From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 action-horror film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. The movie stars George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino and Juliette Lewis.
The film opens with fugitive bank robbers and brothers Seth (George Clooney) and Richie Gecko (Quentin Tarantino) fleeing the F.B.I. and Texas police. They hold up a liquor store during which they kill the store clerk and a cop. They hold a bank clerk hostage in the trunk of their car, whom Richie later rapes and murders.
Jacob (Harvey Keitel), the father, a pastor who is experiencing a crisis of faith, his Chinese American stepson Scott (Ernest Liu) and his daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis) are family introduced in the film, who are on a vacation and, as they stop at a motel, are promptly kidnapped by the Geckos, who force the Fullers to smuggle them across the Mexican border. Seth and Jacob make an uneasy truce: if the Geckos can make it past the border, Jacob and his family will come out of the ordeal unharmed. They succeed in entering Mexico and arrive at the “Titty Twister”, a strip club in the middle of a desolate part of Mexico, where the Geckos will be met by their contact Carlos (Cheech Marin) at dawn.
The group is initially rebuffed at the door by the doorman, Chet Pussy (Cheech Marin), and Seth, overreacting, attacks him before entering the club. Inside, they are again confronted and ordered to leave by the bartender (Danny Trejo) until Jacob manages to convince him to let them stay by showing him his driver’s license, which has a trucker rating. Seth, in a frustrated and angry demeanor, begins drinking heavily, encouraging the entire group to do the same. Richie drinks as well and takes special notice of the club’s star performer, Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek) during an extended solo performance. Unfortunately, after the performance, Chet Pussy approaches with back-up, looking to settle the score with the Geckos. In a short confrontation, Richie is stabbed in his already wounded hand, and as he bleeds, he is attacked by a transformed Santanico, now revealed as a vampire.
Chaos ensues as the employees and strippers are all revealed to be vampires. Most of the patrons are quickly killed, and Richie is bitten by Santanico and bleeds to death. Only Seth, Jacob, Kate, Scott, a biker named Sex Machine (Tom Savini) and Frost (Fred Williamson), a Vietnam War veteran, survive the attack. They quickly establish an alliance in order to survive through the night. Seth also convinces the group that Jacob is their best weapon, but only if he rediscovers his faith.
The slain patrons, including Richie, suddenly reawaken as vampires, forcing the group to kill them all. During this second struggle, one of the vampires bites Sex Machine’s arm. Sex Machine eventually transforms into a vampire and bites both Frost and Jacob before Frost flings him through the barricaded door, which allows an army of vampires to enter as bats from the outside. Seth and the Fullers desperately escape to a back storeroom and fashion anti-vampire weapons from items found therein, including a jackhammer, crossbow, shotgun and improvised holy water. Jacob, knowing he will soon become a vampire, makes a reluctant Scott and Kate promise to kill him when he changes.
The four stage their final assault on the undead. During the battle, Sex Machine is killed by Kate and Jacob slays Frost. Jacob transforms but Scott hesitates to dispatch his father, allowing Jacob to bite him. Scott hits him with holy water and shoots him, but is subsequently seized by several vampires who begin to feed upon him. Begging for death, he is shot and killed by Kate.
Only Seth and Kate remain alive, surrounded by vampires. Just as the situation grows increasingly bleak, streams of sunlight suddenly shine through holes in the walls, harming any vampire that comes into contact with it. Then Carlos arrives, and on Seth’s call, Carlos’ bodyguards blast open the door, bringing in more sunlight that destroys every vampire inside, aided in part by the disco ball in the center of the bar. Safely outside and angry over the deaths of Richie, Jacob and Scott, Seth demands that Carlos lowers his 30% take for his stay in El Ray, to which Carlos reluctantly agrees.
Kate offers to accompany Seth to El Ray, but he declines, and both go their separate ways after he gives her some cash for a fresh start. As they leave, the camera pans back to reveal that the “Titty Twister” is actually part of a partially buried ancient Aztec temple, with many abandoned vehicles scattered about at the bottom of the temple.