Review Date: September 23, 2001
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Producers: Gianni Nunnari, Meir Teper
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN has its problems, but it delivers in respect to most of the stuff which you should be expecting from a film of its sort, and that's pretty much all we can ask for from a movie.
What did I like about it? I liked the fact that the story was cut into two parts. The first part of this movie was more like a "crime flick" with a couple of bad guys taking hostages and crossing the border. There are some tense moments, some solid acting from both Clooney and Tarantino (yes, and this was a surprise) and some pretty nifty directing from Rodriguez (I also dug the whole Tex-men soundtrack the whole way through).
The second half of the flick is entirely different though. I basically turns into an all-out gross-out bloody vampire flick with special effects galore, T&A (good for you, guys!), lotsa violence and less story. I enjoyed this part as well, but for different reasons. This side of things allowed me to rest my brain (not that it was working much in the first half, mind you) and just sit back and enjoy the fun (and watching Salma Hayek do a little strip dance was enough to cover the cost of this rental alone, I'll tell you that-- although I think I speak for EVERYONE when I say that not seeing her take anything off was more disappointing than words can say).
Some of the things that didn't work for me in this flick, included some of the "staged" scenes, like Cheech Marin acting as the host of the Titty Twister before the guys straddled on in, screaming "pussy this, pussy that"-- seemed very phony. I also thought that the Asian son in the movie sucked as an actor (thankfully, he was barely in any scenes) and I also had some trouble with Keitel as the preacher...not sure what it was though...maybe his accent, or the fact that I didn't buy the fact that a man of faith such as him, would give up on it entirely after what happened to him. I also noticed that the dialogue was "trying too hard" to come up with different ways of describing these "dogs of hell" near the end, but that might've been an in-joke or something (of which there are many, which also added to the fun-- at least, for movie morons such as myself).
Oh yes, and despite most of the effects kicking major ass in the second half, there were definitely some shots which looked very fake and I guess that took me out of it a few times.
But I won't quibble much longer here because on the whole, the film delivers on its intended target, which is that of "fun and gross-out" and I guess if you're looking for that kind of thing, you definitely could do much worse than this flick, which was written by Quentin Tarantino as well (which makes for some pretty nifty dialogue along the way).