From Dusk Till Dawn is an interesting take on two different genres of film; horror and crime. The film itself is constructed as if it was written half way through, the script thrown into a corner somewhere, then after a few years the dust was wiped off the cover and they continued writing it again. I say this because there seems to be a total change in genre, direction, plot and style around the half-way mark. This change is seen by some as a messy and surreal plot shift, but it could also be said that this is totally unique to the genre and is representative of Rodriguez’s very zany and ‘cool’ directing style.
Since the film is divided, I will divide this review. The first part introduces the characters and the plot, two brothers Seth (George Clooney) and Richie Gecko (Quentin Tarantino), who are total bad-asses on the run from the law and are attempting to get over the Mexican border to the safe-haven of the bar “The Titty Twister”, along the way the brothers pick up a small religious family as potential bargaining chips/hostages and to make crossing the border easier. The father of the family is played by Harvey Keitel, who plays a decent role in the film.
I maintain that the beginning of From Dusk Till Dawn is one of the best starts to a film of all time, it’s almost worth just watching the opening on its own. The dialogue between the sheriff and shop clerk is cinematic perfection and just sets the scene excellently for a great movie. The first half of the film has basically everything you could want from the genre: some action, horrific scenes and enough classic quotes to make “Justin Bieber’s – Never say Never” seem awesome.
(SPOILERS) However, as soon as they walk into “The Titty Twiser”, the film totally alters. After the vampires start appearing the whole appearance and general feel of the film becomes very camp and even corny in some places. There are some great moments still, especially the parts with “Sex Machine” (Tom Savini) and “Frost” (Fred Williamson) and throughout Clooney is literally flawless, playing the part of quick-talking gun-slinger masterfully.
Personally, I don’t exactly love the second half of the film, it’s good in some ways, but it’s not even close to the genius of the first half. Overall, the movie achieves what it sets out to do, it entertains you throughout, and this is probably done because there is such a variety of genres mixed together – there’s a little bit of something for everyone.