Quentin Tarantino

We want to hear your thoughts!

From Quentin to Robert: We celebrate 23 years of From Dusk till Dawn

From Quentin to Robert: We celebrate 23 years of From Dusk till Dawn

The year was 1992, A young video store clerk was premiering his first film at the Cannes Film Festival, Reservoir Dogs. That same year another young director from Texas was premiering his film El Mariachi. Both films were instant hits and showcased a talent the likes Hollywood wasn’t familiar with. Snappy dialogue, great action sequences, celebrities from the past who are in main roles dominating the screen once again in different lights. It was then that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez met. The two bonded over the one thing they love: Movies. As time progressed, they wanted to work together but what would the project consist of? Quentin mentioned his love for horror movies and pitched an idea for a script he wrote called From Dusk till dawn. In reference to the drive-in theater days where they would show movies to FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. For those unfamiliar about the plot on the run from a bank robbery that left several police officers dead, Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his paranoid, loose-cannon brother, Richard (Quentin Tarantino), hightail it to the Mexican border. Kidnapping preacher Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his kids, the criminals sneak across the border in the family’s RV and hole up in a topless bar. Unfortunately, the bar also happens to be home base for a gang of vampires, and the brothers and their hostages have to fight their way out. The film boasts an extremely impressive cast of actors in small to big roles. For the moviegoer unfamiliar they may have recognized Tom Savini, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Keitel, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin and of course Quentin Tarantino himself, but for the movie fanatic, they easily recognized the people that truly inspired Quentin and Robert to not only make this film but all their films. John Saxon, Greg Nicotero, Wayne Toth (who played a vampire in the movie, He’s done the FX for Rob zombie’s films) Marc Lawrence, Robert Kurtzman, Fred Williamson and the legendary Michael Parks. This was honestly the expendables of a horror movie before the film by Kurtzman “Wishmaster” which features a stellar cast itself. The film always holds a special place in my heart from the first time I saw it, I snuck into the theater since I was too young to purchase a ticket quietly sitting in my seat unbeknownst to the theater staff or customers. The movie came on my heart sank, I’m seeing my first Rodriguez/Tarantino film having to go to the video store renting to owning their movies on VHS. Yup, I once owned Reservoir Dogs on VHS along with Four Rooms and Pulp Fiction. The movie started out as a criminal heist film to eventually the horror movie we were waiting for, I studied every line, every scene, I saw so much and remembered pay attention to the movie at least. Here I was just a young teenager rooting for the bad guys, enjoying the violence. Growing up before the internet we just had horror magazines and tv spots MAYBE if we were lucky a tv show would talk about a movie or show behind the scenes even then it was just a snippet. You blink and it was over. So, at times watching the tv spots for horror movies I spent my time studying and breaking down the frames which is what I did for the film. Finally, the film was over. I was awe and couldn’t believe what I saw a great action horror movie with snippets of clever jokes. As stated, there was no internet so when going back to school it was my job to tell everyone what I saw and explain in detail as if I really did witness it all. For years the movie stayed on my mind. I had to own it, the posters, the script ANYTHING related to this film. Luckily, I was able to obtain a VHS copy of the film at Suncoast which back then was my go-to for horror movies. I wore out that tape as I did the box slip from taking it out or lending it to friends for them to see and we talk about. I also read the script which I studied and learned from for future films I wanted to write. As time went by, I eventually studied the many layers of the film. The script had scenes in it that were cut out or dialogue altered or not used. This helped me growing where I would watch films and even to this day go, move this, say this instead, alter this scene more so to reflect this character’s persona. Change this song, use this song. It was as if the teacher was watching me fly from my bird’s nest. Years later I finally met Tom Savini who talked about the film. He kept the machine gun crotch piece and explained that every vampire was modified to where they didn’t look alike, they were all unique designs. Tom joked about how his daughter would hang out with George causing pranks on set by which there were water gun fights with the dancers and Tom, George or whoever fell prey to them. Does the film have some decent sequels that actually aren’t bad? The tv series does a great job piecing everything together and adding new lore to the film. To anyone who worked on the film or the people reading this. If you’re upset, I snuck into the movie for free, don’t worry I have bought the film and posters so many times in my life that the universe is finely balanced.

