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From Dusk Till Dawn

A 1996 action-horror-comedy film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Kurtzman.

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Flawed, Sometimes Offensive, But NEVER Boring

  • Jun 7, 2004
  • by
Directed by Robert Rodriguez with a script written by Quentin Tarantino who also co-stars in it, this film resembles the proverbial little girl with the curl: "When it's good, it's very, very good but when it's bad...." Not much of a plot. Two psychopathic brothers (Clooney and Tarantino) kidnap a fallen-away minister (Keitel) and his two children, commandeer their van, and head south to Mexico to do business with drug dealers at The Titty Twister roadhouse. As in El Mariachi (1992) and then Desperado (1995) which Rodriguez also directed, the emphasis is on interaction between and among characters to create intense moments which may or may not advance the plot, such as it is. Rodriguez is a master of creating a stunning variety of atmospherics (hilarity, menace, confusion, bravado, etc.) amidst truly inspiring posturing by his lead characters. Moments of delicious tenderness are suddenly obliterated by gratuitous violence, both verbal and physical. I probably should have seen it coming but I didn't: Those who frequent Titty Twister roadhouse (only open from dusk until dawn, of course) are vampires. The Gecko brothers and their companions find themselves in harm's way and then....

I always enjoy spotting veteran actors in subordinate roles. In this film, for example, Michael Parks (Texas Ranger Earl McGraw), John Saxon (FBI Agent Stanley Chase), Marc Lawrence (Old Timer) and Selma Hayek (Santanico Pandemonium). At one point, as the roadhouse band performs "Mary Had a Little Lamb," I wondered if Stevie Ray Vaughan was also in this film. (He isn't.) This film is obviously not for everyone. (For Rodriguez and Tarantino, that may well be a badge of honor.) The quality of acting is superior to the plot; the aforementioned atmospherics are superior to whatever "messages" Rodriguez and Tarantino may have intended to send to their audience. Almost everyone who sees this film will either enjoy it or stop watching it long before its conclusion. Whatever.

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More From Dusk Till Dawn reviews
review by . February 22, 2010
The Vampire genre gets an overhaul...
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review by . April 07, 2010
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review by . June 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
If you are into completely gratuitous non-stop violence, then this movie is certainly for your. If you deplore graphic murder, mayhem, blood, gore and more of the same...over and over and over again, then you probably won't like the film very much. But wait! Let me finish...    As long as you realize and accept the fact that, as another reviewer has so well stated in his review, that this is purely an exploitation movie, and if you watch it purely for the fun of seeing vampires …
review by . April 08, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
From Dusk to Dawn is a really fun movie. At first it starts out as one of those types of movies that barely holds my interest- George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino are bank robbers on the run with a hostage. They shoot an Abilene Texas Ranger and a convenience store operator and end up at a sleazy hotel with their hostage where they run into Harvey Keitel, a preacher who has lost his faith upon the death of his wife and is taking his kids to a new life in their motor home.    At …
review by . December 29, 2005
This movie I tell you starts out as a cops and robber type deal then ends up horror film. No lie I do like the film despite its unevenness. It was kind of hard for me to "switch gears" when it turned horror, but before long, I was into it. I think Clooney and Tarantino made a great on screen duo. I liked the way they were so opposite, even though they were brothers.    To me one of the BEST scenes in this film was when they have the female bank teller hostage in the motel. Clooney goes …
About the reviewer
Robert Morris ()
Ranked #168
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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About this movie



Director: Robert Rodriguez
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Release Date: January 19, 1996
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Quentin Tarantino
DVD Release Date: June 17, 1998
Runtime: 10b minutes
Studio: Dimension Films
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