"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

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"From Dusk till Dawn" has never been a film of the first clip: it did not occupy the minds of the broad layers of the cinema population, was not studied by critics, did not blow up the box office. But those of us who liked this bloody whistle, have kept the film in our hearts forever. We offer to give this vampire bacchanal what it deserves and invite you behind the scenes of its creation.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

The story of the creation of "From Dusk to Dawn" begins in the 90s and is directly related to Quentin Tarantino's debut film "Mad Dogs", or rather, with a meeting that took place on his set.

Back in 1992, Quentin managed to attract Robert Kurtzman, a master of visual effects, to work on "Dogs", who worked on the films "Predator", "A Nightmare on Elm Street III", "The Sinister Dead II", "Phantasm II" and "Halloween IV". As you know, Tarantino is in awe of this kind of film production (all thanks to his video rental youth), and therefore it was a matter of principle for him to get such a specialist at his disposal. If you want, a cinematic dotted line.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

However, the question arises: where in the "Dogs" could a master of practical effects be needed?

In the scene with the cutting off of the ear, which was made by Kurtzman. The work for such an experienced craftsman, apparently, was for a couple of hours, because he simply did not get into the credits of the film. For Tarantino, a debt was secured, for which Kurtzman appeared 2 years later, when "Pulp Fiction" appeared on the screens. Critics and viewers then carried Quentin in their arms, and the ear-maker reasonably considered that it was already hot enough to forge a profit from the debt.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

And he came up with this. Kurtzman had a short story about vampires written by himself in the cache, which he wanted to develop into a full-fledged film script. Well, Quentin had the responsibility to write this very script. In payment of a debt.

So thanks to the ear, the script "From Dusk to dawn" by Quentin was born.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

Very successful directors, including Tony Scott and Rennie Harlin, immediately began to show interest in the project. Yes, the same Harlin, who once shot very good action movies: an excellent triquel "Nightmare on Elm Street", a good second "Die Hard" and an imperishable "Climber" — it was his handiwork. The script, apparently, was very pleased with Tarantino himself, who was going to take the director's chair.

But soon Harlin and Scott withdrew himself. And Tarantino, who wrote one of the main roles for himself, still decided to focus on acting. Therefore, he put his friend and colleague Robert Rodriguez at the helm of the project.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

With the role of one of the Gekko brothers — Richie — everything was clear at once: Tarantino himself wrote his role for himself. Agree, it is not every day that it is possible to compose and embody on the screen the image of a notorious scoundrel. But the role of the second brother, Seth, could have been played by one of the actors Tarantino already loved, with whom he worked in his previous films. Among the contenders were Tim Roth, John Travolta, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and Christopher Walken. Unfortunately, all of them were already busy on other projects.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

The personnel solution was found in an unusual place: in the hospital. Tarantino recalled that a year earlier, on the set of an episode of the TV series "Ambulance" (if anything, the 24th episode of the first season), he worked with a young actor George Clooney, who was very suitable for the role of Seth. In his appointment to the role, Quentin also saw a funny irony: an actor who had recently saved people in the role of an ambulance doctor could become the one who would send people to this very hospital. Either there were no other candidates, or Quentin really liked the idea of turning a doctor into an executioner, but Clooney still got the main role, and for him it became the first major role in a Hollywood movie.

No less interesting is the story of getting into the project of Salma Hayek, whose role, though small, was very bright.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

Hayek came to Quentin's attention after the movie "Desperate", where the Mexican beauty played with Antonio Banderas. And even though her role in "From Dusk to Dawn" was much more modest, Tarantino saw her in the role of a seductive dancer. He even changed the name of this heroine to Hayek. In the script, her name was Death Blonde ("Deadly blonde"), and with the absentee approval for the role of the burning brunette Salma, there was an objective need to choose something else. Quentin settled on the sonorous Santanico Pandemonium. You won't believe it, but this name is the name of the Mexican trash horror movie "The Pitch Hell of Satan", which in the original sounds just like "Santanico Pandemonium".

Oddly enough, neither the exclusive choice for the role of Hayek, nor the heroic retro searches for a memorable name for the character seduced Salma: after receiving an offer to play in the tape, the actress quickly rejected him. And all because of a panic fear of snakes.

