Lawrence Bender Brings Horror Fans Back to the Drive-In with From Dusk Till Dawn

Vampires were once ominous and scary creatures of the night. In the silent classic Nosferatu (1922) and the seminal Universal Pictures film Dracula (1932), vampires presented a dark, supernatural menace. The vampires of From Dusk Till Dawn certainly were menacing. They definitely embodied the supernatural. The creatures, however, seemed to relish in the hyper-action somewhat similar to what is found in the Evil Dead sequels. Director Richard Rodriguez, writer Quentin Tarantino, and producer Lawrence Bender apparently wanted to go in a more action-packed direction with this film.

From Dusk Till Dawn seemed to deliver on what horror fans wanted: a good time at the movies. The title of the film not only refers to when vampires emerge from their coffins, it pays homage to the old drive-in era of years past. “From dusk till dawn” meant the drive-in would start showing movies the minute the sun went down and would stop once the sun rose. A drive-in could run five different movies throughout the night during a dusk till dawn marathon.

The cinematic From Dusk Till Dawn tried to capture the old magic of the old drive-in movies. Producer Lawrence Bender isn’t as known as a drive-in movie fan, but Rodriguez and Tarantino are. Lawrence Bender was able to help craft a movie that truly looks like an old B-movie film from the glory days of drive-in cinema. Perhaps Lawrence Bender put his civil engineering degree in a roundabout way by carefully overseeing the art direction and production management of this unique film.

The Texas setting at the beginning of the film further establishes the drive-in connection. At one time, the highways in Texas were known for a burgeoning drive-in movie industry. Sadly, those days are long gone and nearly forgotten. The entertainment industry has moved on from the days of the drive-in theater.

While not typical of most vampire films, the film did hit a mark with horror fans looking for something a bit different. From Dusk Till Dawn does maintain a decent enough fan following to support several sequels. Clearly, the name of the film on follow-up features means something to those who enjoyed the first film.

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