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Retro Movie Review: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – Fathom Events
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From Dusk Till Dawn
Available now on Blu-ray
Written by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Kurtzman
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Starring George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Keitel, Cheech Marin, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek
Rated R | 108 minutes
Release date: January 19th, 1996
Fathom Events screening: November 6, 2016

“Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a f*ck how crazy they are!”

Twenty years ago, my father took a young 13-year old to the movie theater to see From Dusk Till Dawn. The movie was written by Quentin Tarantino who I had recently dubbed my idol after watching Pulp Fiction for the first time, and directed by Robert Rodriguez who did Desperado, another of my early favorites. It has since become something of a legend to us, and the phrase “don’t tell Mom” is part of the family vernacular. So when Fathom Events and Miramax put From Dusk Till Dawn back in the theaters, I knew I had to carry on family tradition and take my 12-year-old son to it. Sure, From Dusk Till Dawn is very rated-R. But this was a rite of passage.

More below.

From Dusk Till Dawn is a bloody whirlwind road movie, as the vicious Gecko Brothers, Seth (George Clooney) and Richie (Tarantino) head towards the US/Mexican border for a rendezvous with their hookup, and a life of relaxation in El Rey. In order to make safe passage and avoid the bevy of federal agents hunting them, they brothers kidnap the Fuller family; including dad Jacob (Harvey Keitel), and kids Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu). They end up at the Titty Twister, a biker and trucker bar in Mexico and, well… let’s just literal hell breaks loose. But enough about the plot, let’s discuss why you need to get your ass to the theaters and see it again, or dare I say, for the first time.

First there is the mother of all Q&A’s before the screening hosted by esteemed film critic Elvis Mitchell and featuring the writer and director, Tarantino and Rodriguez. The Q&A lasted just over twenty (!) minutes and could’ve gone longer. So many interesting stories were told that I didn’t know, the highlights being Tarantino’s story of Robert (Bob) Kurtzman paying him $1,200 to write the script while Quentin was still employed at Imperial Video, and a reveal that the famed Ezekiel 25:17 speech masterfully delivered by Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction was actually written for Harvey Keitel’s Jacob, the former preacher in From Dusk Till Dawn… mind blown. The two friends traded anecdotes about the making and marketing involved, the struggles centering on how to market and sell a film that is essentially half crime thriller and half vampire horror. They go into detail about Harvey Weinstein’s demands to NOT market this as a horror film. As a lifelong super fan of both these guys, the Q&A was just perfect. My son told me Quentin Tarantino looked crazy, but I told him he always talks with his hands moving nonstop.

As for the movie, the script is pure violent energy. There are so many memorable lines of dialogue, by an array of awesome characters from the cool and poised Seth, to the outrageously sexually psychotic Richie to Tom Savini‘s turn as the “cock-gun” toting biker Sex Machine. The opening liquor store battle scene with John Hawkes as the hopeless owner, is one of the most perfect intro scenes ever, and of course the elephant in the room is Cheech Marin, and the infamous p*ssy speech. That was the epic “don’t tell mom” moment twenty years ago, and I made sure to inform my son of the same instructions. And finally, George Clooney. Clooney was a TV actor who was only a few seasons into E.R. when he was cast as Seth Gecko, and became one of the coolest characters in film history. He was so good here, that he transitioned into Batman soon after. And no, I do NOT blame him for that epic disaster.

Thanks to Fathom Events and Miramax, you have one more day to catch the ultraviolent, multi-genre classic. From Dusk Till Dawn, featuring the awesome Q&A will be in select theaters on Wednesday, November 9th at both 2:00pm and 7:00pm ET. Check Fathom Events for theaters in your area.

Image Gallery


From Dusk Till Dawn 20th Anniversary Official Trailer #1 (2016) Salma Hayek, George Clooney Movie HD

From Dusk Till Dawn (2/12) Movie CLIP – Convenience Store Massacre (1996) HD

From Dusk Till Dawn (7/12) Movie CLIP – Welcome to Slavery (1996) HD

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