From Dusk Till Dawn: ‘messy, tedious vampire movle’


IFROM ousx TILL kon

j This Tarantino-scripted, Robert

IHodriguez-directed horror comedy confirms two things: one, that Nice

Guy Quentin’s old scripts should have

been left to gather dust; two, that Rodriguez’s no-budget debut feature

El Mariachi was a one-shot deal. As with the vapid, over-blown Desperado,

. this movie suffers from a complete

lack of narrative pacing, comic timing and formal restraint. The result is a messy, tedious vampire movie that tries to be scary and funny but ends

up being neither.

As if to emphasise the film’s

‘subsequent collapse into boring

chaos, the first half hour is controlled,

suspenseful and involving. 0n the run

i from the cops, icy killer George

. Glooney and his twitchy, unhinged

l brother Tarantino kidnap lapsed priest

, Harvey Keitel, his teenage daughter Juliette Lewis and her half- Vietnamese brother. ER heartthrob Clooney makes his mark here, holding

) his own in scenes with Keitel and

I throwing into unflattering relief

another one-note performance from

Tarantino. Sadly, once the kidnappers and their

4 three hostages make it across the border into Mexico, holing up at the isolated Titty Twister striptease bar, the final hour turns into a sfx-heavy re-make of the 1984 horror comedy

Vamp, as the entire staff and clientele of this remote roadhouse all turn out

to be bloodsuckers.

From this point on, a law of diminishing returns sets in, as the fearless five try to ward off an unstoppable tide of thirsty shape-

shifters with makeshift crucifixes, improvised flame-throwers and cross- bows (geddit?). Courtesy of KNB F/X’s abundant, unimaginative effects, the ; creatures explode, melt, evaporate and extrude; but this quickly becomes repetitious. A true horror movie . maybe, but a crap one all the same. 5 (Nigel Floyd) From Dusk Till Dawn (18) (Robert Rodriguez, US, 1996) George Glooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino. 108 . mins. From Fri 31. General release.



Ambitious hut ravv vvannahe TV reporter 'I‘allv .-\tvvater (Miehelle l’feiffet') gets a desk jolt at a loeal Miami nevvs station. \\ here her nevv hoss is middle-aged produeer and former netvvork star reporter Warren Jllsliee (Robert Redford). .ltlstiv‘e sees some potential in Tall-v. despite her inexperience. and starts grooming her for the on-sereen big time. \\ hile their relationship heeomes more intimate. For the most part a Na} to»I)eeemher romantie drama. .lon .'\v net's film ean also oeeasionall) he seen as a look at the disparit} hetvveen image and suhstanee in Ameriean television journalism. With the aeknovv ledged erovvd-pulling eharms of I’feiffer and Redford. .-\vnet is given an opportunil}

to shovv a mainstream andienee the vvav in vvhieh a (usually female) 'I‘\' reporter's look and personality ean heeome more important than the news. However; this is no Network or even [from/mu .‘v'mrs. .-\vnet falls for the I‘ll/l created by the media eirens. with its design eonsultants and personal agents. and vve find ourselves rooting for 'I‘allv to get that nevvs anehor position and those smart heige suits. I’feiffer and Redford vvork surprisingly well together. as the gap in age is ineorporated into the plot rather than ignored. and their mentor/protegee partnership undergoes a few interesting ehanges along the way but. vvith romanee to the fore. the ehanee to delve into a more nevvsvvoithv suhjeet goes hegging. (Simon Wardell) ( it (love .'III(/ Personal (l5) (.lmt .'Il'll(’l. (18'. #296) Robert Red/Uni. I), , .I/l('/l(’//(' 17mm: .S'Iurkun/ (lulu/ring. | "3 /2/)ll1ll1.\‘. l'iwni l-‘ri 7. (i(’ll(’l'(1/I‘(’/(’(1.\‘(’. I

Up Close And Personal: ‘romance to the fore‘

Nadia: ‘living-dead pace'



A couple of years ago, Pixilvision the process by which blurred, digitised images were produced on normal audio tape by a Fisher-Price toy camera - became the low-budget discovery of the New York independent scene. Several shorts, most notably by Sadie Benning, and Michael Almereyda’s mini-feature Another Girl, Another Planet were lapped up by critics on the festival circuit.

Now, in Nadia, Almereyda has found a suitably thematic and aesthetic use for Pixilvision within a larger work. Blown up across the big screen, the pixillated sequences evoke the impressionistic, dream-like night world of the modern vampire stalking America.

Nadia (Hal Hartley star Elina Lowensohn) is the exotically beautiful daughter of Dracula, estranged from her twin brother (Jared Harris) and l pursued by barmy Val Helsing (Peter

Fonda). There’s hardly any plot as

such, with the director focusing

instead on the nature of relationships l in this unhealthin claustrophobic | world love, devotion, slavery and 3 disgust bind the characters together. : as does blood, whether by birth or by ' bite. l Nadia isn‘t so much a remake or ; spoof of Dracula as a variation on it in i the musical sense: the principal themes are lifted, reworked and played back in different keys as a black-and-white, arty horror movie. Unfortunately, the concept is overstretched at 90 minutes, and even the distinctive look of the film becomes tedious at this living-dead pace. It’s not without some humour. however, with Fonda’s quirky, paranoic Van Helsing giving the proceedings a much-needed lift. If only he could have taken his stake and punctured Almereyda’s pretentions a little more often. (Alan Morrison) Nadia (15) (Michael Almereyda, US. 1994) Elina lo'wensohn, Peter Fonda, Martin Donovan. 90 mins. From Fri 31: Edinburgh Filmhause.


Sophia Loren in El Cid

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The list 3] .\Ia_\ 13 Jun IUWv 25