« February 2003 | Main | April 2003 »

March 07, 2003

From Dusk Till Dawn

Dark thriller, and comedy horror, all in one

Usually it's easy to pigeon-hole a film into it's genre, and where genres are mixed, they are mixed throughout. Here is a film split into two very unequal halves, both extremely violent, but in very different ways.

George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino have escaped from jail and robbed a bank. They are on their way to the Mexican border with a female hostage. At a liquor store they stop, and the cracks in Tarantino's character start to show when he opens fire unprovoked on the sherrif and store clerk who are in there. Clooney is a violent man too, but restrained, keeping the threat of violence as his main tool. Tarantino is left alone with the hostage, and rapes and murders her, so they need a new ones. They kidnap an ex-preacher (Harvey Keitel) and his two children, and in their motorhome manage to get across the border where they have planned to meet someone the next morning at a remote topless bar.

The gear shifts here. Just after Salma Hayek does a very sensual dance, the doors are locked and all the staff turn into vampires and start killing everyone. We're in Evil Dead 2 territory now, as throats are ripped out, and vampires are staked through the heart, in the same sort of tongue in cheek grizzly horror. Everyone survives, except Tarantino who himself gets bitten and then turns into a vampire and has to be killed by Clooney. But then, a whole host of vampire bats get in through a broken window, and the battle is on again. Only two people survive the night, and at dawn the remaining vampires are burned to death by sunlight. The ending is probably the weakest part, as it just stops, and we have no idea what one of the survivors will do next.

Clooney is excellent, is there any character he can't play convincingly? Tarantino is really creepy. There are some attempts at the kind of dialog that Tarantino is famous for, but only near the beginning. Robert Rodriguez really keeps the pace going; he is now famous for the hugely successful Spy Kids films, and you can see his touch in some of the camera tricks and over-the-top explosions.

Some people cannot take the graphic violence violence of a full blown horror, others cannot take the psychological horror of real life violent situations, so a lot of people will be disappointed by one or other of the film's parts. If you like both however, it's a real treat.

AE 1 -- /Robert

Posted by se71 at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)