It’s at the point where the movie switches gears from hostage film to horror-gore fest that I most enjoy. For about an hour, we follow two brothers, Seth and Richard Gekko (George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino), who’ve robbed a bank and are heading for the Mexican border. They take hostages while on the run – a Baptist minister named Jacob Fuller and his two kids. The Fullers are travelling in a Winnebago that the Gekko’s decide to hide in to cross the border.
Once in Mexico, the Gekko brothers, with the Fullers in tow, head to a skuzzy biker-trucker-strip joint called The Titty Twister to rendezvous with their contact Carlos. All’s well and the brothers are having a good ‘ol time until a barroom brawl erupts. Richard is stabbed in the hand and all hell breaks loose…literally. The last 30 minutes of the film are full of fantastic fun. The original plot falls by the wayside as the vampire plot begins. The spill of blood from Richard’s hand ignites an outbreak of vampirism as the bar’s employees, all of whom are shape-shifting, blood-sucking vamps, turn into a pack of hungry animals and begin attacking the bar’s patrons.
Rodrigues goes for all out violence and special effects, with blood spewing everywhere; with heads flying off bodies; with limbs being hacked off; with throats being ripped open. Even the weapons of choice are wacky and creative – water balloons, super soakers and a handmade power saw. It’s a crazy, bloody and gory vampire extravaganza that is ridiculously unexpected and over-the-top. You have to wait until the end for the best part, but it’s no matter, since the first half of the film plays well too, particularly if you enjoy classic Tarantino dialogue. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention the point at which the pace of the film slows but for a few brief moments for a bikini-clad, erotic snake dance by Salma Hayek. It’s hands-down CS’s scene stealer of choice from this film so I had to mention it. CS and I have debated the bikini scene on several occasions. He sees it, in a farfetched way, as being symbolic of female empowerment. I usually just roll my eyes since he says that just to bug me and appreciates the scene for its "visual effects" rather than for its "feminism." Anyway, the film’s got something for everyone!