Sunday, November 14, 2010

From Dusk 'til Dawn

From ‘til Dawn is the first Quentin Tarantino film to show up on Apocalypse Cinema. Not the most auspicious film to start with, but I am certain many more Tarantino offerings with appear before it is all said and done. I have to bow to my 31 horror film reviews plan, which has already been thrown for a loop enough already.

The movie is a collaboration between director Robert Rodriguez and writer Quentin Tarantino. I have mixed feelings about Rodriguez as a filmmaker. He runs hot and cold for me. But Tarantino’s contributions, save for his acting, are classic Tarantino. The cynical sensibilities, the crisp, rapid dialogue, and excessive violence are all present. Why his turn as the psychotic Richie Gecko is so lacking is anyone’s guess, but he is the worst character in the film.

From Dusk ’til Sawn begins as a typical criminals on the run flick, with George Clooney and Tarantino playing Seth and Richie Gecko, bank robbers who are forced to kill a convenience store clerk and a Texas police officer during their escape. When they stop into a motel in order to plan their escape to Mexico where they will meet their contact, it is revealred they have taken a bank teller hostage. When left alone with her, Richie, the most psychotic of the brothers, rapes and murders her.

Now more desperate than ever to flee the country, the Geckos hijack an RV driven by a pastor and his two children. The pastor is suffering from a crisis of faith since his wife was brutally killed in a random car accident--an act of God, so to speak. The pastor is played to the hilt by Harvey Keitel and is one of my favorite characters in the film. His daughter, Kate, played by Juliette Lewis is near the top, too. A typically rebellious preacher’s kid, she is fascinated by the dangerous Seth.

They make it across the border and to the bar where they are to meet their contact. It is when the sun goes down the movie transforms from a crime to action/horror film. The bart is a haven for vampires. Everyone is forced to battle the bloodsuckers until sunlight can seep through the numerous bullet holes left by the gunfire in the morning. By then, only Seth and kate are left alive.

Is there anything special about this film? No, not really. It is quite straightforward in both its action and horror parts. It is still highly entertaining if you have a penchant for both genres. They do not exactly go together like chocolate and peanut butter, but it is a good time if you do not think about it too much. From Dusk ’til Dawn is a grind house homage not meant to be a great film. But it is still an amusing little flick.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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