ScreeningNotes’s review published on Letterboxd:
Not Quite Hoop-Tober: Day 31
Audio commentary mini-series – part 5
From Dusk Till Dawn is in my All-Time Top 5 Vampire movies, and one of the most interesting things about it is that that's almost a spoiler. The movie's been out longer than The Sixth Sense, so at this point I think I'm allowed to say that what starts out looking like a fairly traditional (albeit stylishly grungy) crime flick eventually turns into a blood-sucking gore fest halfway through.
But what's really fun about this vampiric thriller isn't where it goes, it's how it gets there. The focus is always on the writing, and as a result it has some of the vampire genre's richest dialogue and character building outside a Dracula adaptation. This strange cult classic works so well that it turned George Clooney into a movie star. He wields his sharp smile and piercing eyes like weapons, and manages to dominate both the infinitely egotistical Quentin Tarantino and the tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoners Harvey Keitel.
The writing isn't up to Tarantino's usual standard of excellence (it's no surprise to learn that he cannibalized the best scenes and put them into Pulp Fiction before this made it into production), and the film seems to take pride in its shallow antics without quite enough style to make up for it; but it's a thoroughly entertaining cult classic I'd whole-heartedly recommend to vampire enthusiasts everywhere.
This time through the film, I watched it with audio commentary from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. You can tell they're great friends, and while they definitely share a lot of insight into the process of moviemaking (especially pre-production: writing, casting, etc.), you really have to enjoy listening to Tarantino talk because he does so profusely. Personally I couldn't stand it and had to take a break halfway through, but I imagine that listening to him go off about how much he loves his movie would be a dream come true for some people. Not something I'd personally listen to again though.
Not Quite Hoop-Tober | Vampires
2014: All Together
Thanks for a wonderful October, Letterboxd!