Guest Author - Tammy Cordani
Cast: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Brenda Hillhouse, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Fred Williamson, Tom Savini, Kelly Preston, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin
Rating: R for strong violence, gore, language and nudity
Runtime: 108 minutes
Seth and Richard/Ritchie Gecko (played by Clooney and Tarantino) are on the run from the law. After a crime spree that results in bank robbing and a hostage (Hillhouse) situation, the two brothers are trying to make it to the Mexican border. But their pit stop at a roadside convenience store ends up with the Gecko brothers torching the place as well as adding two more notches on their murder scorecard. The incident not only results in Ritchie’s hand being horribly mangled but also guarantees that law enforcement will be patrolling the border in full force. The pair has to come up with a new plan.
While holed up at a nearby hotel, the duo comes across Jacob Fuller (Keitel), a preacher who has lost his faith after the death of his wife. Jacob is traveling in the family’s RV with his daughter Kate (Lewis) and son Scott (Liu). After ambushing the family at the hotel, the Geckos are on their way to Mexico with the Fullers as their hostages. Jacob agrees to take the brothers to a bar in Mexico that happens to be open from dusk ‘til dawn with the understanding that the family can go free once they arrive.
After they arrive, Seth insists that the family accompany them on a round of drinks inside the bar. While this seems harmless enough, little does the group know that their adventure is only beginning. We soon learn that the out of the way establishment is run by vampires who lure wayward travelers and truck drivers to their doom. Once the entertainment stops and the doors are shut, the vampires attack leaving only Seth and the Fullers along with Frost (Williamson) and Sex Machine (Savini) to battle the onslaught of the undead. Will the group survive or has the last round been served? You’ll have to watch “From Dusk Till Dawn” to find out!
I remember seeing “From Dusk Till Dawn” in the theater when it was first released under the assumption that it was going to be pretty much a straightforward vampire movie. Boy, was I wrong, but pleasantly so! The movie is mostly action with a bit of horror thrown in. (Considering the vampires don’t really show up until late in the movie, if you’re looking for pure horror, then you’ll probably be disappointed.)
The cast is good and I still think that this is one of Clooney’s better movies. There are also a few cameo appearances to look for including Kelly Preston, Salma Hayek and three by Cheech Marin.
There are three scenes that really stick out for me. The first is the argument between Seth and Ritchie in the bathroom of the RV, where they’re hiding while Jacob tries to get them across the border. The others include the fight scene between Seth and Santanico Pandemonium (Hayek) at the bar and the survivors being circled by the approaching vampires near the end.
There were a couple things I would have liked to have seen in the movie. A few more scenes with Frost and Sex Machine would have been a nice touch. Plus maybe a little more background on the vampires themselves. How long had they been using the bar as a trap? The scene that we see at the very end seems to indicate quite a while. But are there more?
“From Dusk Till Dawn” is a fun movie if you’re looking for an action packed flick with a hint of horror!
My Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars
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