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Introduction
Right, engage story mode. I can remember going to see From Dusk Till Dawn at the cinema very clearly. A friend of mine couldn’t stop talking about the film, in particular about a certain Latin lovely with an unusual take on table dancing. He described it as a sort of gangster flick with a twist. Fair enough, I thought, I’ll give it a go. Well about half way through the film I was enjoying the proceedings, it was full of familiar Tarantino dialogue and even featured the man himself in a fairly major acting role. Add to that Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis and the aforementioned table dancing Salma Hayek and I thought the film had potential. Then all hell broke loose. I sat there, looking up at the screen, as a hoard of bloodthirsty vampires began slaughtering everyone in sight, and just started laughing. It was so unbelievably over the top, not to mention unexpected, that I couldn’t help it. The thing is, it worked. I couldn’t take it seriously, but that’s the best thing about From Dusk Till Dawn.

This two-disc release from Dimension is a great tribute to an enjoyable film and is an almost perfect release. Why almost? Well, once again a major film has been released with a non-anamorphic transfer! Even the dodgy region two release is anamorphic, so why this Special Edition is only letterbox is beyond me! Anyway, rant over, on to the rest of the review.

From Dusk Till Dawn: Dimension Collector's Edition
Video
The 1.85:1 video, despite it’s lack of 16:9 enhancement, is fine throughout. There are no real problems to speak of, but obviously the level of detail is not as good as it could be. The image looks a little soft, as is to be expected, but it is relatively free of dust, scratches and other nasty blemishes. Overall though, this is best described as an average transfer.

Audio
Sound is good, and comes in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Surround flavours. It doesn’t live up to the standards set by the likes of Saving Private Ryan, but it does feature some good moments, and the various screams and howls in the Titty Twister scenes come from all angles. Dialogue is clear, essential for a Tarantino movie, and the music sounds great.

From Dusk Till Dawn: Dimension Collector's Edition
Extras
Extras are very comprehensive. In addition to some quite unnerving menus (I wasn’t expecting a drooling vampire to come lunging at me every time I selected an option) you get a commentary track with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, deleted scenes and alternate takes with commentary, a Hollywood Goes to Hell featurette, the theatrical trailer, some TV spots, a couple of music videos, a stills gallery, The Art of Making the Movie with commentary from Rodriguez and Greg Nicotero, outtakes, and cast and crew bios. Phew, not a bad list. However, the second disc contains arguably the best extra of all – Full Tilt Boogie. This documentary chronicles the making of the film from start to finish and has a lot of behind the scenes stuff, especially of Clooney and Tarantino clowning around. At over an hour and a half in length it’s definitely worth at least one viewing.

From Dusk Till Dawn: Dimension Collector's Edition
Overall
I haven’t seen any of FDTD's sequels, and judging by the things I’ve heard I’m not missing much. I guess the reason the sequels aren’t up to much is that there wasn’t a lot there to begin with. If it wasn’t for Tarantino’s involvement, and that of the likes of Keitel, Clooney and Lewis, FDTD would have been a decidedly below average flick. As it is, with their involvement, the film has some great scenes in both the first and the second acts. Fred Williamson and Tom Savini are great, Cheech Marin is hilarious as Chet Pussy, and there’s the usual great Tarantino dialogue (Kate - “Where are we going?” Ritchie – “Mexico.” Kate – “What’s in Mexico?” Ritchie - “Mexicans.”). Rodriguez directs the film in a stylish manner and the special effects are surprisingly good for a relatively low-budget film. This is a top movie for a night in with a few beers and a takeaway. Just don’t take it too seriously.


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