with Tarantino-stuff in its dialogue and references, and then the party arrives at a bar called the Titty Twister. Not long after they are inside it is revealed that every crew member from the bar is actually a vampire, feeding themselves on bikers and truckers that visit the place. The Fullers and Geckos survive together with a guy who calls himself Sex Machine (Tom Savini) and a guy named Frost (Fred Williamson). Now they are a team and face vampires as their opponents.
You see how this movie is actually two movies. Especially the second part will find a smaller audience and in a way I was a little curious how the first part would have ended if they kept it as serious as it was. Still, because the movie shifts the way it does it becomes quite original. We have a crime movie to start and a horror comedy, really in the Sam Raimi way, to end. If you are able to take it the way it comes, not too serious, there is a good chance you might like it. Even the gore is presented in a silly way, making it less gory.
Clooney's cool performance, the fitting soundtrack, some hilarious moments, Tarantino's fine touches all make this a highly original, quite bloody, vampire adventure. If you are a genre fan don't miss it, if you are not you might give it a try and be pleasantly surprised.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first half of this film is like anything you'd expect from Quentin
Tarintino and Robert Rodriguez: cool 70's soundtrack, snappy dialogue,
really good editing, lots of violence, and a slightly unconvincing role
by QT himself. I thought it was disturbing, stylish and pretty good for
the first half, and was enjoying it.
And then they get to the Titty Twister, where there are lots and lots of vampires and lots of blood and nudity, and lots of fighting, and, for me, it just went completely downhill. It felt silly and just inappropriate from what we'd seen at the beginning, and I actually got a little bored.
That being said, I really liked Harvey Kietel's performance and George Clooney was much better than I'd thought he'd be. Plus, Salma Hayek is one sexy kitten.
So yeah, half a good film. If you love over the top vampire films though complete with dated effects, then go for it, because you might just like it
Anyone trying to do a 'serious review' of this movie needs to lighten up. George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino are the Gecko brothers, two bad, bad men on their way to Mexico. Along the way they pick up a preacher played by Harvey Keitel and his two kids. They're supposed to meet a partner at a bar called The Titty Twister, and once they get there madness ensues. From there it takes a turn that many seem to find infuriating but I personally find highly entertaining. It's humming along like a typical Tarantino picture, and then- BOOM. Out of nowhere, it becomes all too clear that these two bad, bad men are not by a longshot the baddest in *this* bar. All of this can- and *will*, given the right attitude on the part of the viewers- read as a loving high-five to 70s zombie flicks, a homage to the campy fun of those movies. The tough guy dialog continues throughout, the gore level is astounding, and we see via Kate- the preacher's daughter, played by Juliette Lewis- that sometimes a p***ed-off virgin with a crossbow can more than hold her own. On top of that, it has a hella-cool biker-bar soundtrack and Salma Hayek in a bikini. What's not to like?
Critics of "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" often dismiss it as grade Z-slasher tripe, however the film is really two separate but equal genres (hard boiled crime drama and B-horror comedy) scotch taped together. Definitely not everyone's cup o' cinematic joe, this movie has more energy, wit and style than most high-budget Hollywood actioners. Clooney and Tarantino make a classic duo in two powerhouse and differing performances. T-man's script is crammed full of his usual over-the-top dialogue (if only criminals were really this interesting) and a lot of love for the conventions of B flicks from his youth. I give it a 10.
Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk till Dawn combines vicious violence, Cheech
Marin vampires, and some funny humor from the cast into one big collective
film. More than a basic horror movie, it has Rodriquez as a fine director
and Quentin Tarantino as a good screenwriter who bring to the screen basic
shoot em up fun. Not all of it is for the people out there, but for thrill
seeking teens, it's worth a glance.
The story involves 2 criminal brothers (George Clooney and Tarantino) who are part focused and part insane. They kidnap a family (Harvey Keitel, Ernest Liu and Juliette Lewis) and bring them to a bar called the T**y twister while waiting for morning and their money prize. But what ensues in that bar is terrific fun in which all the members are vampires and are relentless "from dusk till dawn". Great fun, terrific violence (if not disgusting) and cool quotes bring this film to a fine T. Look for Tom Savini as Sex Machine, Salma Hayek as a stripper and Cheech Marin who plays 3 characters. A+
Directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino are probably the two
most recognizable faces of the generation of filmmakers who had their
start in the independent scene of the early 90s. Rodriguez had a
tremendous success with his western-inspired action movie "El Mariachi"
while Tarantino reached fame and glory after updating heist movies in
"Reservoir Dogs". Their friendship lead them to make movies together
starting with "Four Rooms", but together with make-up masters Kurtzman,
Nicotero and Berger the two young directors crafted one of the most
original movies of the 90s: "From Dusk Till Dawn".
