in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 29

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Dir: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Cheech Marin. Salma Hayek, Tom Savini, Fred Williamson

Hot off of the success of Pulp Fiction what was Tarantino going to do? Another hard boiled pulp crime film? How about a gory a vampire fest? I don’t think anyone was expecting that to happen. Joining forces with Robert Rodriguez, Tarantino penned this supernatural thriller that’s half crime drama/monster movie and all kinds of awesome.

What’s really strange about From Dusk TIll Dawn is that it’s almost like it’s two movies. The first half involving the Gecko Brothers (George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino) kidnapping the Fuller family (Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu) lasts for quite awhile and it’s actually really engaging. Personally I think it’s even better than the purposefully off-the-wall second half, but that is what makes it a horror film and it’s undeniably entertaining. Basically I like to think of it has two half finished moves that got crammed together, it could’ve been more cohesive but it’s still fun for what it is.

Tarantino’s dialogue as usual is a delightful array of witty insights and well placed profanity that comes to life through the larger than life characters. You got Seth Gecko (Clooney) as the badass antihero, Harvey Keitel as the Preacher who’s lost faith, Fred Williamson as the hardened Vietnam vet, Tom Savini as the biker warrior… And they’re all up to their knees in blood, guts, and vampire strippers.

I have the screenplay to this one at home and constantly reference it to remember clever scenes and monologues. Reading a Tarantino screenplay is almost as good as watching an actual Tarantino movie. He would of course revisit horror to some extent teaming up with Rodriguez again to do Grindhouse, which although a little tiring was still entertaining. So will Tarantino ever do horror again? I don’t think he really needs to, he’s made his contributions and they won’t be forgotten.