From Dusk Till Dawn

Kate: "Are you okay?"
Seth: "Peachy, Kate. The world's my oyster, except for the fact that I just rammed a wooden stake in my brother's heart because he turned into a vampire, even though I don't believe in vampires. Aside from that unfortunate business, everything's hunky-dory."

release year: 1996
genre: horror/action
viewing setting: home Bluray 11/16/17 and 6/8/13, and at least ten times before that, dating back to the theater in January 1996

synopsis: Two bank-robbing brothers hijack a family's RV and head to Mexico, only to choose the wrong place to stop and rest.

impressions: This is one of the most entertaining movies ever made. It's everything you'd expect from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez: bad-ass characters, snappy lines, blood and guts, gorgeous women, lots of action - and monsters! It's a dark, violent movie whose first half is a crime drama and whose second half is non-stop vampire fighting. It's hilarious in parts, and once the vampires show up, it never slows down. Arms get ripped off, vampires get thrown onto upturned tables, people get set on fire, hearts get ripped out, and so on. Not all of the humorous parts involve violence either; at one point in the bar, one of the criminal brothers turns to the 12-year-old boy and says "if you want a lap dance from that dancer, you just let me know." Actually, aside from secretly being a haven for thirsty vampires, the bar here is probably the coolest one ever. It's the kind of place where brawls go on in the background, where there's always music playing, where the bartender drinks tequila at will, where the dancers reach down and light the customers' cigars, where every patron is armed with one or more weapons. How fun is that?

activation point: 1:01:00 - this is when the sight of Richie's bloody hand starts the chain reaction of vampire bloodshed

body count: 65 total (7 humans, 47 vampires, and 11 humans who became vampires and were then killed)

acting: George Clooney broke out of his nice-guy television-show stereotype here, portraying one bad-ass criminal. Quentin Tarantino is his little brother, who's violently crazy. Harvey Keitel is the father of the kidnapped family, who doesn't take much crap from anybody. Juliette Lewis is one of his kids. Salma Hayek is an exotic dancer chick who feeds bar patrons tequila off of her foot, and who also happens to be a vampire queen. Danny Trejo is the most bad-ass bartender you'll ever see, and that's before he changes into vampire form. Cheech Marin is the doorman who has a memorable speech to greet people walking up to the bar. Tom Savini is a bullwhip-wielding biker whose codpiece contains a pistol. Fred Williamson is a big cigar-smoking vietnam veteran who wastes no time kicking ass when the trouble starts. Michael Parks is a Texas Ranger on the trail of the brothers.

final word: Rip-roaring fun (not) for the whole family.

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