Film4: Wednesday 2 September, 11.10pm
Fugitive cop killer George Clooney and his psycho brother Quentin Tarantino take hostage Texan pastor Harvey Keitel and his family. Holed up in a seedy Mexican bar overrun by vampires, they make a desperate last stand against formidable foes.
Headbanging horror comic glorying in sleaze, gross effects and general excess. Grindhouse grungy, it’s not as original as it pretends to be: Tarantino’s script (the first he wrote) doesn’t match the demented wit of Peter Jackson’s Braindead and Robert Rodriguez’s direction lacks the clammy tension of George Romero’s zombie epics. (Romero’s make-up man Tom Savini appears as a black-clad trucker called Sex Machine.)
Still, Peter Cushing gets an honourable namecheck and there’s the odd funny line: “Psychos don’t explode when sunlight hits them,” says Clooney, trying to rationalise what they’re up against, “I don’t care how crazy they are!” Rodriguez’s girlfriend Salma Hayek appears as Santanica Pandemonium, urging on the demons with a snake draped round her shoulders.
Despite her obvious ability (Frida, Ask the Dust, Lonely Hearts) Hayek still happily appears in dross like Everly and both Grown Ups. Not the two terrible Dusk Till Dawn sequels, though, Texas Blood Money and The Hangman’s Daughter.