From Dusk Till Dawn Puts the Bite Back in Vamps

Photo: IMP Awards
Photo: IMP Awards

Some wouldn’t consider From Dusk Till Dawn a horror movie, but I’m not one of them. IMDB has it listed as “action, crime, fantasy,” which makes it sound like a mob movie with dragons. However, From Dusk Till Dawn contains several horror movie elements, and some scenes are quite scary.

The movie ranks pretty high in my favorite vampire movies list. It premiered in an era with so many awesome movies, known as the 90s, when other vampire movies were celebrating the beauty and sexiness of the vamp culture. Think Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) and Interview With a Vampire (1994). However, From Dusk Till Dawn brings the monster element back. Let’s dig in. (Contains spoilers.)

Quentin Tarantino’s Character

I love Tarantino movies, so the fact that he co-wrote and co-stared in From Dusk Till Dawn automatically wins in my book. But what makes this so special is his character, a horrifying human being with no soul.

Tarantino (Richie) and his brother (Seth), played by George Clooney, seek refuge in Mexico after committing a violent crime and take several hostages in the process.

From the opening scene, you realize Richie is insane and possibly a psychopath. He is paranoid, has no problem killing, and leers at every woman who crosses his path. And not in the ‘I hate women’ way but in the ‘I’m going to rape and kill you way’. You realize if his brother wasn’t supervising, Richie would be one of the most dangerous serial killers in the world.

I love this element because as you watch the movie, you never feel safe. You actually fear for poor Juliette Lewis (Kate) because you know they are one bathroom break away from a disaster. Tarantino plays a creepy murdering/rapist so well, he absolutely steals the spotlight from Clooney and Harvey Keitel and makes the audience very nervous through the first half of the movie.


Killers and crime aside, From Dusk Till Dawn is at its core a vampire movie. The group eventually makes it to Mexico and stops at late-night bar that’s rowdy and packed … packed full of vampires.

At first watch, you’re not sure where the movie is going because you know it’s not going to be that easy. Once they arrive, the audience can sit back, enjoy the music, get into the party atmosphere, and get lost in a very seductive dance by Salma Hayek. And then all hell breaks loose.

When the people change, these vamps are anything but pretty. They are vicious monsters that hunt and kill, and when it all goes down, you know they have been here a long, long time. I also enjoy that the audience can clearly see how Rodriguez and Tarantino pay homage to the lore and look of vampires. These monsters come in all shapes and sizes, and resemble bats, wolves, and zombies, all honoring some of the best things about the genre, makeup and costumes. Some are scary, some are funny, some are gross, and they all know how to do gore.

Scare Factor

Is From Dusk Till Dawn scary? Maybe to some. If being isolated in the Mexico desert with robbers, killers and vampires scares you, then yes. Vampire movies don’t scare me, but I find them very entertaining and they are some of my favorite horror movies to rewatch.

From Dusk Till Dawn is different because it’s also action-packed and funny (if you like Rodriguez and Tarantino humor) and makes sure the audience has a good time. You won’t have long intimate conversations about the vampire curse or romantic love twists. From Dusk Till Dawn keeps your heart racing and your tickle bone happy.

halloween night fun decoration

Let’s Put the Fun Back in Halloween

Many adults I know have outgrown Halloween. They don’t dress up, decorate, do anything festive, etc. It’s supposed to be the scariest and, for people like me, the most fun holiday of the year. It’s the only time of year we can be anything we want and embrace the spooky side of things without looking like a freak.

What’s caused this lack of interest and participation? Who knows. But I refuse to let it bust my Halloween bubble. So let’s put the fun back in the holiday!

Decorate A Little or A Lot

I was delighted to see Halloween decorations in stores in early September this year. I don’t put up a lot, but what I do has purpose. My dining room table has a back lace runner and purple placemats. I have purple gothy lights over the patio doors (inside), Halloween-themed pictures on the walls, and every window and bathroom mirror has Halloween glass stickers. I keep my decorations confined to a couple of rooms for easy clean-up and to keep it simple.

This year I decorated in early September because why not? I dedicated space to Christmas for two months a year, so Halloween deserves the same treatment. Also, the decorations are an easy way to mix things up and break the monotony of everyday living.

Watch New Things

Most of us have seen the classic horror movies, but try mixing it up some. There are several good TV shows out there now. We suggest Stranger Things (recent), Harper’s Island (2009 and on Prime/Netflix), and Are You Afraid of the Dark? (volume 1 is $3 bucks right now on Prime). If you haven’t seen any of those, that’s more than 10 hours of festive TV. I’ll also recommend the Halloween TV episodes/cartoons from the 80s and 90s, such as Roseanne, Home Improvement, Spongebob, and older Disney TV movies like Halloweentown. Not everything has to be blood, killing, torture and guts.

