Movie #285 2020: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

I won’t lie to you here: I watched another 8 movies in between Eurovision and this. However… It’s Halloween! So of course I felt obliged to skip ahead a few films to bring you a mildly-spooky themed movie on the day itself.

From Dusk Till Dawn is somewhat of a cult thriller by the prolific Robert Rodriguez. Produced by and starring Tarantino, the film has a ‘B Movie’ type feel with a blockbuster movie sounding plot. Seth (George Clooney) and his young brother show up in the beginning as two men on the run after robbing a bank. The opening sequence shows the pair of them holding up a gas station, then fleeing for the Mexican border. Whilst they’re there, they decide to frequent a redneck tequila bar, making a few unlikely friends on the way. During their time in the saloon, they slowly begin to suspect that the bar isn’t all as it seems.

Three words to describe it? Bizarre, violent, insane. And that’s just the first 5 minutes. Probably one of the best opening sequences I’ve seen in a while at the aforementioned gas station, and it’ll grab your attention by the horns from the very first frame.

George Clooney has never been as cool as he was in this movie (no, not even in Ocean’s 11.) Tarantino is aptly creepy, as you’d expect. And Harvey Keitel is as great as you know he’s going to be even with a smaller role. An all-round good (and now all-star) cast.

Okay, I can’t talk about this film without going into spoilers so… HERE IS YOUR SPOILER WARNING.

Imagine settling down into a theatre seat in 1996 with your buttery popcorn and ridiculously over-sized Coca-Cola, thinking this was going to be your average shoot ’em up Western. Now imagine how completely and utterly baffled you’d be when a bunch of vampires casually show up more than half way through. I certainly wish I knew nothing about this film before going into it, because man, sudden vampires is not a plot twist one usually comes to expect.

Albeit being absolutely insane at times, this script is pretty tight. Of course none of it is serious drama and it’s mostly gore and guns, but there’s not a dull moment in this movie. There are even snippets of humour amongst some entertaining, original storytelling, showing the clear influence Tarantino and Rodriguez have upon one another.

Speaking of their partnership, people have a lot to say about how violent Rodriguez and/or Tarantino’s movies are, but I have to admit, this is pure entertainment. Firing a makeshift crucifix shotgun at a vampire through the stomach of another vampire is – quite frankly – cool as shit. Is it violent just for the sake of it? Probably. But it’s fucking cool violence, you have to give them that.

There’s no doubt that this is dated in the aesthetic and special effects departments, but From Dusk till Dawn is a movie I had complete and utter fun with. Fuck the haters. Watch it.

From Dusk Till Dawn is available to rent on Amazon for £2.49.

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