Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Horrors of October - From Dusk Till Dawn

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

The Gecko Brothers (George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino) are on the run to Mexico after escaping from custody, robbing a bank and killing multiple police enforcement. All roads seem to be clear after they forcibly hijack a former preacher's camper but they take one very bad turn. Recently pleased with Robert Rodriguez's cable network El Rey (named after a city mentioned here) and interested in checking out the new television series based on this movie, I wanted to see if this guns-and-gore flick still holds up. FROM DUSK TILL DAWN is one of the most widely known titles dubbed as a gearshift film, where a movie starts off in one tone or manner and then suddenly changes into something else usually by the halfway mark. Here, it begins as a slick crime thriller with bursts of wicked humor until abruptly transforming into a horror film when the characters enter the infamously named Titty Twister, a desert bar that is actually a haven for Mexican vampires. You can clearly tell this was a labor of love for Rodriguez and Tarantino, as their beloved tropes are all over it: slick camerawork, witty dialogue, small roles for admired grindhouse veterans, and stylish violence. Tarantino's script is often humorous, reveling in the bad boy status of the Geckos and playing around with the myths of vampirism; the demonic beasts still have a hatred for stakes-to-hearts and sunlight but here they have the power of infection like a zombie. I also noticed and liked how the bad guys tried to kick the protagonists out and save them from the slaughter. The biggest setback of the feature, however, is that it settles the secondary conflict way too early, killing off what should be the main antagonist, and then forces the characters to just sit around the bar for quite awhile until some bats come in. So yeah, still pretty damn enjoyable. Oh, and as for Tarantino's acting performance: I still don't see it as shockingly bad or annoying like everyone else.


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