The plot starts with the escape of two criminal brothers, Seth (George Clooney) and Richard Gecko (Tarantino himself) and their effort to reach Mexico kidnapping the family of a faith-less preacher named Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) who was traveling with his daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis) and his son Scott (Ernest Liu). In their escape the group will arrive to a Mexican strip club where nothing is what it seems.
The story (by Kurtzman) is a very good mix of action, western and horror cleverly put together in Tarantino's witty script. Rodriguez direction gives the film the a 70s feeling that gives the movie a Drive-In spirit pretty much in tone with the plot. In fact, at times the film feels like an updated version of exploitation action films of that era. This lack of pretensions makes it even more enjoyable as it never tries to be something else than pure entertainment.
The movie is interestingly divided in two, the first half dedicated to establishing the relationships between the characters, particularly the complicated clash of the Geckos and the Fullers, in a typical Tarantino style crime/drama fashion; on the other hand, the second half is an action packed thrill ride on the style of 70s action movies that clearly shows John Carpenter's influence over Rodriguez. While it is definitely a tribute to their influences, the Rodriguez/Tarantino team create a solid movie that stands on its own as a very original take on horror movies.
The acting is very effective, with George Clooney carrying the film as the cool-headed older brother who has to take care of his psychotic younger brother. Tarantino is average, but he was certainly having fun with the role. Keitel is terrific as always and is perfect as the faithless pastor who doesn't trust in God anymore. Apearances by Salma Hayek and make-up virtuoso Tom Savini have small but unforgettable roles. Savini steals the film in his role as a biker that brings back memories of his part in Romero's classic "Dawn of the Dead". All in all is a very complete and solid cast that certainly gives the movie a very special flavor.
The special effects by KNB are top-notch, but the CGI used in some scenes is poor when compared to the traditional prosthetic make-up employed in the rest of the film. While the violence is never intended to be realistic, the poor CGI at times make it look more cartoon-like than what it was supposed to be, but it is not a real damaging flaw and the film is still highly enjoyable.
Rodriguez has always done films to have fun, and this is what has set him apart from other filmmakers (Tarantino included). His lack of pretensions and his dedication to his craft seem to transmit the fun he has making movies to the audience who watches them. While his films may not have an introspective depth or a high philosophical meaning, they work perfectly as entertainment of the highest quality. This underrated film is probably among his best and most enjoyable films of his young career. 8/10
From Dusk Till Dawn is simply a fun movie. Not meant to be taken
seriously at all. If you're looking for a movie to sit back and enjoy
for brainless entertainment, get this. There is nothing wrong with the
acting, the music really good and the special effects are gross (but
The first half of the story revolves around the Gecko brothers, Seth (George Clooney) and Richie (Quentin Tarantino). They need to get past the Mexican border to a bar named the "Titty Twister." Along the way they take hostage the Fuller family, Jacob (Harvey Keital), Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu). In the second part of the movie they make it to the bar, unfortunately it is a bar run by vampires and soon enough the feasting begins.
This movie is great in a lot of ways. First, the script is written brilliant, it is darkly humorous. A lot of the lines had be laughing very hard. The acting is good from all the cast and the special effects are pretty disgusting. We have decapitations, limbs getting torn off, throats getting ripped out and plenty of impalements. For gore hounds, this movie is gold. This movie never really gets boring. This movie is not meant to be anything groundbreaking, just entertaining, which it is.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just what is the point of this film? It starts off as one film, then changes track, cheating us of a resolution to that film and ends as another movie which is nothing but a pale, pale imitation of so many other schlock-horror flicks you've ever seen. The overall impression is confusion in every respect and a great deal of hubris. Screenplay by Tarantino, direction by Rodriguez, two guys who have previously shown talent, but who now seem to believe their own hype and assume that whatever they do must be good merely because THEY did it. But it doesn't quite work that way. You're only good while you continue doing good things. There are so many questions to ask: Just what are George Clooney and Harvey Keitel doing getting involved in such pointless dreck? Clooney initially makes an intriguing bad guy utterly ruthless and efficient and it would have been interesting to see where that was going. But, of course, we never do. And the Clooney of the vampire film changes into a completely different character. That's not clever or witty, that's just bad, bad work. Keitel looks thoroughly ill at ease throughout, and no wonder. Did no one in the studio take a look at the script before this project was given the go-ahead? Tarantino is utterly unpleasant as a murderous sexual deviant (and why did he, as writer, assume we would find the rape, gruesome murder and butchering of an inoffensive hostage funny). On every level except the technical this film stinks. Avoid.
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