According to an EW retrospective from 2016, no one in Hollywood believed in Quentin Tarantino’s script for “From Dusk Till Dawn.” The film kicks off as an RV-bound, Tex-Mex riff on Jack Starrett’s “Race with the Devil” before turning into a vampire-laden gorefest that defies description. The first act is in-the-pocket Tarantino: Vicious and plenty loquacious. When it dips south of the border, it becomes Robert Rodriguez’s movie.
If any studio had the moxie to finance a Tarantino-Rodriguez horror movie mash-up, pre-“Pulp Fiction,” it was Miramax. “Reservoir Dogs” was a cult-movie sensation, and Rodriguez had made good on his no-budget miracle “El Mariachi” with “Desperado.” But as Rodriguez told EW, the border-driven tonal shift was a non-starter at the production company … until it wasn’t:
“We were young filmmakers, we were really testing the boundaries. People were going, ‘This is all wrong; it’s two movies in one.’ After ‘Pulp Fiction,’ everybody wanted to make it, and they’d go, ‘It’s two movies in one; it’s fantastic!'”
“From Dusk Till Dawn” isn’t a classic, but it’s an enormous amount of bloody fun that gave George Clooney his first bonafide theatrical success. Sadly, 27 years later, it might still be the best film Rodriguez has made. Maybe it’s time for another two-in-one cinematic extravaganza.