Dungeon Classics #20: From Dusk Till Dawn

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996, USA | Mexico)

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Keitel
Running Time: 108 mins.

The early nineties saw the rise of filmmakers and friends Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriquez (they both debuted in 1992). They collaborated a number of times, but From Dusk Till Dawn is probably the greatest success in terms of cult appeal. Tarantino wrote the script and plays one of the lead roles and Rodriquez directed and edited the movie. The result is a cult classic. The first half is like watching a Tarantino neo-western crime movie. The dialogue is pure Tarantino and thus essential stuff for the cinema obsessive. The cast is excellent with Clooney in a formidable lead role as ruthless criminal Seth Gecko. The dynamic with his crazy, rapist brother Richard (played by Tarantino) ensures many extremely funny moments. During the second half, From Dusk Till Dawn surprisingly turns into a horror movie. A vampire flick to be more precise. It surely is thrilling, though not as good as the terrific first half. But some great supporting parts (by a.o. Fred Williamson and Tom Savini) add to the bloody fun.

Dungeon Classics #19: Desperado

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Desperado (1995, USA | Mexico)

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Joaquim de Almeida
Running Time: 104 mins.

He not only plays, he can shoot too… Antonio Banderas is the mariachi turned gunslinger in this sequel to Texan filmmaker Robert Rodriquez’s 1992 debut El Mariachi. Rather than the 7.000 dollars he had for his debut film, he now had 7 million bucks and spent the money well on some serious acting talent and loads of shootouts and explosions. Banderas is full of rage and passion as the tortured Mariachi; there is so much fire in his performance. And he has great chemistry with Hayek’s touching bookstore owner Carolina. Rodriquez also added some comedic talent to the supporting cast, like Steve Buscemi who’s unforgettable in the movie’s perfect opening scene. Rodriquez completed his ‘Mexico’ trilogy in 2003 with Once Upon a Time in Mexico, but this one is the most fun. A year later, Rodriquez and many cast members (Cheech Marin, Salma Hayek, Quentin Tarantino and Danny Trejo) came together again for From Dusk Till Dawn.

 

 

 

Dungeon Classics #18: Meet the Feebles

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Meet the Feebles (1989, New Zealand)

Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Danny Mulheron, Donna Akersten, Stuart Devenie
Running Time: 97 mins.

Before he got into serious filmmaking with Heavenly Creatures and The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was just having fun in New Zealand. His second feature film after Bad Taste is this weird puppet movie which is filled with sex, violence, dark twisted humor and thick Kiwi accents. The Feebles is a variety show starring the hysteric Heidi the Hippo. Behind the scenes, dark things are going on. Bletch the Walrus, who runs the show, is also an exploitative gangster dealing drugs and cheating on his girlfriend Heidi. Trevor the Rat is shooting puppet porn in the basement and attempts to drug and rape one of the dancers (a dog). And a paparazzi fly is constantly hanging out in the toilet eating shit and making up lies about the cast members. As can be expected from Jackson at this point in his career; there are plenty of body fluids flying around. Obviously it’s not for all tastes, but if you are curious about the legendary director’s early stuff, look no further.

Dungeon Classics #17: Love and a .45

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Love and a .45 (1994, USA)

Director: C.M. Talkington
Cast: Gil Bellows, Renée Zellweger, Rory Cochrane
Running Time: 101 mins.

This little known nugget is written and directed by C.M. Talkington, who did little else in his career. A shame really, because this movie is very enjoyable. It reminds me a lot of True Romance which was released a year earlier. The story is about two lovers played by Gil Bellows and Renée Zellweger who are leading a happy life in a trailer home. Watty Watts (Bellows) robs convenience stores for a living. This goes well until his crazy partner Billy Mack Black (Rory Cochrane) kills a girl during a heist. After killing two rangers in self defense, the couple takes off to Mexico pursued by the psychopathic Billy Mack and two other homicidal maniacs who Watty Watts borrowed money from. It’s a wild ride full of humor, violence and great music. Look out for the terrific Jeffrey Combs in a non-horror role and Peter Fonda as a hippie.