FROM DUSK TILL DAWNUnited States-1996

Harvey Kietel as Jacob Fuller

Cheech Marin as Chet Pussy

Cheech Marin as Carlos

Ernest Liu as Scott Fuller

Salma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Story by Robert Kurtzman

Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino

From Dusk till Dawn is a high octane, supercharged vampire film that takes no prisoners, pulls no punches and never, ever backs the fuck down for one second. It is to the vampire film what The Wild Bunch is to westerns, bloody as all hell and completely uncompromising. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt my favorite vampire flick of all time.

George Clooney (The Descendants) and Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds) are the notorious Gecko brothers. The two have robbed and killed their way across Texas as they make their way to the border of Mexico and freedom. They commandeer an RV driven by Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel), who is on vacation with his two kids, daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis) and his adopted son Scott (Ernest Liu). Jacob is a fallen minister who’s lost his faith after the untimely death of his wife. Trust me; this will come into play later on in the film. The brothers Gecko and the family Fuller make their way to a little bar near the border known as the Titty Twister. The sign says ‘Open Dusk Till Dawn’ and the two fugitives figure it will be a good place to hide out and make the connection they need to make their way into Mexico. They enter the establishment and in a very short time all hell breaks loose. It turns out the Titty Twister is a feeding ground for vampires. Sucking blood is their business and business is booming! How the hell could it not be when you’ve got Santanico Pandemonium to lure them in?

In fact, let’s talk about Miss Pandemonium for a bit. Portrayed by the gorgeous Salma Hayek, she is the devil in beauty’s guise. She is the kind of woman who will build you up only to stomp your heart and laugh as it squishes beneath her feet. She is the kind of woman that every man wants and that know they stay the hell away from. The first time she appeared onscreen I let out a very audible “Rowwwwwrrr” much to the dismay of my wife. I just looked at her and said ‘well, what did you expect?’ She concurred.

From Dusk Till Dawn is the vampire film I have been waiting years to see. Vampires that show no mercy and victims that do everything they can to give no quarter. With a great cast led by Harvey Keitel and George Clooney, a kick ass screenplay by none other than Quentin Tarantino and direction by Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Desperado) and a supporting cast that includes SFX wizard Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead), Cheech Marin, Fred Williamson, Michael Parks and Danny Trejo (Machete), this movie is 100% fun from beginning to end.


The band playing in the “Titty Twister” is Tito & Tarantula, featuring Robert Rodriguez; the lineup also features Oingo Boingo drummer Johnny ‘Vatos’ Hernandez.
The name of the movie is taken from the signs found on drive-ins. These signs indicate the length of the shows, which ran “from dusk till dawn”. The movie is full of references to midnight movies and films which were often intended for teenagers to watch late at night from their cars.
 Salma Hayek did not have a choreographer for her dance. Director Robert Rodriguez just told her to feel the music and dance to it. Rodriguez would later use the same tactic with Jessica Alba in Sin City.
Erik Estrada was lined up to play Carlos the gangster that Cheech Marin plays at the end.