Friday, January 23, 2015

From Dusk Till Dawn

I must admit my favorite scene of the movie From Dusk Till Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez, was the opening scene before the opening credits where Pete Bottoms the liquor store clerk (played by John Hawkes) seems to be innocently chatting with a Texas Ranger, but is really a hostage following the instructions of the fugitive brothers, Seth and Richie Gecko. Pete is probably one of the bravest people in the film as he keeps his cool the entire time only losing it when Richie accuses him of  trying to tip off the ranger and lying about it. The brothers shoot him as he opens the safe to get a gun and takes several shots of the brothers before they douse him with alcohol and set him on fire and shoot him to death. He was still proclaiming his honesty and shooting at the killers as he goes down in flames while the brothers calmly destroy the entire building and drive away to their next heinous hostage killing. I think he showed a lot of dignity and courage to stand up for his personal integrity instead of groveling and begging the nutty brothers to spare his life. He's the only victim who fought back.

Leaving a trail of blood and destruction after a mentally disturbed brother Richie (played by Quentin Tarrantino who also wrote the screenplay) breaks his crazy, yet really hot, older brother Seth (played by George Clooney) out of prison, the two brothers abduct a grief-stricken preacher and his two teenage children and force them to sneak them over the Mexican border in their RV. The blatant disregard for human life and disrespect for anything or anyone in their path is horrific. I felt like this abducted family was as doomed to die as everyone else these two brothers met in their travels.

Then the second part of the movie begins!

When you think the horror inflicted on innocent people by the two psychotic brothers is all you can take and dread the knowledge that the bloody terror will continue but you just can't look away, the two conjoined families stop at a Mexican biker/trucker bar where the brothers plan to meet some thug who's going to help them pursue their Mexican retirement.The whole atmosphere of the movie changes as they pull into the Titty Twister where there's biker mayhem going on in the dusty parking lot and Cheech Marin as Chet Pussy, the second of three roles he plays in the movie, is on the front steps like a carnival barker attempting to draw a paying crowd into the bar. I wondered who he could be talking to since the place was in the middle of nowhere and anyone in earshot was already there to patronize the place anyway. I guess it was Tarrantino's way to use the word "pussy" more times than in any other movie. It was interesting to me too, that the flight of steps leading to the front door where Chet Pussy shouted his sales pitch reminded me of the steps of a gothic cathedral. 

Once inside, the group is confronted by the owner/bartender Razor Charlie (played by Danny Trejo), what a bod! Of course, the psycho brothers want to resort to physical altercation to earn their admittance but the preacher (played by Harvey Keitel) uses his words to convince Razor they are worthy patrons. There are plenty of big bouncer-looking guys to easily overpower the two brothers, but they want to fight them anyway. They get their chance after Santanico Pandemonium (played by Salma Hayek) performs a mesmerizing snake dance catering right to sexual deviant and rapist/murderer brother Richie. Almost everyone turns into a vampire and the fun begins. The movie goes from depraved crime drama to gothic horror comedy. Heads are rolling and bouncing off the floor, blood is flowing, limbs are being torn off and tossed around and a guy named Sex Machine is shooting vampires with his pecker gun. It's hilarious, like Evil Dead Trilogy hilarious. 

The only survivors are Seth and Kate, the preacher's daughter (played by Juliette Lewis) who, with the help of the rising sun, destroy the last of the vampires.

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