Saturday, January 28, 2012
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
(January 1996, U.S.)
A vampire horror film with the dialogue and wit right out of PULP FICTION? How could that be possible? Vampire films are usually badly acted trash with roman numerals in the title. The answer is very simple, my friends - Quentin Fuckin' Tarantino, that's how! It's actually almost a shame that the film was billed as a vampire adventure from the time of its release because much like Hitchcock's PSYCHO (1960), it's a film that's starts out one way and then shifts gears entirely into a totally different direction. Imagine the shock and surprise audiences with wild imaginations would have experienced if they walked in expecting a heist and getaway film and then ended up with fucking vampires?
Now let me start by saying that I never watched an episode of TV's ER in my life. So FROM DUSK TILL DAWN was really my first exposure to George Clooney, and I have to say, I was absolutely blown away by what a fast talking, sharp shooting, badass criminal motherfucker he was. And speaking as a very self-confident heterosexual make, I can understand why women all over the world wanted to drop their panties for this guy.
So here's how it goes - two brothers Seth (played by Clooney) and Richie Gecko (played by Quentin Tarantino) are wanted by the FBI and Texas police for a bank robbery that has left several people dead. They're heading for the Mexican border, where a contact named Carlos has arranged a safehouse for them. Along the way they stop at a motel and it's revealed that they'd been keeping a female bank teller in their car trunk as hostage. Unfortunately, she doesn't last long because Richie has this nastly tendancy toward rape and violent homicide. Their "plan B" now to get across the border is to kidnap a father, his two teenage kids and their RV. Getting across the border is actually easy and almost immaterial compared with what's going to happen to them when they reach a place called "The Titty Twister" (my kinda place!), open from dusk till dawn.
By the way, let me interrupt for a moment by saying that like Peter Sellers in DR. STRANGELOVE (1964), Cheech Marin plays three different roles in this film. None better, though, than the the doorman Chet Pussy. His welcome speech to the world of pussy that's inside the strip club is one of the funniest things I've ever listened to; worth the price of the movie ticket alone.
So, back in the club, things are getting sexy, crazy and very tense, and that's BEFORE we learn that we're in a club belonging to vampires who have a history of feeding on truckers and bikers for years. But like any other vampire flick, you also have your vampire fighters who ultimately end up being real grande heroes. So Seth, the previous badass criminal motherfucker, is now our biggest hero with a gun and a wooden stake. Vampires die (explode and melt, actually), good guy (and girl) live and all will be right with the world when the evil bank robber gets away and rides off into the sunset with his stolen money. Yes, people, there's nothing like a big beautiful Hollywood ending to put a smile on your face!
Let me reitterate that while this is a vampire film in all its silly traditional sense, it's also primarily a dialogue film, which is what ultimately holds my attention most. Sure, any "twilight" tweenie can be a vampire and any "Buffy" type slut can slay them. But when George Clooney is shooting off his mouth at a constant rate with dialogue written by Quentin Tarantino...that my friends, is a fucking vampire movie!!!
Favorite line or dialogue:
Carlos: "What were they, psychos or...?"
Seth: "They look like psychos? Is that what they looked like? They were vampires! Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits 'em! I don't give a fuck how crazy they are!"