From Dusk Till Dawn

108 minutes

Robert Rodriguez directs a script by Quentin Tarantino, who also costars. About halfway through, this 1996 crime thriller turns into a gory vampire bloodbath a la The Evil Dead; the result is better than Rodriguez's Desperado, but there's a similar feeling of disassociation among the various elements. Harvey Keitel plays a former minister who's recently lost his faith; he and his two kids (Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu) are taken hostage by brother robbers (George Clooney and Tarantino) fleeing for the Mexican border. On a mindless exploitation level this is pretty good, but on other levels it seems to make promises that it fails to deliver on; none of the deaths carries any moral weight, and the climactic special-effects free-for-all tends to drown out all other interests. But if your critical horizons are low and you're in a nasty mood, you probably won't be bored. With Cheech Marin (in three separate roles), Salma Hayek, Tom Savini, and John Saxon.

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