From Dusk Till Dawn (Unseen Halloween Returns Review)

From Dusk Till Dawn (Unseen Halloween Returns Review)
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Last October, Arrow in the Head presented a column called UNSEEN HALLOWEEN, in which the staff recommended movies that are by and large very obscure. This yeah, UNSEEN HALLOWEEN RETURNS! But with a twist! Each writer is now tackling a very popular horror movie that has somehow eluded them throughout the years. Yeah, we expect to hear it from you guys, but so what! It's Halloweentime, baby!



PLOT: A pair of criminals on the run with hostages make a road trip to cross the border to Mexico. Once they arrive at their destination, they find that they have a bit of a vampire problem to deal with.

REVIEW: It’s almost impossible to believe that I never sat down with FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. Perhaps it was one of those films that I had caught bits and pieces of on cable, but I could have sworn that I entertained in the whole gruesome vampire show before now. Alas, I hadn’t. Aside from a few sequences, it was all new to me. With only watching the first scene, I was convinced that I wouldn’t have forgotten any of the crazy goings-on. Not only was I sold on both the film’s stars, George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, but I absolutely loved the crazy that John Hawkes brought as a man making the mistake of clashing with the Gecko brothers. One thing is for sure, they knew how to get this flick moving.

Written by Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriquez, the film tells the story of Seth and Richard Gecko, who take an ex-pastor father and his teenage children hostage while on the run to Mexico. Most of you probably are very aware of that. Part of my lack of interest in watching this bad boy is the fact that I knew in advance it switches gears about midway through. Suddenly, this darkly comic hostage flick takes on a crazy violent version of vampire horror show. I didn’t expect it to work as well as it does, but once the gorgeous Salma Hayek takes the stage, the fangs were ready to take a bite out of this ridiculously fun ride.

cheech marin danny trejo fred williamson from dusk till dawn george clooney harvey keitel john saxon juliette lewis kelly preston michael parks quentin tarantino robert kurtzman robert rodriguez salma hayek tom savini unseen halloween returns

Rodriquez and Tarantino work well together. I dug the hell out of GRINDHOUSE - although I prefer PLANET TERROR to DEATH PROOF - so it was nice to see what they accomplished beforehand. Nearly everything works here, starting with the sets, including the strip club itself and the motorhome that the family is traveling in. It all feels authentic and it gets down and dirty in the best of ways. And when it comes to the gore, you have a whole bunch of creativity going on here. The simple shot of Richard Gecko’s hand with a hole torn through it early on was only a taste of the bloody horrors on display. One of my favorite gags was the guitar used by the local band playing at “The Titty Twister.” As dark as it all gets, you still can’t help but be entertained in the unapologetic way it all comes down.

The cast is solid, and it is probably my favorite Tarantino performance to date. Truthfully I’m not always on board with Clooney, but he definitely shows off his star power here. And then there is the family. Harvey Keitel is just great, as is a young Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu who are having a blast fighting off bloodsuckers. You also have Cheech Marin playing three different roles, and Tom Savini who is crazy good as a biker with a surprise under his belt. Tarantino knows how to cast a flick and this is loaded with incredible talent. Fred Williamson also proves why he is such a cult icon as well. And did I mention Salma Hayek? Did she speak? Not much if at all, but she is electric once she appears on-screen. My biggest complaint is I would have liked to have seen more of this character.

unseen halloween returns cheech marin danny trejo frew williamson from dusk till dawn george clooney harvey kettle john saxon juliette lewis kelly preston michael parks quentin tarantino robert kurtzman robert rodriquez salma hayek tom savini

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN left me with one question: why did I not watch this sooner? This is an energetic exploitation genre mash-up that balances Tarantino’s humor with Rodriguez’ stylish direction. Frankly, I am looking forward to finally watching the current series now that I’ve checked out what all the vamp fun was about.

BEST SCENE: There is a ton of great stuff here, but nothing beats the orgy of gore that happens at the strip club. Once Salma appears, she is on fire. It's an incredible moment, one that leads to a bombastic orgy of bloodshed and slashings. It is as sexy as it is gruesome, and that is something not terribly easy to accomplish.


  • Every time a character says “f*ck.”
  • Whenever a vampire rips some flesh off of a random victim.
  • How about one for each topless hottie?

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT? You can find it on Blu Ray, DVD, VOD and Netflix streaming. Enjoy!


Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite Tarantino flick?
Source: AITH



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