the fresh films reviews

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From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Robert Rodriguez
From Dusk Till Dawn
108 minutes
Gianni Nunnari
Meir Teper
Quentin Tarantino

Cast includes:

Seth Gecko George Clooney
Richard Gecko Quentin Tarantino
Jacob Fuller Harvey Keitel
Kate Fuller Juliette Lewis
Scott Fuller Ernest Liu
Satanico Pandemonium Salma Hayek
Border Guard/Chet Pussy/Carlos Cheech Marin
Razor Charlie Danny Trejo
Sex Machine Tom Savini
Texas Ranger Earl McGraw Michael Parks
Newscaster Kelly Houge Kelly Preston
Pete Bottoms John Hawkes



The Tarantinoesque sub-genre which arguably originated with Tarantino's penning of True Romance (1993), reaches its baroque phase in record-breaking speed with this delicious hybrid of crime-action and camp horror. Tarantino wrote and co-starred with George Clooney as two ruthless bank-robbing, murderous brothers, with buddy Robert Rodriguez directing. Rodriguez and Tarantino had collaborated on Four Rooms a year before and their similar style, especially when it comes to their glamourized, often protracted shooting of violence, made them a perfect fit. In From Dusk Till Dawn they are still offensive-minded their success had not yet caught up with them and made them feel they had something to lose and Tarantino's writing is as crisp as it ever was. The first hour of this film is filled with as much great dialogue and clever setups as Tarantino's best films, and the authenticity that Clooney, Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis bring helps the cause further. Nevertheless, Tarantino steals the show also in the acting-compartment; his performance as a sexual predator who can barely restrain himself is a joy to behold (if you pardon me saying so).

The turning point in From Dusk Till Dawn appears just after the hour mark, when the Clooney character's recklessness angers the hosts of the strip club they're visiting in the middle of the Mexican desert, resulting in our cast of characters getting more than they bargained for. The shift in tone, and indeed genre, is sudden, but doesn't feel like backstabbing of the audience, arguably because our two protagonists have been so outrageously unpredictable and inconsiderate up until this point that we're ready to expect anything. Out goes the semi-poetic realism of the film's first half, and in return we get an adrenaline fest of horror-comedy realized by and starring make-up effects maestro Tom Savini. It's more amusing and fascinating than fun, really, but the filmmakers certainly accomplish their mission of creating something original. And the ending is, believe it or not, in good taste.

Re-reviewed: Copyright 15.3.2017 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 16.7.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang