Cert: 18 Runtime: 108 mins Director: Robert Rodriguez Cast: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu and Salma Hayek
If you try to run, I’ve got six little friends and they can all run faster than you can
It once was a movie, now we have a television show. Today I watched the first episode of From Dusk Till Dawn. Before this kids there was an awesome movie written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Thus the reason the glorious film from 1996 is our blast from the past. So what is it about? After a bank heist in Abilene with several casualties, the bank robber Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his brother Richard Gecko (Quentin Tarantino) continue their crime spree in a convenience store in the middle of the desert while heading to Mexico with a hostage. Meanwhile former minister Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) is traveling on vacation with his son Scott (Ernest Liu) and his daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis) in a RV. They stop for the night in the same motel Seth and Richard are lodged. When Seth sees the recreational vehicle, he abducts Jacob and his family to help his brother and him to cross the Mexico border.They head to the truck drivers and bikers bar Titty Twister, while watching the dancer Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), Seth and Richard fight with three bodyguards. But soon they discover that the bar is a coven of vampires and they need to fight until dawn to leave the place alive!
I can say without a doubt that it is a classic. Maybe not in the sense of Casablanca or Raiders Of The Lost Ark but as a style film it really can’t be touched. Tarantino’s screenplay drips with wit and humour as well as the usual taboo subjects thrown into everyday conversation and Rodriguez direction compliments this. Both men have made ‘looking tacky’ an art form when it comes to film and this heavily works in it’s favour because we want it to feel sleazy and a bit dirty. Rodriguez has made some right stinkers in his time but in this era he was what I consider to be a proper film-maker with no CGI and not much of a budget which pushes directors to be as creative as possible.The cast is about as good as it gets. George Clooney, who audiences were used to seeing as a respectable Doctor on ER does a complete character 180 into the superb Seth Gecko a character with all the moral fibre of a rock and the patience of a 5 year old. He tears into the script like a hungry dog which showcases whole new side to Clooney’s acting and who could forget ‘that’ tattoo, a tiny detail which really brought the visual impact of the character to life and has since been copied many times but back then it was a striking feature.
It’s probably safe to say that this film was a game changer for Clooney who gained new respect for such a radical change but sadly hasn’t really done much else that comes close.As a few people have mentioned this is really two films in one, the first being a superb crime drama which sees the Gecko boys escape over the border with a kidnapped family, and the second is pure nonsense and I am totally fine with that.Maybe it was the teenager in me when I saw this but nothing could make me or my pals smile more than a bit of blood, guts and vampires interlaced with ridiculous humour. Some say the vampire section brings the crime thriller down but I think the thriller part raises the profile of what is already a really cool film. Where art is concerned and this includes film, music etc. there can only be guidelines and it’s great to see a bunch of people making a film the way they want to make it and that means throwing whatever off beat, off topic nonsense they feel like into the mix just because they simply think it would be cool.A superb movie that’s not afraid to play with childish notions because it knows it’s a cut above most film snobs polished favourites.