I will never get tired of watching this movie. From Dusk Till Dawn is one of those incredibly juicy, entertaining, and gory horror movies that marked my teenage years. This has nothing to do with Selma Hayek and her dance, which was completely improvised as I later learned. Well, it has a bit to do with that but more with the fact that this is a such well-crafted movie. You’ve got criminals on the run, seedy bars, drugs, alcohol, and everything else in between. And I didn’t even mention the huge twist. At this point, I don’t even know if it’s a twist at all since so many people have seen the movie.
But I always wonder what it’s like for these younger generations to discover this movie. I think it influenced my taste in movies so much that even today I love movies set in bars and not just because I’m an alcoholic. From Dusk Till Dawn follows two brothers trying to get to Mexico after a successful heist. Suffice it to say that this will be a perilous albeit entertaining journey. And that’s the thing about this movie, it’s just so fucking entertaining. Just when you think it couldn’t get any more fun, it does.
From Dusk Till Dawn is not a scary movie but it does feature a lot of graphic violence. There will be decapitations, murders, shootouts, and all sorts of fights. With all sorts of weapons. The soundtrack is excellent with, of course, Tito and Tarantula’s After Dark as a standout song. Jesus Vampire Christ, that guitar riff is out of this fucking world. And now introducing Satanico Pandemonium! I can already see Quentin Tarantino sucking Selma Hayek’s toes in my head. Her name comes from a viciously bloody Mexican nunsploitation film Satanico Pandemonium: La Sexorcista.
White Zombie’s La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1, one of my favorite albums also drew inspiration from this movie. And this brings us to the rest of the cast of this masterpiece. Not only have we god George Clooney and Harvey Keitel but also Juliette Lewis. Now, I don’t like her that much but she did an excellent job here. Cheech Marin! And what to say about Cheech Marin and his welcoming speech to the Titty Twister bar is the stuff of legends. And the supporting cast is just as strong with Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, and Danny motherfucking Trejo!
We find two brothers Seth and Richie Gecko, in a lonely convenience store in the middle of nowhere. They just robbed a bank and are trying to run away to Mexico. Since they’re on the run from the law, Seth and Richie kidnap an unsuspecting family and decide to use them to cross the border. Thinking this is going to be their make-it-or-break-it moment, they plan the crossing down to the smallest of details. They still do not know what awaits them just a couple of hours later.
From Dusk Till Dawn is a movie of two halves and some people might not appreciate this. The first part was this twisted and darkly comical psychological story about two bank robbers on the run. The dialogue was excellent and there was a lot of chemistry between Tarantino and Clooney. Tarantino who was really creepy and sleazy as Richie. I didn’t know he can act this well. And this second half was just this pure unadulterated bloody madness.
For me, this was a perfect mixture of things I already loved but I get why some of you might want to see more of a classic thriller and not a full-blown horror movie. Still, you can always play Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, or Jackie Brown if you’re hankering that sweet, sweet Tarantino stuff. This two movies thing, Rodriguez and Tarantino later did this again with their Grindhouse package. Planet Terror and Death Proof are both fantastic movies, you should check them out if you haven’t already. I would also like to add Feast to that list, it’s freaking delectable.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writers: Robert Kurtzman, Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo
Fun Facts: Salma Hayek has a strong phobia of snakes. She spent two months working with therapists trying to overcome her fear.