Side note: YouTube also has a large selection of fun videos if you’re short on time. A personal favorite of ours is Cinamasscre’s Monster Madness, which reviews a movie a day throughout October. This year marks the 10th anniversary and final season, so don’t miss out on the spooky fun.

halloween fun shirt

Show Your Spirit

Costumes can be a lot of fun because they allow you to transform into anything you dream. Some of my most creative costumes came from the opportunity to dress-up at work, so if you have that option, go for it!

If you don’t (eg: those who work from home or have strict dress codes), you can still show your Halloween spirit. All you have to do is wear some type of Halloween attire. I picked up the one above at a comic con, but there are tons more out there. When I wear this shirt, people know I’m in the Halloween spirit.

Try Something Artistic

I enjoy carving pumpkins, but it’s really time consuming and messy. This year, I decided to paint them, which is much easier and something everyone can do. It’s safer for kids and those accident prone (me), and it doesn’t take any real skill. You can paint it all black. You can paint anything you want on them. And they’ll last a long time.

This year, I also bought a Halloween adult coloring book. I haven’t colored a Halloween scene since I was a young child, so this was surprisingly refreshing. The first time I sat down with the book, I felt 20 years younger. There are tons of books out there, but I recommend this Halloween book based on quality, price and reviews.

Have Fun

The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Halloween is the last holiday before the insanity of “the holidays” begins. There’s no shopping, no crowds, and people are normal grumpy, not full on evil. Do things that make you happy, and try new things. No one is ever to old to have fun!

And remember this is the only time of year when the veil is lifted between the living and the dead …

Feel free to share how you celebrate in the comments, and Happy Halloween season!

4 Scary Scenes from the Jurassic Park World

Happy October, everyone! For many, this month means changing leaves and cooler temperatures, but for us at RevPub, October means horror season. And this year’s theme is whatever inspires us, so sit back and get ready for the surprise!

To kick off the season, I’m going to discuss a few scenes from two of my favorite Sci-Fi thrillers, Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. These movies aren’t technically horror movies, but both have the right elements and several scenes that effectively scare audiences. If you’re heart doesn’t race during these, you may want to check your pulse. (Contains spoilers)

Jurassic Park Scary Scenes

I was around 11 or so when Jurassic Park premiered, and I’m pretty sure I saw it on the big-screen. I still remember the trailers, and any time I think of the movie, I think T-Rex. However, for me the scariest scenes both involve a game of cat and mouse.

Kitchen scene: Most recall the Jeep scene where T-Rex attacks the children. The water shaking in the car, the eye in the window. But the scene that scares me the most is the kitchen scene with the raptors. Watching that scene 20 years later still makes my heart race. When the raptors first enter the kitchen, you know they’re saying, “Ready or not. Here we come!”

But this is way more intense than a game of hide-and-seek. These raptors will find and eat you. That’s what scares me the most over the famous T-Rex scene. Instead of being protected by a car (sort-of), the kids are in the open with lots of things that make noise. When you’re being hunted, the last thing you want to do is make noise. Then if you’re caught, your death is going to be way more painful than a one-chomp fatality from T-Rex. Those raptors will shred you and have fun while doing it.

Nice boy: Although I’m pretty happy when Dennis (Wayne Knight) meets his demise, the scene itself is pretty intense. It’s raining, the Jeep is stuck, and he loses his glasses, which he’s probably close to blind without them. When you’re trying to escape, being able to see is No. 1 priority.

But what makes this scene scary is the dinosaur itself. First, it looks like a gremlin on steroids, and it makes sounds that remind me of Predator. If you’ve seen both of those movies, you know this won’t end well. Then, this “cute” little guy goes on the hunt, shows his true colors and shoots poisonous muck on his victim. Now that Dennis is blind, he’s free to be attacked and eaten inside the Jeep. What a way to go!

Jurassic World Scary Scenes

I didn’t see Jurassic World until this year, but it didn’t make me enjoy the movie any less. The film is fun, suspenseful and honors Jurassic Park in so many ways. And just like the first, there are a couple of very scary scenes.

The jungle: Although Jurassic Park does a jungle-hunt scene very well, Jurassic World makes it even better. Imagine you’re in the jungle trying to hunt something that can camouflage itself and your beloved raptors have turned against you. You know as soon as the raptors decide to hunt, it’s game on. Everyone will be picked off one at a time.

This scene ranks as one of my favorite modern horror scenes because you see the team’s point of view. Through individual cameras, you get an up-close look at the raptors and hear the screams, making you feel as if you’re the one being attacked. With each kill, a camera dies and it cuts to the next and so on. Add to that, it’s complete chaos and war.

Red flare: Even though this scene made me squeal with happiness, when Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) grabs the flare and releases T-Rex, my heart pounds through my chest. T-Rex is just as loud, mean and threatening, and he’s really ticked off.

The scare factor here is really the homage it pays to the original. The moment you see the flare and the door opens, you know exactly what’s coming out and what that means for the characters. You know it’s a get-safe-or-get-eaten situation, with not only one but two predator giants. You feel the intensity as Claire runs for her life, in high heels no less, and one small mistake could cost a life. The scene effectively shows that one movie can cause a fear factor based on paying homage to another. Pure genius.

If you haven’t seen either of these movies or only one, I highly recommend watching them. Just make sure you’re prepared for the suspense, a little blood and a whole lot of dinosaur fun!

4 Lessons Learned from My Internet-free Weekend

Storm season in Tennessee brings high winds, rain, tornado threats and knocks out my internet twice a year. Usually when this happens, it’s mid-week and I frantically try to find a place to work. However, this last time, I awoke on Saturday morning and discovered no internet. And it was one of the most relaxing weekends I’ve ever had.

Lesson 1: Get Off the Phone

This was completely irrational, but I was afraid to use my phone much because of data usage. First, I never come close to my data limit – I use 300 MB a month lol – but I was fearful I’d reach my max if I stayed on my phone. Therefore, I only used my phone for texting and the occasional search. This was pretty amazing. Not only did I stay off social media most of the weekend, but the compulsion to check social media and carry my phone with me everywhere disappeared. I realized that because I’m connected to everyone, it doesn’t mean I have to be connected to everyone. At the end of the day, I really didn’t care how everyone spent their weekend, and I had a much more peaceful one.

Lesson 2: More Free Time

When I first realized the internet was out, I almost panicked. I immediately asked myself, “What am I going to do?” I can’t sit at my computer and work or just kill time? But then I remembered everything ELSE I needed to do, and none of those chores required the internet. Not only did I do almost everything on my house-stuff list, but I also had time to read, nap and exercise. Hmmm … I had time to do things for me and take care of myself. I didn’t feel like I was on a constant schedule, and my stress level was nearly zero. I even finished a massive project that had loomed over me for months.

Lesson 3: Freedom Is Priceless

That weekend I had work but no hard deadlines (thank goodness). It annoyed me that I had to postpone the work and rearrange my weekend, but I was thankful I didn’t have to sit at the computer all day. I had a choice in what tasks I wanted to do. Did I want to paint? What about clean a closet out? Or just chill and watch a movie, maybe go out? Because I wasn’t so tunnel-visioned about work, the world of weekend activities opened up before my eyes. The freedom I experienced when choosing what to do was priceless. It also made me realize that I don’t have to plan every day, which I’m very good at, and instead leave room for spontaneity. That weekend I finished a book and got half-way through another. It was the most I’ve read in two years.

Lesson 4: Time to Change

Have you ever watched a movie with someone who stays on their phone the whole time or gone out to a restaurant and they do the same? If so, you know how annoying it is and it makes you practice the same behavior. No internet forced myself and my company to just watch a movie and discuss it. Total concentration on one task … wow! I learned that when doing something with someone, whether it’s watching a movie or dining out, it’s time to put the phone away. I also realized that maybe I don’t need to accept as much extra work. I do not have to work every weekend in order to survive, so it’s time to start saying no. And I can do different projects that would result in money or even spend my time doing something more fulfilling, such as volunteering or trying new things.

The point is the internet is our best friend and worst enemy. We should use in moderation. I challenge everyone to turn theirs off for one day; you never know what you’ll learn!

Scare Zone: A Pleasant Horror Surprise

One day while scrolling through my digital movie library, I came across Scare Zone, a delightful little movie. It’s not the greatest horror movie ever, but it’s tons of fun and definitely worth a watch. Here’s a quick review (very few spoilers):


Scare Zone Premise

Have you ever wanted to work in a haunted house during the Halloween season? I have and plan to one year. I think I’d have a blast on the other side of the scenario scaring other people. Scare Zone has a believable premise and plot that show what it would be like to work in a haunted house. A group of people come together for a few nights of ghosts and mayhem, but problems arise when they start getting knocked off one at a time. Yep, it’s a slasher movie!


One of my favorite things about Scare Zone is when Oliver (Simon Needham) assigns everyone their roles. The writers use this opportunity to show the audience each character’s personality and label them in roles you’d find in traditional slasher movies. This is a fast, fun way to introduce a large group of people without going into unnecessary detail and backstory.

