Unreal Movie Vault: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)


While at the steak-dinner-at-Wolfgang’s portion of Nattyb’s bachelor party, I was talking movies with one of his friends who I had never met before.  We discussed the different types of movies we liked, which actors were good, and which directors we liked.  One of us mentioned From Dusk Till Dawn, and the friend commented that it was the worst movie he had ever seen.  I knew immediately that I should stop talking to this person, for his dislike of one of the greatest films ever made meant that he wasn’t the type of person I wanted to be around.  Ever.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, written by Quentin Tarantino, and featuring George Clooney’s coolest role to date (which is really saying something), From Dusk Till Dawn is perhaps the most fun, enjoyable movie I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.  Keep reading my review to find out why.


I enjoy well-made films as much as anybody.  I’m into arsty-fartsy indies as well as foreign films, and admittedly I may even be a bit of a film snob.  The fact that From Dusk Till Dawn is essentially a glorified B-movie didn’t deter me, though, because it was friggin’ FUN.  The difference between a movie like From Dusk Till Dawn and, oh, I don’t know, Transformers, is that the former doesn’t take itself seriously.  Instead of setting a tone of melodrama, From Dusk Till Dawn lets you know right way that it’s meant solely for entertainment – not an “epic saga” – and throws violence and sex in your face.  You don’t like violence and sex?  Then hit the “Back” button on your browser right now, square.


You have George Clooney as Seth Gecko, one of the greatest movie characters ever.  I will not debate this.  We’ll get to his tattoo in a bit, but has there ever been a man as handsome and confident and tough as Seth Gecko?  Don’t bother responding, the answer is a resounding “no way!”  The film starts off simple enough:  The Gecko Brothers have done did some bad sh*t – robbing banks and a rape and murder sprinkled in here and there – and need to make their way into Mexico to get away from the po-pos.  On the border, they encounter the Fuller family, taking them hostage and hiding out in the Fullers’ Winnebago in an attempt to cross into Mexico and meet up with Carlos, the man behind the man.  Or something.


The movie starts out as a classic, somewhat generic mid-90s crime drama, with the Gecko Brothers doing what they can to evade the authorities.  Halfway through, though, the movie goes through an enormous twist – the brothers and the Fullers arrive at The Titty Twister, and a majority of the patrons turn into vampires.  Yeah, sorry for the spoiler if you’ve never seen it, but I’ll assume you knew the twist to begin with.  Better than watching the movie is watching the reaction of a person watching the movie who is blindsided by the twist – it sorta comes out of nowhere.  After the movie transitions into “absurd” mode, all grounding is lost (save for Clooney), and the gore and ultraviolence are released.


Limbs and heads are everywhere, we see a gun attached to a crotch, and Seth Gecko continuously delivers the coolest lines in the history of cinema.  The fact that reputable actors like Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis are stars of this movie as well only adds to the absurdity.  Plus, Danny Trejo and his enviable tattoos and traps.  Word.  Not everyone makes it out of The Titty Twister alive, and the violence is completely over the top.  Add to that a killer soundtrack (Stevie Ray Vaughn, anyone?) and one of the sexiest dance scenes to be shown on the big screen, and the movie is non-stop fun.  For a “B,” fun movie filled with violence, hot chicks, and tough guys, From Dusk Till Dawn is tops.  I don’t know many people who don’t like this movie, and that’s a good thing.  If you haven’t seen it, check it out and enjoy.  If you have and for some reason didn’t like it, go away forever.  For reals.  I don’t care about our traffic; I don’t want morons infecting our website.


You ever see this movie?  It’s the tits, right?  And really, Seth Gecko’s tattoo?  We see a bit of it creep up onto his neck, but at the end of the movie when he reveals the tat on his entire arm?  I must have seen over a dozen dudes with some type of variation of that tattoo.  If I wasn’t such a wuss, I’d have it myself.  Not that I’m ashamed of the butterfly on the small of my back.  Holla!!!!

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  1. yes yes yes!!!!!!!!! completely agree. i definitely would have stopped talking to the guy, too…. anyone who doesn’t like this movie is damaged.

  2. I absolutely love this movie. I always enjoyed campy movies anyway and this is one of them. I would have had a hard time talking to that dude also.

  3. Damn right!!! This movie is a legend from start to finish, and I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to burn at the stake anyone who disagrees.

  4. It used to be I absolutely adored this movie up until the point when Salma Hayek turns into a vampire, because from there, for me, it gets a bit too “out there,” but I’ve since reconsidered and decided this is indeed the greatest movie of all time, and without a shred of doubt in my mind, features George Clooney’s greatest work to date. I defy anyone to point to a better performance from him.
    And let’s not forget, one of the greatest last lines in the history of cinema:
    “I may be a bastard, but I’m not a fucking bastard.”
    -The Clooney

  5. the movie is absolutely crap , the only reason it is famous is because of clooney , tarantino , and the first half that is building really nice. The rest of it is pure shit and i hate people offending other people opinion by just trying to act as “smarter” or having
    the “didnt you get this????????????”
    mindset that is like saying if we didnt understand the film we are stupid. Before trying to convice the rest of us that that we should have understood the absolute fun of the film , you should better understand that you just wasted two hours of your life , it is much easier than trying to convince the world of you being smarter
    because you are not plain and simple. Relax you will see other crap movies as well take it easy …

  6. @ john

    Settle down. Liking this movie has nothing to do with intelligence, and I didn’t imply that it did. It’s a fun B-movie that may not be for everyone’s tastes. I happen to love it.

  7. so what is this commnet about:
    “I knew immediately that I should stop talking to this person, for his dislike of one of the greatest films ever made meant that he wasn’t the type of person I wanted to be around.”
    you didnt say B movie did you ?

    anyway maybe you are not the case but a lot of people are acting smugly
    when some films obviously lack in plot – meaning – point (as the second part concerns) and dont bother even explain (because they didnt understand as well) and just feel great that they understood and noboby did. The film is like a joke , and some people will laugh and others will not, i didnt find it funny at all and i think the majorirty of people that liked it are those who like to differ from the rest of the crowd not only in films but in general.

  8. @ john

    Clearly, that’s hyperbole. I thought that was obvious, and writing in an over-the-top tone is appropriate for reviewing an over-the-top movie.

    And I did indeed call it a B-movie:

    “The fact that From Dusk Till Dawn is essentially a glorified B-movie didn’t deter me, though, because it was friggin’ FUN.”

    I think you’re getting defensive for no reason at all. If you don’t like From Dusk Till Dawn, that’s fine, and it doesn’t mean you don’t “get it.” It’s not for everyone.

  9. i was frustrated because i had just saw the film and it was really nice to the point the zombies appear . Pretty sad because all the good aspects of the movie as you have mentioned anyway concerns the first part , and i didnt see any point in turning a great film in b movie with no reason.
    What was this guy thinking ?
    anyway after my frustration i searched for a reasonable explanation of my 1.30 lost hours of life , and i saw your comment about the greatest film of all time , thats how it all started

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