With Halloween almost here, and season 2 of "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" finished, I decided to go back and watch the original 1996 film. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino, this film is exactly what you would expect from these two working together.
For those who haven't seen or don't know about this movie, it is about monsters. Specifically two monsters, the Gecko brothers, Seth (played by George Clooney) and Richard (played by Tarantino). The two are criminals on the run and are heading to the Mexican border. To get across the border, they take a family hostage. The family consists of Jacob Fuller, a pastor who is having a crisis of faith (played by Harvey Keitel), and his kids, Kate (played by Juliette Lewis) and Scott (played by Ernest Liu).
This movie is dark, bloody, and great. The dialogue is great and events happen that you wouldn't expect. So if you're a fan of Rodriguez and/or Tarantino and don't know much about the movie, stop reading, and Go. See. This. Movie.
Now I want to go into more detail on this film so SPOILERS!!!
So about halfway into the movie, when the characters get across the border into Mexico, they basically end up into a completely different movie. Once in Mexico, the Geckos bring the Fuller family with them to a strip club called the Titty Twister to wait for their contact to arrive. And that's when everything goes to Hell.
It turns out that the Titty Twister is actually a feeding ground for vampires. Yep, vampires. Once they reach the Twister, this film goes from a dark, crime movie to a B-movie horror comedy and becomes even more amazing. Our group of characters then have to survive and join two other survivors, Sex Machine (played by Tom Savini), and Frost (played by Fred Williamson).
This film is great. The story is amazing and the dialogue was great. There are so many well written and memorable lines in this movie (many of them spoken by Clooney).
What's also interesting is that there is really many heroes here. Yeah, the Fullers are good people, but Seth is really the main character, and he's not good. I mean, sure, he cares about his brother, but that's about it. He doesn't want anything else other than getting his money and staying alive. There really is two types of monsters here. The Geckos, and the vampires. As an audience, we want Seth to survive, but should we really considering all of the stuff he's done?
The acting was also great. There are both very dark and comedic scenes preformed amazingly well. Especially Tarantino as the dark, schizophrenic, rapist psychopath, Richard Gecko.
What's also great about this movie is the special effects. The vampires look great and I'm so happy to see a movie like this using practical effects. Heck, there's even a documentary about the making of the film, "Full-Tilt Boogie".
And with the success of this film, two direct to video prequels were made, "From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money", and "From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter". I haven't seen them yet, but I honestly haven't heard great things about them.
But most recently the movie has been adapted into a TV series on Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network.
Season 1 basically adapts the story of the first movie but expands more on the mythos of that world. Personally, I though season was alright, but spent too much of the season replicating events from the movie and it wasn't until around episode 8 that the show started doing more original content. One thing I did like though was how it handled Cheech Marin playing 3 separate characters in the movie. Season 2 though I found to be a bit boring.
If it wasn't clear by now, I love this movie. I have seen this film many times, and will gladly watch it again. It's a fun B-movie and a great film to watch on Halloween.