From Dusk Till Dawn Review

Movie: From Dusk Till Dawn
By: Maniac E
Date: January 18, 2012

Vampires. No Interviews.

If you, as a viewer, have a penchant for looking at your shelf (or shelves) of DVDs and realizing you can’t decide what to watch with dinner (Crime or Horror? Guns or Vampires? With or without gore?) then From Dusk till Dawn should satisfy. This film is a perfect example of one that does not hail all audiences because it can be explained with one word – unexpected. It not only relies on the knowledge and understanding of the creators’ tone but also on a love of the genre. From Dusk till Dawn has three creative figures, each recognized by their alternative works. Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado) directs this Robert Kurtzman (noted make-up effects artist) story written by Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs).

The story:

Two criminals, on the run from the law, seek temporary refuge in an establishment populated by vampires. The criminals are Seth (George Clooney) and Richard (Quentin Tarantino) Gecko who take a family hostage in order to hitch a ride to Mexico, home of the movie-lawless. The dwelling of the vampires is a place that is open from dusk till dawn (bingo!) and is where the film shifts seamlessly from Tarantino to Kurtzman while under the canopy of Rodriguez. The vampire-horror element is left to, and celebrated by, Robert Kurtzman who is a noted make-up effects and props artist. Having worked on a diverse range of films such as Misery, Dances With Wolves and Little Nicky, From Dusk till Dawn harnesses Kurtzman’s prowess with make-up which is well known from horror movies such as A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Tremors and Army of Darkness.

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The use of Kurtzman’s talents really keeps these vampires in their own element. These vampires are not glamorous like those in Interview with the Vampire or sparkly and loveable like in Twilight. Before becoming vampires, the women are beautifully desirable and the men are Tarantino cool. As the vampires emerge as ugly and animalistic, surviving on carnage and gore, the film shifts as abruptly. The horror becomes random and almost silly, but this shift is not what makes this film special. What does is the fact that the characters, while remaining quintessentially Tarantino, become aware of what is happening around them in a very post-modern sense. The characters who we assume are fictional in the first part of the film become aware that they are in a completely unbelievable situation when faced with vampires and so react in a very real and believable way. It’s fictional characters within a world of their own fictional characters.

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From Dusk till Dawn is a film for the lovers of snappy Tarantino scripts and good, hard Rodriguez directed action, which is what the film is before the vampires show up. The opening scene is classic Tarantino; it shows banality versus insanity purely through conversation. This is what powers this film pre-vampire. The first moment of horror isn’t completely, if at all, Rodriguez-esque. It’s more akin to anything that could be considered horrific in Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, such as the scene with the adrenalin shot to the heart or the scene where Michael Madsen slices the cops’ ear off with a straight razor. Both of these scenes are made effective by what is not seen as opposed to the current love of showing it all. The way you don’t see the ear being cut off, you just hear the screaming, and you don’t see the needle pierce through the chest to the heart, you just hear the force exuded by the loud ‘thump’ as the syringe hits, makes these scenes very effective. The first scene of horror in From Dusk till Dawn is just as effective and well written as either Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs because it is made not by the dead body but by the fact that the dead body is not visually focused on. All that is present is confusion, discomfort and good acting by George Clooney.

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Tarantino's intentionally vulgar, tongue-in-cheek script is complemented by the frenetic direction of his real-life pal Robert Rodriguez. They are making their own rules here, delivering a movie that cannily taps into the juvenile wish-fulfillment fantasies of tough kids, adding heaps of bad language, gore, nudity and stylized violence. The special effects are quite good, with limbs being ripped out and vampire bodies melting and burning and exploding left, right and center. Clooney turns in a spirited star-making performance, while Tarantino is OK as his unbalanced brother. Keitel is clearly much too good for his role as the disillusioned preacher but in spite of this he slums it with considerable spirit. Similarly, Lewis doesn't have to register much real acting emotion as the hostage daughter but she enters into the simple-minded violent action with panache.

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'From Dusk Till Dawn' is a raucous, self-indulgent action/comedy/road movie/horror flick - crazy nonsense that was great fun for the cast and crew to make, and is a guilty pleasure for the audience to watch.



Image quality

We heard the stories of the US version having a very bad transfer, and this where I would like to start. E1 has used their own HD-master which for us means the correct image size of 1:85:1 instead of the 1:78:1 that the US and the Canadian version use. The image quality isn’t that bad but nowhere near 4 or 5 stars. It is a good upgrade from the dvd version.


Rich sounds can be found here. The bombastic sounds will come at you at all forces. With the Dolby HD 5.1 track will make sure the whole movie is as it should have been years ago.


The extras are on the second disc which is a good thing. That way they didn’t hold back on the movie itself. The downfall is that all the extras are in SD quality this means they don’t look very good seeing on your HD television. But there a lot of extras this will keep you busy.


From Dusk Till Dawn is a movie that you would love or hate. In the end this 2 disc version is a great supplement for your dvd version better image quality, better sound and more extra’s.

E1 Entertainment


From Dusk Till Dawn


From Dusk Till Dawn


Robert Rodriguez






Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Qunetin Tarantino