Run time: 108 mins
In Theaters: Friday 19th January 1996
Box Office Worldwide: $25.8M
Distributed by: Dimension Films
Production compaines: A Band Apart, Dimension Films
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 17
IMDB: 7.3 / 10
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: George Clooney as Seth Gecko, Quentin Tarantino as Richard Gecko, Harvey Keitel as Jacob Fuller, Juliette Lewis as Kate Fuller, Ernest Liu as Scott Fuller, Salma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium, Cheech Marin as Border Guard/Chet Pussy/Carlos, Danny Trejo as Razor Charlie, Tom Savini as Sex Machine, Fred Williamson as Frost, Michael Parks as Texas Ranger, Brenda Hillhouse as Hostage Gloria Hill, John Saxon as FBI Agent, Marc Lawrence as Motel Owner, Kelly Preston as Newscaster Kelly Houge, John Hawkes as Pete Bottoms / Liquor Store Clerk, Tito Larriva as Titty Twister Guitarist & Vocalist, Peter Atanasoff as Titty Twister Saxophonist, Johnny Vatos Hernandez as Titty Twister Drummer, Aimee Graham as Blonde Hostage, Heidi McNeal as Red-headed Hostage, Ernest M. Garcia as Big Emilio, Gregory Nicotero as Sex Machine's Buddy, Cristos as Danny, Mike Moroff as Manny
"Not for all tastes" is an extreme understatement, as From Dusk Till Dawn is the most obscenely violent and distasteful film to come along in years. Basically an Evil Dead set in Mexico, this Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez collaboration tells the sketchy story of the Gecko brothers (Tarantino and George Clooney, taking a rest from ER to cut up people in another medium), a couple of fugitives on the run to the border. On the way, they pick up a family as hostages: lapsed preacher Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel), daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis), and son Scott (Ernest Liu). In the Fuller's RV, they make it to a Mexican strip bar, only to discover it's run by vampires. (Thankfully, it makes a great place for an old-fashioned bloodletting.) Plot is clearly incidental to the film.
Tarantino's typical wry humor (some is funny, some is decidedly not) pervades the film, punctuated by Rodriguez's flair for filming violence. The latter gets a lot more screen time, with the frequently loud explosions effectively muting what I expect were some good one-liners. These two filmmakers may be best buddies (and they are), but their styles just don't seem to match sometimes: Tarantino's penchant for long, drawn-out scenes doesn't fit with Rodriguez's quick cutting style. You can almost hear him off-screen, chanting, "Get on with it!"
And I was too. I wish Tarantino would get over the fascination of hearing his own dialogue, although I must admit he seems to have found his perfect role as a demented pervert with a heart of coal. By the time the gore-fest is in full swing, it feels like a giant-screen game of "DOOM," complete with flowing blood and rolling heads.
The way-over-the-top campiness is so completely ridiculous, it's impossible to take anything in the film seriously. And trust me, that's not a bad thing. The problem is, it makes rating From Dusk Till Dawn nearly impossible, so here's my best shot. For the squeamish and/or feminists: . For schlock horror fans and Tarantino freaks: . A nice average: