Full Tilt Boogie (1997) – Retrospective Documentary Review

Full Tilt Boogie (1997)Two years after the fact, this documentary about the making of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN reaches screens, and what an amusing account it is. Much of it is off-the-cuff and entertaining, but some parts have also clearly been staged for the benefit of the documentary, particularly the hilarious opening, wherein George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino are unable to find their way to the set.
If you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes travails of film-making, you’ll get them in spades, but don’t expect any serious dissection of the film at hand; in fact, there is not so much as an explanation for why this particular film was deemed worthy of being documented. And since the focus is on production, the disappointing reaction the film received (especially after the hoopla surrounding its collaboration between Tarantino and director Robert Rodriguez) is not even mentioned.
Perhaps the most interesting moment (which is merely presented, without comment, by the film)is Tarantino and Rodriguez’s insistence, in an early double interview to promote the project before filming began, that the script gives you a chance to care about the characters by spending time with them before introducing the horror element in the last half. No one stops to wonder whether an hour in the company of two violent criminals, one a psychotic sex killer, is really enough to endear us to characters whom we would much rather have seen dispatched by the vampires in the first fifteen minutes.
Ultimately, the best thing about this film is that, by incorporating most of the best footage from its subject, becomes a more than adequate replacement for FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. Now, you can now see your favorite parts, without having to sit through the whole movie again.
FULL TILT BOOGIE(1997). Directed by Sarah Kelly. With: Quentin Tarantino, George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Fred Williamson, Gregory Nicotero.

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