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From Dusk Till Dawn

directed by Robert Rodriguez

From Dusk Till Dawn poster  
A couple of escaped convicts walk into a petrol station, starting a firefight which ends in a bloodbath. These trigger-happy brothers are hoping to cross the border into Mexico with a haul of stolen cash, but the police are on their tail and they don't have much time to make their getaway. So From Dusk Till Dawn starts out in a hail of bullets, more like a heist movie than the horror it eventually morphs into.

Seth (George Clooney) and Richard Gecko (Quentin Tarantino) are a couple of nasty pieces of work. Seth is the smarter of the pair, an armed robber who attempts to keep a low profile but who knows when to wave his gun and make threats. But Richard is a psycho, a sex offender with neither remorse nor restraint. In a motel they run into Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his two teenage children, Scott (Ernest Liu) and Kate (Juliette Lewis). The contrast between the two families couldn't be greater. Jacob was a minister, but following the death of his wife he's losing his faith. When the Gecko brothers take them hostage he has even more reason to doubt his faith.

They fetch up at a loud, sleazy bar that's open from dusk till dawn. It's the kind of place where fights break out at the drop of a glance and under-dressed women dance on tables. But after Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek) emerges and does her act, the people of the bar show their true colours. The fugitives and their hostages are trapped in a den of vampires, and it's feeding time.

The vampires proceed to fight and die with the maximum possible gore and silliness. The effects are comically splattery, with a gleeful low-budget look. There's plenty of crude humour and slapstick as an ever-dwindling group of survivors battle hideous and crazed legions of the undead. Not all of the vampires are the same, there are a few different varieties and they tend to die in explosive and entertaining ways.

From Dusk Till Dawn is rude, crude, violent and ridiculous. This kind of over-the-top fun will appeal to fans of The Evil Dead, Rob Zombie movies, or other schlock horror. Fast-paced and relatively short, it's very much a film for a night with the lads. With George Clooney dispensing dry one-liners and bullets, and characters like the irrepressible biker Sex Machine (Tom Savini), this vampire movie is like a swig of pure testosterone.

Film Details

Decade: 1990s

Categories: Films

  Horror

Classification: 18

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4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Robert Rodriguez