Two criminals and their hostages become trapped
in a vampire infested bar on their way to Mexico.
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Written by Quentin Tarantino
Starring George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel,
Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Tom Savini, Cheech Marin, Fred Williamson, Danny Trejo, Michael Parks, John Hawkes
From Dusk Till Dawn is one of the most bizarrely entertaining films I've ever seen and is a perfect example of what can happen when two great filmmakers put their heads together. From the minds of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino comes a one-of-a-kind vampire flick that has no equal, simply because there is nothing else that even comes close to this level of insanity. Top it off with a loaded cast of character actors and you've got a modern classic.
This film marks the first major film role for George Clooney, who totally owns the role of Seth Gecko. His performance turned Seth into a likable psychopath, which is a difficult trope to play. Oddly enough, I actually enjoyed Tarantino's performance as Seth's brother Richard, as his general weirdness and foot obsession made him perfect for the role. Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis were believable as the Gecko brothers' hostages, who helped make the first half of the film very tense. Before they all arrive in Mexico, the audience is tricked into thinking this film is a straightforward crime thriller. Then, as we all now know, all hell breaks loose.
Nobody but Rodriguez could have made a movie that contains a vampire band playing instruments made out of human flesh without coming across as goofy. The scene of the vampires' reveal was done perfectly, starting with Salma Hayek's iconic dance with a snake and culminating with her transformation into a demon from Hell. Suddenly, the film becomes straight-up horror, with Tom Savini (playing a character named Sex Machine, by the way) and Fred Williamson helping to fight off a horde of the undead. Seriously, this movie is all over the place but is incredibly entertaining. I consider it one of the most enjoyable vampire films of all time.