Face-Off: The Gecko Brothers vs. The Vega Brothers

In last week's Face-Off column, veteran actors and EXPENDABLES 3 co-stars Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson got in the ring, and most of you agreed that Mel was the winner by TKO.

This weekend has director Robert Rodriguez returning to Frank Miller's grimy town in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. Let's look at a pair of Rodriguez's most iconic movie characters, the nefarious Gecko brothers of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. How do they hold up against another set of criminal siblings, Vic and Vincent Vega from Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS and PULP FICTION?

(Please note: Face Off is an opinion column. We're not using any actual science to prove or disprove anything. It's just for fun.)
George Clooney as Seth Gecko

Quentin Tarantino as Richie Gecko
Michael Madsen as Vic Vega (aka Mr. Blonde)

John Travolta as Vincent Vega
Seth: Generally homicidal but occasionally cool-headed

Richie: Paranoid schizophrenic, enjoys rape and murder
Vic: Intermittently psychotic, enjoys shooting and torturing

Vincent: Laid-back, enjoys heroin and unhealthy food
The Geckos are professional thieves who rob a Texas bank and slaughter several people in the process. A bank teller is taken hostage, but in Seth's absence Richie rapes and kills her.

The brothers take a family hostage and use their Winnebago to cross into Mexico, where they are to meet a contact who’ll set them up South of the Border. The Geckos beat up an obnoxious doorman at a seedy drinking establishment, and ultimately kill everyone/everything inside.
During a diamond heist with several other color-coded criminals, Vic Vega/Mr. Blonde gunned down several civilians (apparently), and abducted a uniformed policeman on the way out

Upon returning from a three-year visit to Amsterdam, Vincent Vega goes back to work for crime boss Marsellus Wallace, starting with retrieving a stolen briefcase and delivering ballistic punishment to the thieves. Afterwards he purchases (and injects) some expensive heroin before taking Marsellus' wife Mia on a platonic dinner date
Unfortunately for the Gecko brothers, the meeting place in Mexico is the Titty Twister, a bar operated by ravenous (if squishy) vampires
After the heist goes wrong, Vic Vega heads to a secret hideout and tries to determine which of his partners ratted them to the cops

Vincent inadvertently shoots a guy in the face and needs to dispose of the body, has to revive Mia Wallace from an accidental drug overdose, and finds his breakfast interrupted by a diner stickup
Richie blasts a hole in the back of a Texas Ranger’s head at point-blank range
Vic slices off the ear of a captured police officer and then dances to “Stuck in the Middle with You” while dousing him with gasoline and preparing to set him on fire
.44 Magnum revolver, gas-powered stake jackhammer (Seth)

Nickel-plated Colt .45 M1911 automatic pistol (Richie)
Smith & Wesson 9mm automatic pistol, straight razor, gasoline (Vic)

Chrome-plated Colt .45 M1911 automatic pistol (Vincent)
Beer and whiskey

Big Kahuna burger
Vanilla Coke and bloody-as-hell steak

pancakes and bacon
-Seth: "Everybody be cool. You. Be Cool."

-Seth: "If you try to run, I've got six little friends and they can all run faster than you can."

-Seth: "Rule number one: No noise, no question. You make a noise, Mr. 44 makes a noise. You ask a question, Mr. 44 answers it."

-Richie: "Shit, I started to get worried. Where the fuck you been?"
Seth: "Sightseeing."
Richie: "What'd ya see?"
Seth: "Cops."

-Seth: "We got a bunch of fucking vampires out there, trying to get in here and suck our fucking blood. And that's it, plain and simple. I don't want to hear anything about 'I don't believe in vampires', because I don't fucking believe in vampires. But I believe in my own two eyes, and what I saw is fucking vampires. Now, do we all agree that what we are dealing with is vampires?"

-Seth: "Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them! I don't give a fuck how crazy they are!"
-Vic: "Eddie, if I was a butt cowboy, I wouldn't even throw you to the posse."

-Vic: "I might break you in, Nice Guy, but I'd make you my dog's bitch."

-Vic: " Listen kid, I'm not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don't give a good fuck what you know or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It's amusing to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want 'cuz I've heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain't gonna get... You ever listen to K-Billy's Super Sounds of the Seventies weekend? It's my personal favorite."

-Vincent: "You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?"
Jules: "They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?"
Vincent: "No, man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is."
Jules: "Then what do they call it?"
Vincent: "They call it a Royale with Cheese."

-Vincent: "That's a pretty fucking good milkshake. I don't know if it's worth five dollars but it's pretty fucking good."

-Vincent: "You're saying a foot massage don't mean nothing, and I'm saying it does. Now look, I've given a million ladies a million foot massages, and they all meant something. We act like they don't, but they do, and that's what's so fucking cool about them. There's a sensuous thing going on where you don't talk about it, but you know it, she knows it, fucking Marsellus knew it, and Antwone should have fucking better known better. I mean, that's his fucking wife, man. He can't be expected to have a sense of humor about that shit. You know what I'm saying?"

-Vincent: "GET THE SHOT!"
Richie gets gnawed on by a voluptuous exotic dancer vampire and turns into a bloodsucker, and gets put down by his own brother

Seth escapes the Titty Twister and gets away with the cash
Vic gets blown away by a gut-shot undercover cop

Vincent gets gunned down in a bathroom with his own submachinegun by the guy he was sent to kill
Okay, this was kind of a cheat, considering the Vega brothers never actually appeared together in a movie, nor was their relationship ever explicitly stated on screen (and Tarantino has apparently put his prequel idea for them back in the drawer). However, even separately they're more than a match for the Geckos together in the Tarantino-written Mexican vampire splatterfest.

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN was Clooney's first big post-"ER" role, and it was nice to see him play against type (he's certainly a more convincing convict than Tarantino's awkward perv). But RESERVOIR DOGS imprinted Michael Madsen forever as Mr. Blonde (not to mention conjuring specific ear-related imagery whenever Stealers Wheel's song gets airplay), and PULP FICTION resuscitated John Travolta's career and presented unforgettable movie moments from his iconic felon.

Agree? Disagree? Which do you prefer?



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