Friday, July 10, 2009

From Dusk till Dawn

From Dusk till Dawn; Horror thriller, USA, 1996; D: Robert Rodriguez, S: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Cheech Marin, Salma Hayek

Two brothers, Seth and Richard, are criminals who are chased by the police. During a runaway from Texas, they take hostages; Jacob, a pastor who is questioning his faith, and his teenage children, Kate and Jacob. After passing the border, they go to a Mexican night bar full of thugs, but during the night all the guests transform into vampires. The vampires kill Richard, Jacob and Scott, but when the Sun rises, Seth and Kate manage to save themselves.

"From Dusk till Dawn" managed to gross very solidly at the box office and it's a quite amusing film in a black humored kind of way. The original opening is the best part: a police officer enters a store. He talks with the clerk about the infamous murders of the Gecko brothers and then goes to the toilette. Just then the Gecko brothers get out of their hiding place (!) and order the clerk to act more "naturally" that he is not a hostage. Later on, of course, that situation ends in a shootout - they burn him and his corpse falls on corn, heating it up into popcorn. Even later on does the film have its moments, like when the excellent Harvey Keitel plays pastor Jacob who argues with George Clooney's character ("Are you such a loser that you don't even know when you've won?") or when Salma Hayek appears as a stripper, but redirecting the story into a vampire horror in the second half turned it into an unconnected and too brutal flick, whose B-movie references sucked it too much in that grey territory, and thus it's a pity that it lacks humor and doesn't manage to remain as fun as from the start.


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