From Dusk Till Dawn: They Drive By Night
a film review by Michael Cornett
Rating: none given
From Dusk Till Dawn (directed by Robert Rodriguez, from a script
by Quentin Tarantino) is a movie that one will either love or hate. I doubt
there'll be much of a gray area.
George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino star as the Gecko brothers, bank
robbers on the way to Mexico with their booty and a hostage. On the way,
they encounter a doubting preacher (Harvey Keitel, in a marvelously understated
performance) and his two kids, the elder of which is played by Juliette
Lewis. (I forget who the other is.) The brothers Gecko take Keitel's family
hostage and force them to drive to a remote bar in Mexico for their rendezvous.
This trip consumes the first half of the movie. It's pretty much a standard
criminals-on-the-lam movie (with typical Tarantino touches) until they
finally arrive at their destination, a charming little nightspot called
"The Titty Twister."
In a rapid course of events, we find out that this certain bar/stripjoint
is staffed by vampires, who swoop down on the patrons with enthusiastically
gory glee. There are some great morphing effects, good use of surroundsound,
and lots'a blood as Clooney & Co. battle for their lives - joined by
blaxploitation star Fred Williamson and gore makeup man Tom Savini (playing
a biker named Sex Machine).
Director Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado, & the
"Misbehavers" segment of Four Rooms) goes way over the top with
the vampire scenes, to the point where the blood and gore are absolutely
absurdist. Tarantino's script is ferociously funny; and the story moves
in manic, surreal directions until the final revelation that is both hilarious
Tarantino's script is a homage to the Mexican vampire movies of the
Sixties and, in Rodriguez's hands, becomes a fast, furious, funny, and
visceral horror comedy. Personally, I loved From Dusk Till Dawn;
but I can see how there is a lot here that would turn some people off.
If you can handle Re-Animator (unrated version, mind you), you can
handle this. Let the viewer beware!