31 Days of Horror: From Dusk Till Dawn

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From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) 1

Today is the third day of October. We started you out strong with one of the scariest and best made horror films of all time, The Exorcist and we have been easing you into the month with some comedy a la Army of Darkness.

This day is going to be a fun one because, today, I deliver you a little bit of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino with From Dusk Till Dawn.

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George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino play Seth and Richard Gecko, criminal brothers on the run after a bank robbery. While staying at a motel, they come upon an RV with a retired pastor, Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his two children, Scott and Kate (Juliette Lewis). The Geckos take the Fullers and their RV hostage in an attempt to sneak into Mexico.

Once in Mexico, they head to the rendezvous spot-a bar full of booze, bikers and boobies called The Titty Twister. Here they wait for Carlos, a business partner in their bank robbing venture. Unbeknownst to them, The Titty Twister, open from dusk until dawn, is a bar for vampires. Now surrounded by the undead, the Gecko brothers and the Fuller family must fight for their lives against the bloodsucking likes of Salma Hayek and Danny Trejo.

While the film has its cheesier moments such as the Savini rat and Fred Williamson’s “Killer Croc” vamp face, there are some genius moments such as Tom Savini’s transformation and Harvey Keitel’s escape using the shotgun/baseball bat combo as a makeshift cross. It is a brilliant story under the guise of being a cheesy horror film.

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Personally, I love the way Rodriguez and Tarantino make references to their other films, whether it be by character, quote, or actors. Fans of their collaborations will immediately recognize Michael Parks as Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, the same character he plays in Kill Bill 1 & 2 and the Grindhouse pairing of Planet Terror and Death Proof. Other film regulars include the aforementioned Danny Trejo and Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin and Tom Savini. Clooney regularly says “Be cool,” which is a popular phrase used by Jules in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Another popular Tarantino and Rodriguez theme is the strip club, also seen in Sin City, Death Proof and Pulp Fiction. Seth also brings Big Kahuna Burger into the motel, which is the burger place from Pulp Fiction.

If you didn’t notice any of the things mentioned above, hit up Amazon and take in another viewing of the complete filmography of Robert Rodriguez (minus the Spy Kids films) and Quentin Tarantino. This month, for the sake of October and all of the glory of Halloween, pop in From Dusk Till Dawn first and enjoy.

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Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80's action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.