Yes, you read that right. Welcome to Quality Antisocial Films, where the controversial entertainment opinion is stated as irrefutable fact. In today’s analysis we plunge right into the heart of the matter (forgive the pun) and discuss two pieces of vampire-based entertainment.
Really this is not a comparison between the two. What it is, you’ll be delighted to know, is a list of reasons why I didn’t like the latter movie, but my husband did. The Mark of Quality meets Kat’s Social Playground… sometimes with disastrous results. I kept a list as we watched, and I complained:
10. Where did Salma’s snake go? It disappeared! This big dramatic boa constrictor is draped around her shoulders for her grand entrance, the camera cuts away to get a shot of a greasy pervert and –poof- the snake’s gone.
9. Why does Cheech Marin appear in this movie three times as different characters? Clearly this film had a big enough budget to hire two more guys!
8. Throughout the entire movie the bad guys are talking about “El Rey”: “Once we get to El Rey,” “He told us he’d take us to El Rey” “Do you know what El Rey is?”… And that’s the problem! No, we DON’T know what El Rey is!! We’d sure like to find out, though! What’s that? Oh, we never get to find out Whisky Tango Foxtrot “El Rey” is? Thanks a bunch, jerk screenwriters.
7. The ending is terribly anticlimactic. Seth Gecko (George Clooney) rides off to El Rey (see #8), and Kate (Juliette Lewis) goes off to… where? To her old house where she can purge the closets of her dead parents’ and brother’s belongings? Touring the central southern states in an RV? Riiiight, because she’s self-contained. Well, isn’t that tidy.
6. I was squirming in my seat at Quentin Tarantino’s lecherous and inappropriate come-ons to teenaged Kate. We know he plays a rapist and a murderer, but must we be uncomfortable, too?
5. Why would truck-looting vampires keep super-soakers in storage? I can point to very few pop culture references of carefree vampires squirting each other with water guns and frolicking on the lawn as they run through sprinklers. And the more important question: Why keep 6-arrow crossbows if you can be killed by a stake through the heart? Poor planning, guys, really. This is why hoarding is socially frowned upon.
4. When turning from their human forms, most of the vampires keep their original appearance, except for the notably gross face and forehead. Most, but not all. Tell me Quentin, why do all the vamps get to keep their hair, except Salma Hayek, whose hair apparently gets sucked back into her head?
3. The apparent exterior-only vampire bat swarm, and interior-only vampires. It doesn’t make sense that all the bloodsucking creatures outside are bats who become vampires only when entering the bar. We disapprove of caste systems.
2. Stake-O-Matic= not an effective weapon, Seth! With a tool like this, if you get close enough to stake a vampire, they’re close enough to reach out and grab a chunk of your flesh. Unsafe. Not to mention, you can only stake one vampire at a time. When you’re waging war, you need to seek methods of mass casualty.
And the top reason why “Twilight” is better than “From Dusk Till Dawn”?
1. The Sex Machine’s nasty un-chastity belt. Unacceptable.
Those lucky enough to have seen a movie with me know I concentrate Very Hard on what I’m viewing, ever watchful for continuity slip-ups, or unrealistic scenarios- not to mention offenses to my delicate sensibilities. “From Dusk Till Dawn” was riddled with offenses of all types- I’ve aged several months from one viewing, just due to the apparently permanent wrinkle between my eyebrows (caused by excessive furrowing). And for that I rate this a film unacceptable to the Kat’s Social Playground Family of Entertainment Ventures.
As for the compare and contrast angle, let us look at this point: there are certain movies or shows that present early on a premise that’s totally impossible, and this ridiculous premise is the foundation upon which the story is built. I can get behind those movies and shows because they represent themselves as exactly what they are: complete fantasy. Examples range from “Up” (a movie which reveals in the first few minutes it’s about a man who floats his house away with balloons. Me the viewer: “Oh, this is a movie about a man who floats his house away with balloons. Gotcha.”), to the deliciously scandalous HBO series “True Blood” (a series which opens with the explanation that because the Japanese have invented synthetic blood, vampires that have been hiding amongst humans for centuries pose no threat, and can “come out of the coffin”).
“Twilight” is not one of these movies. “Twilight” is a movie about an isolated teenaged girl who discovers that the dreamiest boy in school is a self-loathing vampire, and of course they develop a passionate, yet totally chaste, sweeping love affair. This is clearly an unrealistic scenario that sneaks up on us, and so it should cause excessive furrowing, yes? No. Why, you may ask? What makes “Twilight” better than “From Dusk Till Dawn”? One answer that trumps them all: we at Kat’s Social Playground like movies about sexy, brooding, tortured vampires. Not movies about unsexy vampires who torture Harvey Keitel’s brood.