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(Review originally written at 13 August 2007)

In my opinion there are only 3 movies in the world that are really underrated/misunderstood; "Mars Attacks!", "Starship Troopers" and this movie. It makes me mad and sad when any of those movies gets flamed for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, this movie is pulp, just the way as it was intended to. Robert Rodriguez is just a big movie-nut who also happens to make movies himself. He makes movies obviously for the fun of it, where profits and budgets don't seem to be his biggest priority. He just makes the movies he wants to and enjoys doing, they way he wants to. He's of course not the only director in the business that does this but he perhaps is the only director that also has the right connections while doing so. It makes Rodriguez unique in its sort and also one of the best and most enjoyable directors in the business.

Amazing how many famous and respected actors actually agreed to appear in this movie. Guess it truly helps when you're friends with Quentin Tarantino and his name gets attached to the project as well. Would Harvey Keitel or Juliette Lewis else would really ever do a movie like this? Also a really gutsy move to case George Clooney in the most tough and carrying role of the movie. He still had his 'be good' "ER" image all written over him at the time. It wasn't until after this movie that he really got token serious as an actor and got cast in big production movies such as "Batman & Robin", "The Peacemaker" and "Three Kings".

The story is totally original, in its own twisting and weird way. The first part of the movie the movie seems like a crime movie in which two brothers are on the run. However from the moment the character enter the Titty Twister bar in Mexico it turns 360 degrees, spins 3 more time and makes a barrel-role. That's how it best can be described. The movie becomes an extremely gory and ridicules vampire-flick, in which all the gloves are off. This movie is basically the ultimate dream for every B-movie type of horror lover. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino are obviously also two of them. They really didn't needed to make this movie, Quentin Tarantino had some big and respectable successes with "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction", prior to this movie and Robert Rodriguez just had his big breakthrough with "Desperado". They just made this movie because they could and they really wanted to.

The movie does have some great tough characters and the script has some good dialog in it, with some great humor as well. Not necessarily the typical sort of Tarantino sort of dialog but great nevertheless, in a different kind of way. He obviously had fun writing this movie, by putting in as many crazy and gory elements in it as possible. But the movie is still of course mostly a Rodriguez movie, made in his typical 'Mexican' sort of style, that is consistent with his earlier movies "El Mariachi" and "Desperado".

The movie is kept deliberately simple and silly. It enhances the fun incredibly and this might very well be also one of the most fun movies I have ever seen. It's delicious pulp, without any intentions. It's made purely to entertain and on top of the that, it's first class made, with people such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez involved and it has a great respectable cast in it, with persons that above all are very well cast into their roles. Most of them also seem to be in this movie just for the fun of it, which really shows on the screen. It helps to make the movie work and make it all the more entertaining to watch. Actors such as Danny Trejo and Cheech Marin of course also show up as always is the case in a Robert Rodriguez and the Salma Hayek cameo role is already sort of a classic and while leave the fan-boys drooling.

The movie does not have the greatest special-effects or make-up, though the small details of the movie are done really good, but this is sort of usual for Robert Rodriguez movies and fits in with the rest of his movies and style. You can tell that they did their very best to make every sequences as gory as possible. It's however done in such an over-the-top and clearly intentional way that the gore becomes one of the humorous aspects of the movie. It's some very graphic stuff, so clearly this movie is not just for everyone.

A totally awesome movie!

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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