From Dusk Till Dawn (1996): Breakdown by Rantbo
Criminals rob, kill, rape, kidnap and escape to a Mexican strip-club, where—SURPRISE! There’s Vampires.
“OK vampire killers, lets kill some fuckin’ vampires!”
In the mid-nineties, it was harder to get more cool than a Tarantino or Rodriguez joint, so when the two backlot rebels decided to join forces on a full length feature, it was an event not to be missed. Especially when the flick in question is a exploitative 70s horror homage film about two bank robbing brothers that kidnap Harvey Keitel and his family to skirt across the U.S.-Mexico border for a rendezvous at a bar called the Titty Twister. Which, happens to be occupied by a coven of bloodthirsty Mexican strippers.
A documentary was made covering the making of the film titled FULL TILT BOOGIE and it’s not just a clever name. FDTD takes not just one fan favorite genre and cranks the level of aggressive excitement, it does a switch-up half-way through and pounds out a separate one in a hyperactive booze and blood ridden breakdown of everything that seemed lucid and sane not ten minutes prior.
Though the switch is clever, unexpected and fun, I still can’t help but deep down despise it as I would have been more than happy to simply see how the story of these two rag-tag families played out had the supernatural satanic cocksuckers decided not to feast this particular night. Which shouldn’t be seen so much as a complaint, but rather a compliment to how compelling the root story is, which was a simple, yet stylish tale of two outlaws on the run.
The twist isn’t all disappointing, however, as two more legendary B-Movie icons join in the fray and add an ample shot of badass to the surviving wild bunch. Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson plays a disgruntled Vietnam vet named Frost, and make-up effects guru Tom Savini plays a cheeky biker named Sex Machine.
So, as much as I love the first half of the film, the trade off into the twilight zone isn’t anything I can scoff at too loudly. The only real complaint I have is that the movie seemed to try a little too hard to be cool and as such just felt abrasive and rushed. In two area’s specifically. One, though much of the dialogue is as hip, retro and cool as the Fonz, some of the lines just fall flat into the groan-zone. Example:
Santanico: “Welcome to slavery.” Seth: “No thanks, I already had a wife. [BANG!]” Groan.
Vampire Chet: “You know what everybody says about me, eh? I suck!” Crickets.
And two, some of the monster effect gags seemed too over-the-top, ill-explained and unnecessary. Example: When Vampire Sex Machine gets his head ripped off (spoiler), his neck grows a giant mutant rat head and his body changes accordingly. Fuckin’ why? Sure, this sounds pretty cool when you read it, but when watching, even within the context of this wacky story, it seems really What-The-Fuck?ish.
When broken down, I’d give the first half of the movie a 10 outta 10. It’s fresh, witty, violently stylish and cool as a pair of aviator sunglasses. And I’d give the second half a 6 outta 10. Great cast, awesome effects, bitchin’ music, sexy hoes, Danny Trejo—but I can’t get over how forced the product felt from the imposed need to constantly one-up itself with needless and overbearing camp zaniness. The fact that vampires exist in this world was enough, I didn’t need the giant rat, gas-powered stake-drill, or the makeshift musical instruments made out of human corpses. So all-in-all, the flick falls somewhere in-between the aforementioned scores. Not amazing as it could have been, but still really fucking entertaining.
[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]
George Clooney & Quentin Tarantino are The Gecko Brothers
A Couple Of Real Mean Motor-Scooters
Before Clooney became the pussy-moistening Oscar winning heart-throb, he was known to men as that BAMF from FDTD.
“I am a professional fucking thief, I don’t kill people that I don’t have to. AND I don’t fucking rape women!”
In short, he may be a bastard, but he’s not a fucking bastard. Sporting a classic black blazer and a sleeve of stylish black ink, Seth became the go-to model for mid-90s badass, inspiring many a copied tattoo and catch phrase. With one foot always over the razor’s edge of acceptable social interaction, Seth manages to retain just enough self control and rationality to make you root for him when the trucker blood hit’s the fan. Hardcore and aggressively violent to say the least, he’s the driving force behind this fucker, keeping a steady stream of badass vibes reverberating out of the screen and into the front seat of your pants.
And the fact that he never got his own spin-off movie is a criminal act far greater than any committed within the character’s prime.
Every bit as criminally insane as his big-bro, plus the added character defining traits of child-like stupidity and psychotic delusions, Richie the Rapist was a little harder to get behind. Though, and I’m not sure quite what it is, there’s something about Tarantino portraying a creepy loud mouth outcast, obsessed with feet and violence that just feels right. And even though Richie is the bane of his easy to like brother, a whiner and compete fucking psycho—I can’t help but like him. There is a moment in the film when, shortly after grabbing a table at the Titty Twister, Richie leans over to the teenage boy they have taken hostage and tells him anytime he wants a lap dance, to just let him know.
Richie is like that Uncle that doesn’t get invited to the family get-togethers, because even though he’s entertaining and polite, there’s that off-chance you’ll find him playing shirtless show and tell in the basement with the children. And who can afford a child psychiatrist these days?
[THE BODY COUNT: 75]
Between the bikers, vampires and main characters, I’d estimate around 75. Which is a pretty high number, and made even more impressive when considering the plethora of novelty deaths. People are shot, stabbed and decapitated. And vampires are shot, stabbed, decapitated, cross bowed, liquefied, burned, impaled, jack hammered and one has his heart ripped out of his chest…
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]
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Copyright: Miramax Films & Dimension Home Video
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
“So, what’s the story with you two—ya a couple of fags?”
Very little. The only thing I can really come up with is that for some reason Fred Williamson is more interested in stacking dominoes than looking at Salma Hayek’s perfectly formed ass.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
“All right, pussy, pussy, pussy! Come on in, pussy lovers. Here at da Titty Twister, we’re slashin’ pussy in half. Give us an offer on our best selection of pussy. This is a pussy blowout! All right, we got white pussy, black pussy, Spanish pussy, yellow pussy. We got hot pussy, cold pussy. We got wet pussy. We got smelly pussy. We got hairy pussy, bloody pussy. We got snappin’ pussy. We got silk pussy, velvet pussy, “Nalgahyde pussy. We even got horse pussy, dog pussy, chicken pussy. Come on, you want pussy. Come on in, pussy lovers. If we don’t got it, you don’t want it. Come on in, pussy lovers!”
“Dinner is served.”
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
Seth Has His Shit Together
Chet Pussy, the Titty Twister barker, attempts to stop The Gecko’s and their captives from entering the bar, but before he can even finish his objection, Seth breaks Chet’s finger, drops him with three punches to the face (breaking his nose) and without losing a beat, ushers his entourage into the establishment. But—it gets better.
Pumped after watching his brother act like a fucking psycho, Richie turns around and kicks Chet 4 times in the ribs while he’s down.
“Hi! [Kick] How ya doin’? [Kick] Enjoying it? [Kick] I hope so! [Kick]”
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
It doesn’t matter how crazy they are, psychos don’t explode when sunlight hits them.
[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor” [The Hammer]
[ ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack*
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[ ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[ ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[ ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[ ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[ ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[ ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money]
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[ ] Vigilante Justice
“Attention, pussy shoppers! Take advantage of our penny pussy sale. If you buy one piece of pussy at the regular price, you will get another piece of pussy of equal or lesser value for only a penny. Try and beat pussy for a penny.”
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