Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
Written By: Robert Kurtzman (story) Quentin Tarantino (screenplay)
I don’t know that I have ever watched any other film that does a 180 quite like this one. This movie offers one of the most dramatic changes in direction that I have ever seen in any movie but I think that is part of what makes it memorable. For the first half of the movie there is a completely different tone to it and absolutely no hint of what is to come. Suddenly, seriously out of nowhere, it becomes a movie about vampires. It’s cool in this case though because it was before vampires would completely consume our culture and wear out their welcome. I have never been a fan of vampires that turn into creepy ass monsters but these vampires aren’t supposed to be cool they are supposed to be scary, or at the very least just silly. This isn’t my favorite film from either of the filmmakers but I think it has many elements that make it a worthy film.
One of the things I think makes this film most significant was that it advanced the career of Robert Rodriguez. It was his second collaboration with Quentin Tarantino and it would go on to start a franchise and acquire a large cult following. I am a big fan of any time Tarantino and Rodriguez collaborate but I actually think Rodriguez is the better of the pair, not including Inglourious Basterds which was phenomenal. I have never understood why Tarantino has insisted on acting in many of those collaborations but he isn’t bad in this one. I think he is well suited for the role of a hot headed pervert as it happens though so it works out really well in this case. Rodriguez is ever the king of cool and can always deliver on exciting action so his movies are always great.
It’s not often that I admit this but every so often George Clooney plays a part that is really cool. I normally cannot stand Clooney but he is pretty badass in this movie, and it’s pre-Batman and Robin so I suppose that makes it OK. There were five other actors approached to play his part before he was offered the role though. Michael Madsen, John Travolta, Christopher Walkin, Steve Buscemi, and Tim Roth all had scheduling conflicts and ultimately Clooney was approached and accepted. I think he did a good job; he played a really cool bad guy. I have always been a big fan of Juliette Lewis, she has a really interesting story and I wish she was in more movies currently. She doesn’t do anything special in this movie but plays her part well enough. Salma Hayek is sexy as only Salma Hayek can be and I remember hating the filmmakers briefly for making her so ugly all of a sudden and interrupting her strip tease. I think Harvey Keitel is awful in this movie but I normally like him a lot. I don’t think he was right for the role at all. This movie has several Rodriguez regulars as well playing smaller roles such as Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, and Tom Savini.
This was a really cool movie that all of a sudden took a nose dive and got really silly. I think that this is these two guys (Tarantino and Rodriguez) just having a good time and doing something they think is fun. Watching it this time I felt stupid having told Amber to pay attention to it. There seems to be no end to the silliness at certain times such as when the vampire band is playing instruments made of body parts and people eventually just start exploding from gunshot wounds. Despite all that I still see something in this movie that makes it worth the time to watch it. You would probably be taking a gamble if you chose this to watch one evening but there is plenty of potential so you might like it too, it is worth a shot.
What the heck did Ryan just make me watch? I have to admit that I like both Tarantino and Rodriguez. They are both very talented writers and movie makers. Having said that (my co-workers would kill me for saying that), I am not a fan of this movie. The dramatic change in story line is ridiculous. Everyone I talked to about this movie all seemed to love it and think that I was crazy for not finding it incredibly interesting. I tried to put myself back in time to when this movie came out, because then I am sure the vampire craze wasn’t so prevalent. Maybe I should give the movie another chance someday before really bashing it. If you are in to strange movies that have variable storylines this is your movie.
NEXT MOVIE: Full Metal Jacket (1987)