From Dusk to Dawn is a film I stumbled upon a few months ago. I didn’t know much about it and I was shocked to learn that it was really a Quentin Tarantino film and I never heard of it. In truth it’s not technically a Tarantino film as it was directed by Robert Rodriguez as this is one of his earliest films. Tarantino did write the script and had a major role in the acting as Richie Gecko. This was also the first major film role for George Clooney as he’s the main character. From Dusk to Dawn sounded like the perfect movie (I later learned it was adapted quite recently as a TV series with different actors), but was there a good reason why it’s not as famous as Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill? Or was this a stroke of genius that faded from memory?
The film is set first in Texas with the tale of two brothers. Seth Gecko and his brother Richie are bandits trying to outrun the boys in blue. Seth Gecko is not exactly an evil person, just a selfish one that will resort to evil if no better option is available. His brother Richie Gecko on the other hand is not as trustworthy and honorable. While his brother Seth is often calm and suave, Richie is a little dorky but partly insane. When the brothers are close together, Seth often holds the metaphorical leash, but Richie often screws up everything. When Richie is wounded in the hand in a gun-fight, the two brothers head down to the southern parts of Texas. They have to get to Mexico but it won’t be easy as many branches of the justice system want them behind bars fast.
Richie and Seth stay at a low-level motel to get some rest before crossing the border. Seth Gecko runs into the Fuller family who own an RV. Since hiding in an RV is a better idea than a regular car, he has Richie trick the family into being their pawns. The patriarch of the Fuller family is Jacob Fuller who is a pastor who still “believes” but has a very shattered faith in God. His daughter Katherine and Scott are typical teenagers. However Seth has them all go with him to Mexico to meet someone he knows at a rowdy Mexican bar. What will happen next will be far crazier than any of them will ever expect to ever see.
At first From Dusk till Dawn seems like a totally typical Tarantino movie. It’s cool, smart, and easily earns a R rating. That’s pretty much the first half of the film. The second half of the film even though I don’t want to spoil stuff is about…vampires. Tarantino has had some pretty crazy stuff in his films but nothing really supernatural. This part feels like it was written by a very drunk George A. Romero who ditched zombies for vampires. George Clooney and Harvey Keitel have strong performances, but that’s just not enough to excuse the vampire mess.