In my last article I wrote about Young Frankenstein, a movie I watched many times growing up with my mom. This time around I picked a movie I grew up watching with my sisters, From Dusk Til Dawn! Directed by Robert Rodriguez and penned by Robert Kurtzman and Quentin Tarantino, this is no average vampire movie. This gem follows a pair of criminal brothers and their hostages as they hunker down in a truck stop/bar while waiting to meet some people. Little do they know, this bar is not as it seems and they end up having to fend off a building full of vampires (not the sparkly ones either) until morning. Great writing, directing and special effects, this movie is chock full of amazing performances. Naming some of them we have George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, the absolutely stunning Salma Hayek, Cheech, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini and Fred Williamson. There is even more people and cameos not listed. This is a fun movie with a great script and is just a fun watch for many people. Action and horror combined with some comedy sprinkled throughout this one has something for everyone!
Now, this wouldn’t be written about if there wasn’t a cigar somewhere in this movie. This brings me to the wonderful Fred Williamson in the role of “Frost”. Fred Williamson made a name for himself (and nickname “The Hammer”) as a hard-hitting defensive back for the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. After his playing career ended he got into the movies. At 6’3 with his athletic build, he was perfect for his tough guy persona in many “blaxploitation” movies of the 70’s. In ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’ he plays the Vietnam war vet who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, just like everyone else. He pulls out his cigar and goes into his monologue about the war and how he single handedly killed an entire unit with just his bare hands and a bayonet, a smoldering cigar in his mouth/hand the whole time. Quite frankly, that monologue with cigar in hand is the epitome of badassness and is one of Fred Williamson’s trademark images. Bad ass with one liners and a cigar. As always, if you have never seen this one, grab your favorite stick and a cocktail, sit back and take it all in. If you have seen it before, time for a rewatch! Stay smokey and watch a movie.
FUN FACTS (TRIVIA):
1. Salma Hayek did not have a choreographer for her dance. Director Robert Rodriguez just told her to feel the music and dance to it.
2. Sex Machine’s crotch gun can be seen in Desperado (1995), when they search his case and the false top starts to lift.
3. This was Quentin Tarantino’s first paid writing gig. He wrote the script for fifteen hundred dollars.
4. The snake around Santanico Pandemonium’s neck was an Albino Burmese Python Reticulatus.
5. Fred Williamson’s character name Frost is never said aloud during the movie.