I don’t really love or hate any of the characters, which is different because usually I want to see someone get killed. (Trent in the Friday the 13th remake comes to mind.) However in Scare Zone, all the characters are tolerable and most even likable. I will warn you though, some of the acting isn’t amazing. Again, these aren’t huge names, but for the kind of movie it is, everyone plays their part well and you can overlook the quality of the acting.

Likes and Dislikes

Scare Zone is fun. It’s not too dark, it’s shot pretty well, and it honors other slasher movies. The pace usually moves quickly, and you feel like you’re part of the gang. The movie feels real — but not in a doom-and-gloom way, more like a this is what the job would be like, and Oliver is the coolest boss ever way. The kills aren’t overly gruesome or gory, and there’s no suffering. It’s just a good little slasher movie.

With every fair review comes the bad. I only have one real complaint about the characters, and it’s the awkwardness between Claire and Daryl (Arian Ash and Chris Burns). Neither actor stands out, so when they develop a “love interest” relationship, it’s very awkward to watch. I blame this mostly on Claire, and I can’t decide if she’s trying to be awkward or if she’s just not a stellar actress. My other issue is the ending. Scare Zone ends on a positive note, which I’m happy with, but a certain “transformation” seems a bit extreme. I don’t want to spoil it, so just pay attention to hair color and you’ll understand.

Scare Rating

Low if you’re an avid horror movie fan. I didn’t find it scary, but it has its suspense and jump scares. So, if you’re looking for a laid-back, entertaining watch, check it out. At the time of this post, the full Scare Zone movie is on YouTube, and it looks like great quality. Happy watching!

Ghostbusters Remake: Why I Won’t See It

The Ghostbusters remake trailer premiered a couple of weeks ago and confirmed every fear I had. This topic has been controversial since its announcement and with good reason. From the cast to the writing, the trailer alone suggests remake tragedy. As far as I’m concerned, I hope it bombs, so they stop trying to destroy well-loved movies.

The All-Woman Cast

Those who are not excited about the cast are not necessarily sexist. I’m a strong, independent, hard-working woman. I support my family and am a good mother. I support nearly every fight for better pay, treatment, career advancement, rights, etc. And I hated the idea the all-woman cast. But it’s not about them being women; it’s about Hollywood taking advantage of us.

In Hollywood, woman power has become a trend. I love the idea of an all-woman cast if done for the right reasons, but in this situation, Hollywood executives saw an opportunity to capitalize on 1) women and 2) a successful franchise. It’s like they said, “Oh, women are cool right now, so let’s make them Ghostbusters and see how much money we can make off of them.” That insults me.

The trailer even suggests they dumbed the characters down, made them goofy and not funny. Where’s our sharp wit? Where’s our ability to handle things rationally? Not in this trailer.

The Writing Stinks

“You’re a brilliant engineer.” … “No one’s better at quantum physics than you.” Why do we need to say that? Why can’t writers allow the audience to assume roles and intelligence? We don’t have to spell out everything in a movie. The Ghostbusters remake is certainly not the only movie with this problem. Most modern movies say too much and explain things unnecessarily because the people writing them should not write movies. If you’re targeting women, guess what? We are smarter than that.

On another note, the trailer is not funny. I’ve watched it 10 times and never once smiled. They ripped out the wit, sarcasm and dry humor, and added vomiting and awkward banter. Note to Hollywood: Vomiting is never funny. Ever.

Also, why are they making fun of The Exorcist? I love The Exorcist; it still scares the crap out of me, but why is it appropriate to include it in Ghostbusters? In the trailer, they poke fun at one of the most intense movies in horror history, and as a fan of The Exorcist and horror in general, that is not okay with me.

Gotham Meets Ghostbusters

Many people are criticizing the ghosts’ appearance. I’m okay with some of the CGI, and Slimer looks good. However, most of the ghosts flying or walking around downtown make it look like Gotham City from the first Batman franchise. The ghost in the striped pants (watch trailer) made me roll my eyes. Also, there were very few floaters in the original. It wasn’t a sideshow of neon lights and CGI.

I’m Over Remakes

We had a blast this past Halloween comparing originals and remakes, but I noticed we did not review anything after 2010. Remakes in the last few years have, for the most part, sucked. Poltergeist, The Fantastic Four, Point Break, all decent/good originals, all remade in 2015 and not well received. If a remake does well, it is because it is well written, directed by the best person for the job, and cast well. A movie will not make a good remake just because the original was popular. For example, would the Halloween remake have succeeded if M. Night Shyamalan had directed it instead of Rob Zombie? No.

There’s my rant. I will not see the Ghostbusters remake, and I’d appreciate Hollywood stop trying to destroy some of the best movies of my generation. If you don’t have an original idea or can’t produce a ‘good’ movie, then maybe it’s time you get out of the industry.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer. Take note of the dislikes: