Exposing dread secrets of LIFE, DEATH and ETERNITY which others fear to touch! Do You Dare Face THE SUPERNATURAL?
I thought so ...
I have been watching a lot of movies over the past few days, and last night was no exception. The wife and I actually wound up watching two more horror films last night - the 2010 remake of "The Wolfman," which was just plain awful even with Benicio del Toro (one of my favorite actors), and 2010's "Dreamcatcher," another Stephen King film that I never saw before and that I found better than most critics gave it. I was sorely disappointed with the "Wolf Man" debacle as I love the 1941 original so damn much that I was hoping del Toro (a self-confessed "Wolf Man" fan himself) would save the movie. But the script was just so damn awful - not the plot so much but the frigging dialogue was so dull and pedantic, with many opportunities for bad "tough guy" lines that just fucking don't belong.
Lucky for me, today's movie selection doesn't disappoint me one damn bit.
in celebration of "Machete" finally hitting theaters this weekend, we shall enjoy Robert Rodriguez's 1996 classic vampire tale, "From Dusk til Dawn," a movie I love dearly! Check The Skinny below and if you have this one, play along at home!
From Dusk til Dawn (1996): Directed by Robert Rodriguez. Starring George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Scott Liu, Dammy Trejo, Salma Hayak, Tom Savini and Fred Williamson.
The Skinny: Before he brought it all home for splatter films in "Planet Terror," director Robert Rodriguez unleashed this modern vampire tale on us way back in the 90s. Seth and Richie Gecko are bank robbers on the run after a jailbreak, hoping to cruise on into Mexico by hiding out with a former preacher and his family in their travel trailer. Once the cross the border, they just have to make it until Dawn to meet with their connection. But when they try to pass the time away at the Titty Twister Bar, they find themselves up to their necks in a flood of ancient vampires!
What's Good: This whole motherfucking film is goddam good, folks. The best thing that Rodriguez does here is turn convention on its ear; if you didn't know you were about to watch a vampire movie, you'd swear you were about to watch the latest Quentin Tarantino gangster flick - but the truth is, it's both! The script, penned by eventual "Grindhouse" collaborator Tarantino, starts off in one genre and seamlessly crosses into another. The Gecko Brothers are one of his greatest creations, right up there with the Vega Brothers and the DIVAS from "Kill Bill" (who got their start - if you pay close enough attention - as the Fox Force Five from "Pulp Fiction"). And George Clooney as Seth plays against type, guzzling booze, gulping down speed, shooting up places and people and using language you never heard on the stupid doctor show he was on. When the movie turns on its ear and goes from hipster to horror, Rodriguez keeps the finger on both the action button and the gore lever - when these vamps explode in the sun, they don't dry up like Dracula and blow away. They're wet, gross and nasty like the zombies of "Planet Terror." The rest of the cast are also quite solid - from Salma Hayak as Satanica Pandemonium, a sexy snake dancer, to "Machete" himself Danny Trejo as a hard-drinking tattooed bartender, to the never-fails presence of makeup and special effects master Tom Savini as biker Sex Machine. They even drag up "Shaft's" Fred Williamson and make him a hard ass Vietnam vet who gives a graphic description of taking out a whole VC squad ("There was blood ... and chunks of yellow flesh ... clinging to my bayonet."). It's a total romp from start to finish.
What's Bad: Well, it has all the earmarks of a classic Tarantino flick - sexy foot close-ups, toe-sucking, gun violence, naughty language, underage drinking, boobies and exploding vampires. Okay, maybe there isn't much of all that in "reservoir Dogs," but here he really cuts loose. No, the only drawback to this film is its violence - so if that turns you off, then yeah stay away. It also produced two sequels - produced by Tarantino and Rodriguez - that were just awful.
Why We Like It: So far, these two cats - Rodriguez and Tarantino - have done me no wrong, so I still bow at their worshipful feet. Getting the two together also has so far yielded some fantastic results and this early effort is no different. The script is sharp, the dialogue quippy and endlessly quotable, and the acting is just fine, yes just fine. There's also the great music, tinged with a Southern Rock flavor and made complete by the live performances of Tito and Tarantula in the film. It even introduces actor Michael Parks' character Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, who would go on to play a role in both the "Kill Bill" movies and the "Grindhouse" films. But it's here in "From Dusk til Dawn" - technically the first time we meet him - that we see his ultimate demise at the hands of Richie Gecko. No, I love this flick - it's high on the list, maybe in the top ten.
Memorable Stuff: Clooney's character has line after line of cool Tarantino-isms that stick with you forever ("Now, is my shit together or is my shit together?" "Everybody be cool -- YOU be cool!"), and so do plenty of other folks. But, I'm sorry ... the most memorable thing in the film is Hayek's sexy-ass dance with a huge albino python draped around her neck as Tito and Tarantula jam out the incredible "After Dark." As she parades off the stage and onto a table, Tarantino can't help but write a toe-sucking scene into the script (the man has a fetish, I swear) - and oh my gawd - what a scene. Hayek pours a bottle of booze down her leg and Tarantino sucks this precious ambrosia off of her pointed toe like a starving babe having at mother's swollen teats. You could almost jack off to it. Almost. Oh, fuck it - of course I jacked off to it, who am I kidding?