When I first saw From Dusk Till Dawn back in 1996, I remember being surprised by its schizophrenic nature. The first half of the film plays much like a Quentin Tarantino crime drama, which should be no surprise I guess since QT did write the screenplay. But this is supposed to be a horror movie, right? Fear not, because in the second half the film morphs into a high octane vampire bloodbath that has more to do with Dawn of the Dead than Reservoir Dogs. Robert Rodriguez directed this sort of double feature within a single feature, and looking back now the film can be seen as a warm up to Tarantino and Rodriguez's 2007 Grindhouse. Even the title From Dusk Till Dawn, was a phrase used to promote all night shows at drive-in theaters back in the day.
George Clooney stars as cold-blooded S.O.B. Seth Gecko who has been sprung from police custody by his psychotic and misogynistic brother Richard, played by Tarantino. They've just robbed a bank and both men are killers, but Seth kills only when its in his best interest, while Richie just likes to kill people. Since Clooney was best known at the time for playing hunky yet sensitive E.R. doc Dog Ross, this was quite a leap for him. After the film's opening scene in a secluded Texas grocery store where the store owner and a Texas Ranger's murders are added to the Gecko's resume, the brother's hole up in a fleabag motel. A family of three led by Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel), a minister who has lost his faith in the wake of his wife's death, are taken hostage by the Gecko's and forced to transport the brothers across the border into Mexico. The plan is for Seth and Richie to meet up with their contact Carlos at a bar called The Titty Twister, a den of iniquity that caters to bikers and truckers.