Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis
Horror films earn cult status for a number of reasons. Perhaps it’s an outrageously funny horror film, maybe the gore is over the top and maybe it’s just a great film that legions of fans and supporters have found valid reason to cling to. Whatever it may be, over the last fifty years, an incredible amount of horror films have rightfully earned cult status. I’d like to confront one of the more recent additions (okay, so it’s already a couple decades old basically) to the Cult Catagory: From Dusk Til Dawn.
A cool blend of high voltage action, grand comedy and merciless horror, From Dusk Till Dawn burst onto the screen in 1996. All this time later, the movie has built a staggering audience, and is one of the most played horror films on television today. A star studded cast consisting of a tattooed George Clooney, arrow straight Harvey Keitel, the blundering Juliette Lewis and of course Quentin Tarantino doesn’t hurt. Truth be told, this one would have to be horrible to fail. Lucky for us, it’s a picture that resides on the polar opposite of the spectrum!
Robert Rodriguez mans the helm perfectly, and Tarantino turned the script (the studly Robert Kurtzman wrote the story) into gold. There’re plenty of cameos (most notably Selma Hayek, Tom Savini and Danny Trejo) to be caught as well. Clooney provides a slew of tongue in cheek lines, and the Cheech Marin (who also happens to play multiple characters throughout the film) delivers some one-liners that could conjure a cough from a cold corpse. Keitel is great as a former preacher battling some inner demons (and questioning his faith after his wife’s death), and Lewis is frighteningly convincing as the airhead daughter. Why didn’t they die her hair blonde? The makeup designs were great, plenty of grotesquely misshapen vampire faces and creepy surprises keep the gore laughable (keep an eye on the band) and exciting.
The action operates overtime, and at just one hour and forty minutes, this one flies by quickly. The good news for Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino: the film’s success didn’t just fly by (nor did their careers, as both have been highly successful since). Fans still hunt down their movies like a feral beast in heat, and fans still love to see Selma Hayek wrestle a giant snake (I know I do). This is what it boils down to, you need to tay tuned to your television, you’ll catch this young cult classic at least five times a week on a variety of different stations. If you somehow miss it, cross your fingers your local movie outlet still has a copy to rent, it always seems to be out when I look.