WHAT THE FILM?! “From Dusk Till Dawn”


What The Film?! is a weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.

If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email utgjames@gmail.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.

This Week’s Movie: 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn

I know a lot of people at UTG love this movie (myself included), but this had to occur. Being a member of my generation, along with my affinity for movies, it’s impossible for me to not be a fan of Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez. From Dusk Till Dawn was their second of many collaborations, (1995’s Desperado, 2003’s Kill Bill, 2005’s Sin City, 2007’s Grindhouse) all of which ranged from “awesome” to “pretty damn cool”. 


One of those inspired a Queens Of The Stone Age video, the highest honor a movie can reach

The first time I saw this movie, I was a sophomore in High School, I had recently discovered Tarantino and Rodriguez (my mother had actually banned me from watching 1994’s Pulp Fiction) and our group of friends were snatching up everything we could find by the two. We discovered From Dusk Till Dawn and became ecstatic that Rodriguez’s directorial style would be complimenting Tarantino’s writing style.

For those of you who have not seen this movie, or have not heard of this movie, let me let you in on a secret: there are vampires that show up in the last half hour. Nowhere else. Just the last half hour. Our group of friends had no idea this was going to happen and went into it thinking that it would be a Reservoir Dogs/Pulp Fiction/Desperado hybrid. The odd part is that it mostly is that.

Of course it has Danny Trejo in it.

The movie begins with two escaped convicts played by the recently arrested in real life George Clooney and everyone’s favorite famous person who clearly has aspergers, Quentin Tarantino. Together they stop at a gas station to pick up a map but Richie (Tarantino) decides it’s in everyone’s best interest if he murders everyone and burns the place down. The two of them are on a trip to Mexico to meet with a fellow criminal at a randomly selected safe house.

The two brothers realize that the border is a little bit more protected than anticipated and ultimately end up kidnapping a vacationing family and their Winnebago, using it to sneak them across the border. The whole movie reeks of Tarantino’s signature crime style and flows very well. The characters are all interesting and their dialogue is fascinating and real. There are references to Pulp Fiction and Desperado, and even references to the then unmade Kill Bill. Tarantino’s and Rodriguez’s styles mesh perfectly, making the first two acts of this movie are exactly what my friends and I were anticipating.

…and then they get to the bar.

They get to the safe house early, having to spend the night there, meeting their contact in the morning. The bartender insists that they leave as the bar is exclusive to truckers and bikers, but the kidnapped father calms everyone down by providing his licence which has a trucker rating.

Then everyone turns into vampires and almost everyone gets murdered to death except for George Clooney and the kidnapped daughter who are both upset as they’ve lost all the family they had. In the final shot of the movie, the camera zooms out, revealing that the bar was actually on a massive Aztec temple. This move seems to be there to try and justify the ending, but what it really does is make the ending make less sense.

Ohhh, so the vampires were really… wait, no. What?

It takes over an hour of Tarantino crime before vampires show up. Hey, that’s okay, it took almost an hour before Batman showed up in Batman Begins! No. Batman Begins was almost 3 hours long, you still had a huge majority of the movie being about Batman. This movie is an hour and a half. There was over an hour of a crime movie followed by a little over twenty minutes of vampires. We sat down expecting a Tarantino crime movie and literally had no idea that the last act would deviate from the movie in such a ridiculous way.  There was absolutely no foreshadowing, no hints of what was to come, not even a musical number in the first act called “This Will In No Way Be Ironic At The End.” It was as if Tarantino wrote this great crime movie that would have gone down in crime movie history, after Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and then decided to let his roommate write the last act.

“Bro, don’t worry! I know your style”

I spent St. Patrick’s day in Boston, visiting my girlfriend who goes to Emerson for Writing/Editing/Publishing. I sat in on a few classes and one of the things the teacher said in her Copy Editing class was that when you read a manuscript, there are things that you don’t notice in your first read through. Your second/third/forth read through, you have to notice if there are things that stand out because they’re inconsistent with the rest of the manuscript, if there are elements that don’t make sense. From Dusk Till Dawn failed at this. I’m struggling to remember why everyone seems to love this movie.

Oh. Right.

Dane saw a guy get arrested for public intoxication at a train station the second he arrived in Boston! GO SAWX. You can follow him on Twitter or Tumblr.

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  • Snuffiee87

    Well i loved this movie because of the unexpected twist of vampires with out the hint in the beginning. what fun is it to what a movie when you know what is gonna happen. it was as big a shock to us as it was to them. if anyone wants to mention a film that had a more confusieng ending then this how about death proof?