Critics berated Tarantino for losing the plot, literally, in this outing as writer, actor and executive producer, but audiences still turned up in their droves. Not in Ireland, however, since From Dusk Till Dawn joined Natural Born Killers as the second Tarantino project to be found in the ‘Out’ tray at the Censor’s office. In so short a career, that must be something of a record.
Still smarting from having passed over indie phenomenon El Mariachi (reputedly made for a mere $7,000) and its remake, Desperado, Miramax paired director Roberto Rodriguez with their Boy Wonder to produce what in fact amounted to two movies in one: imagine Jim Thompson meets Sam Peckinpah in a Hammer production. Tarantino always fancied himself as an actor and here he had the clout, if not perhaps the talent, to be one. He plays the homicidal Seth Gekko, brother to George Clooney’s Richard, who together begin the movie as your average crooks on the lam to a soundtrack of Southern Rock. After a botched robbery, the pair take a preacher (Harvey Keitel) and his two children (Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu) hostage as they head south of the border, where they have to pay off the local kingpin. The unlikely travelling companions are forced to spend the night at a road-house rendezvous which, unexpectedly, turns out to be a hell of a bar.