From Dusk Till Dawn is a cult classic completely deserving of the title. From Dusk Till Dawn is really underrated.
The main stream audience generally liked the first half of the movie, but once they get to the bar and the movie completely changes style tone and pace, most people stop liking it. The main reason why is not that they wouldn’t like the two parts separately, but people don’t like being surprised by movies. I fail to see why being surprised is a bad thing. I like both parts and feel that they don’t completely clash in bad combination, but that they compliment each other perfectly.
Quentin Tarantino took a directing hiatus for awhile which he say’s officially began when “From Dusk Till Dawn” finished wrapping up. Tarantino wrote and starred in “From Dusk Till Dawn” but did not direct it. He left the directing job to his good friend and fellow director Robert Rodriguez.
This is not the only time Tarantino has written a movie but not directed it. He wrote “True Romance”, and “Natural Born Killers” but did not direct those. Tarantino was very disappointed with how “Natural Born Killers” turned out. I think the movie would have been much better if he directed it. He is great at directing violent characters and can give a deep insight to twisted minds and motives.
Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino are a film making dream team. They work so well together. Separately they are my two favorite
directors so having them together is amazing. “From Dusk Till Dawn” is not the only movie they have worked together on, although it is the only one that one Tarantino wrote and Rodriguez directed. They have have also worked together on “Four Rooms” (the two of them each did one part out of the 4), “Sin City” (Tarantino was a special guest director who did one scene in the movie. the reason for this was because Rodriguez wanted to introduce Tarantino to filming digitally), “Grindhouse” (Each directed a full movie shown back to back, and Tarantino also acted in both), and “Desperado” (Tarantino acted as the pick up guy, which is a much smaller part than the trailers led to believe while Rodriguez was the writer director)
“From Dusk Till Dawn” opens with a scene that takes place in a Benny’s World of Liquor. This scene was actually the last scene to be filmed because it was the only time Michael Parks was available. Now here is my theory about Michael Parks in the Rodriguez/Tarantino movies: Michael Parks has been in “Kill Bill” (vol 1-2), “Death Proof“, and “Planet Terror“ (collectively “Grindhouse”), and of course “From Dusk Till’ Dawn” all playing the same character; Earl McGraw.
Now if you take that into account to find the chronology of the character you get something rather interesting. Earl McGraw gets killed in “From Dusk Till Dawn”, that means that he must have survived through the events in the other movies that the character has been in. That is a great accomplishment seeing as he was in the middle of the zombie Apocalypse. Planet Terror has Earl McGraw fighting his way though zombie like sicko’s but he survives.
The end of planet terror shows most of the world in ruin, with completely destroyed cities in the wasteland. Since Earl McGraw doesn’t die during the Zombie Apocolypse and instead in a Liquor store, that means that he survived all the destruction and that Texas (Where both movies are set) has been completely rebuilt and life has adjusted back to normal in just a short amount of time. I guess Planet terror has a happy endingafter all. Back to the opening.
The first scene sets up the style for the first half of the movie and introduces us to the characters of Seth and Richard Gecko, played by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino.
Seth Gecko is the man, he is awesome, and Richard Gecko is a mentally unstable, highly volatile, Sexually offender. I think he is one of the most interesting characters ever committed to film. Maybe not the best, maybe not the coolest but the most interesting. He has a line that I believe shows much more into the character than most people think
Seth: “Put in your bit”
Richard puts in a a retainer and gives a strong look to Juliette Lewis Richard: “I grind my teeth”
I think that line adds so much to the character. Something as simple as “I grind my teeth” adds so much to the character.
The First half of the movie is great and feels like classic Tarantino. There is great suspense and The character of Richard could fill a whole movie.
The second half of the movie is feels more like Robert Rodriguez style at this point. Aside from the fact that Rodriguez movies are always set in either Texas or Mexico (This movie has both locations) the action that fills the second half is more Rodriguez styled as well. The horror element is definitely there, but it is not scary-horror it is fun-horror, which when executed correctly is great.
- From Dusk Till Dawn (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Double Feature Discussion, Part 1: Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk till Dawn (1996) (girlmeetsfreak.com)
- Ranking the Greats 2: The 10 Films of Quentin Tarantino (Short Ends and Leader) (popmatters.com)
- Robert Rodriguez Offers ‘Machete Kills,’ ‘Sin City 2′ & ‘Heavy Metal’ Updates; ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ Getting 3D Re-Release? (slashfilm.com)
- Midnight Feature #2- Grindhouse (girishkumar.me)