 




Posted by Jai Alexis in EDITORIALS, HORROR COMEDIES, HORROR HISTORY, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
TOM SAVINI TURNS 72 TODAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!!

TOM SAVINI TURNS 72 TODAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!!

 

Thomas Vincent Savini was born on November 3, 1946. He is known for his amazing talent as an actor in such films like From Dusk Till Dawn, Planet Terror Creepshow 2 and many many others. In 1990 he directed Night of The living Dead which was a remake of the 1968 classic that was directed by the late, great George A Romero. Tom recently directed a new episode of Flicker, which is a new web series created by Robert Tinnell, telling bite sized horror tales paying homage to silent horror films from the 1920’s.

‘Most of all, Tom Savini is known for his creativity in over the top special make up effects for such films like Friday The 13th, The Prowler, The Burning, Martin, Dawn of The Dead, Creepshow and many many others.

The Godfather of Gore was inspired by the 1957 film, a Thousand Faces. He became fascinated with the magic and illusion of film . While Tom was a combat photographer in Vietnam, he got his first taste of real carnage, which ended up being in his films later on.

Tom Savini has a special makeup effects program located in Monessen, Pa at Douglas Education Center.

In 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting this man at Douglas Education center and even though I knew he was busy at the open house, I was just in awe. Here is the guy that I looked up to my entire life. When I was a kid, I spent majority of my time watching horror films and his name often appeared in the credits under special make up effects.

As a lover of the 70’s and 80’s horror films, I was in shock at just how well the makeup was done, it looked real, it looked disgusting and it looked painful. If Tom’s name was on a film, you knew you were in for a treat of carnage.

One year as a Christmas Gift, I was given VHS tapes of Tom’s work. Scream Greats and Horror Effects and I would watch those back to back all the time. I was overly obsessed with film making and enjoyed seeing how all this magic comes to life on screen.

Say what you want about Tom Savini, but to me he is a legend, a mentor, a filmmaker and a friend.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS, which is a documentary on the life of Tom Savini, is in post production and will hopefully see the light of day very soon.  The film was written and directed by Jason Baker.

 

LET’S ALL WISH TOM A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TODAY!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM!!!

 

 

 

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in Categories, CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, EDITORIALS, 0 comments
HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Ten – 10/10/18

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Ten – 10/10/18

10/10 – 1996: SCREAM/FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

1996…It was a draw for me; too tough to narrow down the list of all the great flicks I had to choose from. I finally managed to whittle it down to two: SCREAM, and FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, and even then, I just couldn’t bring myself to choose between them. Both are as important and influential to the genre during this time, yet both are certainly unique: one redefined what fans had thought of the teen slasher genre, while the other took vampire lore to a whole new place unconsidered up to that point.

Legendary director WES CRAVEN had always been an innovator of modern horror, re-establishing himself in several sub-genres over the course of many decades. With LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, he’d done things that most directors in the field never achieve over the course of their entire careers. So when he was looking for the next big thing, he wasn’t even considering sticking with horror, when he crossed paths with a brilliantly subversive script by DAWSON’S CREEK scribe KEVIN WILLIAMSON; a nicely-nasty little number called “SCARY MOVIE”, which was soon to beretitled…SCREAM.

Snarky, self-reverential, almost to the point of being a bit too “nudge-winky” at times, nevertheless, SCREAM never once forgot to bring the laughs, the scares AND the gore in ample supply.  A slasher of teens begins to decimate the youth population of the little bedroom community of Woodsboro, but if that wasn’t bad enough, said killer seems to be every bit as smart as the “Scooby Gang wanna-be” group of horror-loving kids, who soon realize that their stalker not only knows the ‘rules of horror’ as well as – if not  better than they do, and he’s not only using the playbook to take them out one-by-one, but he (or she?) is even bending and changing the rules! Much like Williamson’s TV creation, the cast couldn’t have been more suited as an ensemble, even though the standout was DREW BARRYMORE, if only for the mere fact that she pulls a “Janet-Leigh-in-PSYCHO” on the audience in the first few moments of the film – a shock that has since become legendary, even though people still remember where the idea came from!

NEVE CAMPBELL, SKEET ULRICH, ROSE MCGOWAN, JAMIE KENNEDY, MATTHEW LILLARD, W. EARL BROWN, LIEV SCHREIBER, COURTNEY COX and DAVID ARQUETTE (who married and divorced over the course of the franchise); JOSEPH WHIPP (who could’ve been playing the same character from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET – and probably was!), plus unexpected cameos from LINDA BLAIR and HENRY WINKLER going way out-of-typecasting as an asshole of a principal…It didn’t get any better than this! Plus Craven’s direction, with tongue firmly-in-cheek the entire time, could have you rolling your eyes and chuckling one minute, and yes, SCREAMING the next! This film helped usher in a new age, where the movie and the characters were as smart – if not smarter than the audience that eagerly made SCREAM a box office smash!

Meanwhile, thanks to buddy and sometime collaborator QUENTIN TARANTINO, cinematic ‘one-man-band’ ROBERT RODRIGUEZ was having fun playing “Dr. Frankenstein”, by smashing two unexpected sub-genres together, if not three: serial killers, true crime…and vampires.  FROM DUSK TILL DAWN is the kind of film you never expect…until it bops you upside the head from seemingly out of nowhere!

The notorious Gecko brothers, handsome and sarcastic Seth (GEORGE CLOONEY) and ‘quiet, reserved’ Richard (no less than TARANTINO himself) are cutting a swath of robbery, assault and murder across the Southwest.  The “murder” part of their spree is owed mostly to Richard, who just can’t curb his impulses to kill and rape people. Well, to be a bit more specific, he kills and rapes womennot the men, let’s be clear on that (as Richard would probably say himself.)

Their antics – but especially Richard’s body count – has made it necessary to hotfoot it South of the Border, and maybe lay low somewhere in Mexico, until things die down…If they do. Along the way, as they change vehicles, they hijack an RV and the vacationing family inside it and skip town.

The intent was to just keep on going until they reached their objective, but all that changes when they make a fateful detour to a truck stop on the way.  But not just ANY truck stop: The “TITTY TWISTER.” A blood-and-guts dive that definitely lives up to its name…in more ways than one. And its hours of operation are…well, you know the title.

The bar has some of the most gorgeous dancing girls you ever saw, but they’re all woofers compared to the luscious, insanely beautiful main attraction, a hypnotic dancer who goes by the name of ‘SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM’.  No one into women could possibly resist her, and all men should, as Seth and Richard quickly discover, along with the rest of the hapless ‘Twister’ patrons, when the girls, the bouncers, the bartenders, everyone who ‘works’ there, finally reveal their true faces.  They’re all flesh-and-blood hungry vamps, and less the TWILIGHT variety than the FRIGHT NIGHT kind.

Rodriguez knew exactly what the fans wanted from Quentin’s script, and together, they sure gave it to us…stylish, sensual, sexy and soaked in red. And the Tarantino/Rodriguez combo attracted a cast that was instant boxoffice catnip, right down to the cameos: HARVEY KEITEL, JULIETTE LEWIS, FRED WILLIAMSON, TOM SAVINI; the stunning SALMA HAYEK as “SANTANICO”; everybody’s favorite badass, DANNY TREJO, plus CHEECH MARIN, MICHAEL PARKS, JOHN SAXON, KELLY PRESTON, MARC LAWRENCE; even a special appearance by Robert’s favorite “Hell House band”, TITO AND TARANTULA…Hell, you just knew that if he wasn’t already starring in it, Quentin would have probably directed this one, too!

The “Titty Twister” sequences – especially the gore-soaked fight scenes – are now a thing of legend, (check out Savini’s “special weapon” and the reason why his character’s nickname is “Sex Machine”!) and the closing shot is as breathtaking as any iconic final scene from the best and most unforgettable horror films, (I’d compare it for impact to the last shot of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT; in fact, DAWN’S final shot is probably a tad better.)

But for thrills, chills and maximum blood spills, whether you’ve seen these movies a hundred times or not even once…you can’t go wrong with these choices for a monumentally successful Halloween Night of Frights!

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, OPINION, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, VAMPIRES, 0 comments