From Dusk Till Dawn DVD review

Film / Video Reviews
From Dusk Till Dawn DVD review
Dec 1, 1996, 13:34


FROM DUSK TILL DAWN directed by Robert Rodriguez, screenplay by Quentin Tarantino; Dimension Films, 1996

I'm sure a jury of my peers would find me guilty to some degree of retardation: I fucking hated this mess of a picture. From Dusk Till Dawn tries to be a psychopaths-on-a-rampage pot-boiler, fails and so, midway through it shifts gears into an over-the-top drive-in movie to top all drive-in movies. Yeah. I'm sure that's exactly what Mr. Tarantino had in mind, but so what? Films that succeed, in either of the above sanctioned categories do not cause its viewers to rigidly dig their elbows into arm rests, cradling their cabeza's in utter boredom.

It's a pretty safe bet that the majority of blame here should land squarely on Mr. Lantern Jaw's shoulders. So busy he, with his blatant pop-referencing, and his willful abuse of his current cache of “I can get away with anything and no one will ever notice” carte blanche. I have this theory that if Tarantino were to be deprived entirely of any and all media resources for say, no less than 2 years, he'd be pretty hard-pressed to come up with his “fresh and clever” perspective.

I am no jaded, high-falutin' cineaste, just the same there's only one thing I thought was clever about this dumb-minded film. That being the very last shot, when the camera pans away from the back of the bar where all the action takes place and it's discovered that it was actually an Incan Temple, with all but the top of it buried (nice touch!). Clooney is good too, as is much of the cast, and there's certainly nothing wrong with the inclusion of Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, Michael Parks and Cheech Marin, but with all the b-movie-cool iconoclasts, why'd they stop short of including Dick Miller?

Nah! I think it's a safe bet the dough-re-mi ought to get tightened on both of these fellas budgets and Rodriguez should put some distance between himself and the likes of Tarantino... anybody see Four Rooms?! If you want to see a good movie that doesn't try as hard as this one does to be something for everyone then try anything by Peter Jackson: Meet The Feebles; Bad Taste; Dead Alive (the unrated version!); and Heavenly Creatures. All of which possess buckets of viscera, tons of cheek and laughs, and plenty of intelligence to spare wherein the parameters of your imagination are really challenged and you don't have to recognize obscure film icons to get the point. Simply put, Dusk... relies on these sorts of things to propel a gimp of a plot that needed a hell of a lot more than a pair or more of crutches just to hobble along on.

-Peter Davis

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