Some things a man doesn’t forget.
Like a young Salma Hayek channeling her inner vamp in a killer dance routine that is singed on my brain. (This is shortly after Senorita Hayek co-starred in Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado and before she became the Oscar-nominated actress/Emmy Award- winning producer we have come to, ahem, know and respect today.)
Nice to see Seventies blaxploitation stud Fred Williamson get a kick at the can. Both Rodriguez (who directs From Dusk ) and Quentin Tarentino (who wrote the script and co-stars, with George Clooney) , are fans of so-called “grindhouse” cinema so I gotta figure casting the star of Black Caesar and Hell Up in Harlem was a mutual decision.
There are also personal faves like Brenda Hillhouse, Tarentino’s former acting teacher (yeah, we can see how well that turned out), future Machete star Danny Trejo (let’s face it, what horror movie casting director could resist this battered mug) and legendary “splatter movie” make-up artist Tom Savini (as a character called “Sex Machine”.)
Not to mention the original Bad Lieutenant, Harvey Keitel, cast as a preacher and former Hollywood wild child Juliette Lewis as his daughter.
I could write the plot on the back of a popcorn bag: George and Q play bankrobbin’ brothers who kidnap the Rev and his daughter and wind up in a bar in the Mexican desert populated by cops, bikers and vampires … lots of vampires! (This ain’t the cuddly Twilight types , more like the cold. remorseless kind in 30 Days of Nights.)
What starts out as a nervy action thriller gradually turns into a wildly over the top horror movie which seems more concerned with creating gross-out special effects than telling a good story.
Nevertheless, the movie must have earned a modest profit because it spawned a direct-to-video sequel (From Dusk to Dawn: Texas Blood Money) and prequel (From Dusk to Dawn: The Hangman’s Daughter). Rodriguez and Tarentino were listed as “executive producers” (whatever that means) of both releases.
Not to mention a feature length documentary Full Tilt Boogie which gives an intimate glimpse into the shooting of the pic and its stars (more about that in my next post.)