From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

tumblr_mv69x9ttN71so97qzo1_500Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Keitel, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Fred Williamson, Danny Trejo, John Hawkes, Tom Savini, Michael Parks, Ernest Liu

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

R. 107 mins

A pulpy blend of crime-drama, western, dark comedy, horror and B-grade exploitation, From Dusk Till Dawn is a love-it-or-hate-it film that brings the talents of Tarantino and Rodriguez together for a bizarre, yet highly enjoyable ride.

Written by Tarantino and directed by Rodriguez, the film stars Clooney and Tarantino as Seth and Richie Gecko, two brothers up to no good. After a series of robberies has the boys on the run to Mexico, they see no other option but to kidnap a preacher (Harvey Keitel) and his two children (Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu) as collateral. Hoping to meet up with the leader of a drug cartel, Seth and Richie somehow manage to cross the border into Mexico and arrive at the meeting place: The Titty Twister, a trucker bar in the middle of the desert. After a couple of drinks, the brothers and their hostages realize that they’re not in a typical bar, and soon the entire place is packed with blood-sucking vampires. Suddenly the characteristically talkie stylings of Tarantino are replaced with the gross-out fight scenes of Rodriguez. A cult classic in every sense of the word, the film also features Michael Parks as the Texas Ranger, Danny Trejo as a tattooed bartender-turned-vampire, makeup artist Tom Savini and blaxploitation star Fred Williamson as allies against the vampires, alongside Cheech Marin, who plays three different characters. Essentially, audiences will be able to predict if this sort of thing appeals to them or not, before they press play.

It’s all very nonsensical, with the latter portion of the film keeping our attention with slick edits and endlessly inventive fight scenes. There is no weight to this film, but it can be embraced for it’s sense of fun and high-spirited energy. With a unique soundtrack, unpredictable thrills and playful genre-blending, From Dusk Till Dawn is a cult classic that you can’t help but sink your teeth into.

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