But in his desire to get Hayek, Quentin was simply adamant. Not wanting to put up with the refusal, he decided to go for a trick and told the actress that Madonna herself claimed her rights to the role of Santanico, with whom Quentin and Rodriguez worked in the film "Four Rooms". Hayek was intrigued: it's not every day you manage to beat the queen of the pop scene herself. She accepted the offer and in order to look confident while dancing with a python on her shoulders, she underwent two-month therapy courses to overcome herpetophobia.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

Speaking of dancing. If Salma devoted two whole months to snake therapy, then she didn't spend a minute staging the dance. Yes, the whole striptease scene is a complete improvisation. Rodriguez used the same freewheeling approach 10 years later in Sin City: Alba's dance is also completely improvised.

But, of course, there were those who did not need to be sought or persuaded. For Harvey Keitel, who played the role of Jacob's father, this was the third joint project with Tarantino. And Danny Trejo and Cheech Marin (who performed three roles in the film) — and they became Rodriguez's talismans at all. Starting with "From Sunset..." they appear in almost every one of his films.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

Let's start with the names of the main (anti)heroes — the Gekko brothers. "Gekko" literally translates as "gecko". Perhaps not too smart, but the desire to hide a reference to your favorite movies in the film is much more important. After all, the Gecko brothers were named after the Frog brothers/Frogs from "The Lost Guys": the cult vampire movie of 1987.

There was a place for John Carpenter in the tape. Being a big fan of the films of this director, Robert Rodriguez hid an Easter egg on his film "Attack on the 13th precinct". The son of the preacher, played by Harvey Keitel, wears a T—shirt with the inscription Precinct 13 - "Precinct 13".

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

The titanic "Apocalypse Now" by Francis Ford Coppola also had an indirect influence on the tape. According to Robert Rodriguez, the interior of the ill-fated eatery "Twisted Tit" is inspired by the abode of Colonel Kurtz. By the way, this wonderful institution was built from scratch in the California desert.

But this Easter egg is my favorite. Do you remember how Seth jumped out to buy something to eat for a while, and Richie was left alone in a roadside motel room and brutally killed a hostage? In general, Clooney bought nothing but Big Kahuna burgers. The same burgers that Jules ate in Pulp Fiction. Which very eloquently hints that the characters of both films live in the same cinematic universe.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

But, perhaps, the main geek achievement of the tandem of Rodriguez and Tarantino can be considered the attraction of real icons of films of the 70s and 80s to the site. This is Tom Savini, a recognized visual effects guru who worked on Friday the 13th and zombie films, who played a Sex Machine.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

And John Saxon (who played an FBI agent). Quentin and Robert idolized him thanks to the film "Exit of the Dragon" with Bruce Lee (well, we know him from the role of Nancy's father in the movie "A Nightmare on Elm Street").

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

Released in January 1996, "From Dusk to Dawn" did not become a box office hit: at the box office, "Jumanji" and "12 Monkeys" reigned at that time, and a measly $25 million fell to the share of vampires.

But that stunning style and atmosphere, the most colorful characters and the hurricane pace could not leave connoisseurs indifferent. The film earned eight nominations for the Saturn Award, winning a statuette in the category "Best Horror Film". Soon the picture had a whole army of devoted fans: it was, though not deafening, but still a success.

Of course, all the more or less successful movies are sequelized. However, "From sunset ..." somewhat violated the template. In 1998, the picture got hold of the midquel "From Dusk to Dawn: The Blood Money of Texas" (starring Robert Patrick T-1000), and a year later — the prequel "From Dusk to Dawn: The Executioner's Daughter".

But the real sequel came out in 2001, and it was a third-person shooter. In the game "From Dusk to dawn", the player becomes a participant in the events that occur immediately after the end of the 1996 film. According to the plot, Seth Gekko was captured and locked up in a tanker prison drifting off the coast of Orleans. Driven by revenge, vampires infiltrate the ship, and Seth needs to fight his way to freedom through hordes of bloodsuckers.

On Metacritic, the game was awarded a score of 58/100. Above average.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

And 10 years later, the story of vampires came to life on television: on March 11, 2014, the premiere of the pilot episode of the multi-part "From Dusk to Dawn", which was directed by Robert Rodriguez according to his own script, took place. In general, the TV adaptation was met, though without enthusiasm, but warmly. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has 78 positive ratings out of 100.

"Psychos don't explode": how the cult film "From Dusk to Dawn" was shot

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