Tuesday, March 25, 2014

From Dusk Till Dawn

From Dusk Till Dawn is what results when you take Quentin Tarantino’s script, give it to Robert Rodriguez to direct, and have pre-Batman, ER star, George Clooney fight a bunch of green blooded vampires in a strip club. While not much of a commercial success, the movie gained cult classic status, spawned sequels, and even a TV series that debuted in March of this year. Is this the work of two film masters? Or the schlock they’ve taken off their resumes? The nanobots will help us investigate.
  • Open on a desert in Texas, proving that Robert Rodriguez needs to try filming somewhere that isn’t either a desert or a green screen. = -12pts 
  • Recurring Tarantino character Earl McGraw trying to put on his best Tommy Lee Jones impression as he buys a bottle of Whiskey in a convenience store. = +7pts 
  • Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and Richie Gecko (Quentin Tarantino) secretly holding the clerk and two girls hostage as Earl McGraw goes to the bathroom. = +5pts
    • Earl McGraw somehow not noticing them at all. = -9pts 
    • Clooney rocking a cool looking tattoo on his neck and left arm. = +3pts
  • Richie Gecko shooting Earl McGraw in the back of the head, because it’s been nearly five minutes in a Tarantino movie and no one’s been murdered yet. = +17pts 
  • Gun fight between the infamous Gecko Brothers and the bravest convenient store clerk ever. = +10pts 
  • Gecko Brothers burning the clerk then shooting him for good measure, and then leaving as the liquor store burns down. = +9pts 
  • Gecko Brothers bickering at each other as they take their hostage into a motel room like real brothers would… you know… if they also killed people. = +3pts 
  • “Don’t you ever try and fucking run on us. Cause I got six little friends, and they can all run faster than you can,” a legit terrifying line to hear from Clooney as he shoves a revolver into a hostage’s face. = +29pts
    • Discovering that was the same line Schumacher used on Clooney during the filming of Batman and Robin. = -5pts
  • Seth Gecko leaving his psychotic brother alone with the hostage that he promised wouldn’t get hurt. = -5pts 
  • At a diner meeting, Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his two children Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu) discuss Jacob’s lack of faith after he quits being a minister because his wife died, while we are distracted by the Exposition Fairy floating over their grand slams. = -7pts. 
  • Fuller then revealing he has some strange fetish: a real bed, not the RV’s, and (of course) they find one at the same motel the Gecko Brothers are staying at with their hostage. = +12pts 
  • The Exposition Fairy comes out again during a news report on the Gecko Brothers with the happiest TV journalist ever. She reveals the brothers have killed sixteen people together and that Richie (remember Tarantino is playing this character) is also a sex offender. Because of course he is. = +8pts. 
  • Seth coming back and seeing that leaving his fucked up, rapey brother alone with a hostage was a bad idea, and then asking what’s wrong with him like he’s going to get an answer. = -5pts 
  • The brothers (realizing they need a new hostage to get down to Mexico) take the Fuller family with the stern yet comforting words of, “You take your kids, you get in that motor home, or I will execute all three of you right now.” = +13pts 
  • Us not thinking George Clooney could be any type of a threat before watching this movie. = +5pts 
  • The five drive down to the border in the RV and we meet our first Cheech Marin! Creepy border patrol Cheech Marin. = +10pts 
  • After getting through the border they drive to meet their get a way man at the subtly named strip club the Titty Twister. = +25pts
    • There is no titty twisting in this movie. = -10pts 
    • The neon sign. = +5pts. 
    • The amount of naked breasts in this movie. = +17pts (+1pt for every nipple)
  • We meet our second Cheech Marin! Creepy door guy Cheech Marin! = +10pts 
  • Naming his character Chet Pussy. = +30pts. 
  • Danny Trejo as a bartender. = +12pts 
  • Obligatory bar brawls, strippers, and whiskey drinkers. = +7pts 
  • Horror prop master Tom Savini as a biker named Sex Machine. = +15pts 
  • Salma Hayek dancing seductively with a live giant snake, and essentially being the dividing figure of this movie from the gritty realistic first half to the over the top wackiness of the second half. = +56pts
    • Making us almost vomit as Tarantino sucks whiskey off Salma Hayek’s toes. = -23pts 
    • It’s Salma Hayek though. Everything she does is sexy. She could unclog a sink drain and it would turn everybody on. = +56pts
  • The strippers, the bartenders, and even the band revealed to be non-sparkling vampires and start feasting on all the truckers and bikers. = +29pts 
  • Amazing practical and special effects and phenomenal make-up creates really cool ferocious looking vampires. = +59pts 
  • Vampire Hayek bites Richie Gecko. = +14pts 
  • Seth Gecko, the Fullers, Sex Machine, and a Nam Vet (did he have a name?) fight off and kill an assload of vampires in a gore filled action scene. = +39pts 
  • Seth kills vampire Richie with a pool cue. = +19pts 
  • Vampires turning into green goop after they are killed. = +12pts 
  • Tom Savini gets bit. = -10pts 
  • Nam Vet gets bit. = -10 pts 
  • Jacob gets bit… then finds God. = -5pts 
  • Jacob stops whining about losing faith and then does something useful as he starts blessing things and making crosses. And then combining both into the especially religious shotgun cross! = +19pts 
  • Seth Gecko and the Fullers enter a little closet, and start making weapons. = +10pts
    • Jacob’s shotgun cross. = +5pts 
    • Kate Fuller’s pump action crossbow. = +5pts 
    • Scott Fuller‘s squirt gun and condom bombs filled with holy water. = +20pts (Laugh it up if you want, but those are probably the best anti-vampire weapons you could ask for.) 
    • Seth Gecko’s auto-staker. = -20pts (Sounds awesome, but it doesn’t work. At all.)
  • The four fight off all the vampires in a large open room and get surrounded easily, when they could have fought them all in a tight corridor that would have given them a tactical advantage. Didn’t you guys take a history class? (re: 300) = -30pts 
  • Jacob turns into a vampire, very slowly. We guess cause he has more vitamin God in him than the rest of them. Scott kills him, because he promised that he would. = +14pts 
  • Scott being eaten by four vampires and Kate having to kill him. And with one bullet Scott explodes in a blast of body parts and blood. = +59pts 
  • Shooting holes in the wall during a vampire fight to allow for more sunlight to come in. = +19pts (For reviving a classic!) 
  • Seth and Kate being ultimately saved by the third and last Cheech Marin! Creepy gangster Cheech Marin. = +29pts (Cheech Marin is never not creepy in this movie.) 
  • Seth and Kate go there separate ways, and try to forget this awful ordeal as the camera pans out revealing a giant Aztec (or Mayan actually) looking temple that seems to hold more vampires in it, laying the groundwork for sequels to come. = +45pts
Score: +610pts
Available on: DVD, iTunes

Oh, this is such an entertaining movie. Quentin Tarantino wrote quite possibly the best grindhouse movie ever. Robert Rodriguez has a natural talent for making these lavishly ludicrous moments a reality. And George Clooney and the rest of the cast do a wonderful job breathing life into the insanity. It’s filled with over the top action, over the top acting, over the top special effects, over the top writing, and overall it’s just a fun goofy, vampire-killing movie that everyone can enjoy. It’s absolutely worth the watch.

Score Technician: Nick Enquist

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