From Dusk Till Dawn (1996): Robert Rodriguez isn’t afraid to get bloody messy, even in this, his most mainstream film not using kids as spies. The film revolves around two homicidal bank robbers, George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, who take a preacher and his kids hostage and try to make their escape into Mexico. They end up at a bar in the middle of nowhere run where the bouncer is Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo is the bartender and Salma Hayek is a stripper named Satánico Pandemónium. With that unholy trinity, you know shit’s about to go down. Once Satánico’s sexy dance ends and the place is revealed as a vampire den, let the slaying and splattering commence. As Clooney’s crew tries to fight their way to see light again, holy water guns and wooden stake arms are used to bring laughs and gore to this great nod to ‘60s Mexican horror cinema.
Rooms For Tourists (2004): In terms of scope, this is Argentina’s answer to The Blair Witch Project. An ultra-low budget scarefest that came out of the festival circuit with raves, Rooms For Tourists looks like it was shot with a HandiCam someone had laying about. But it uses that perfectly to capture the horror of five girls who missed their connecting train to Buenos Aires and have to stay at a Bed and Breakfast run by Norman Bates’ South American cousins. After one of the girls, ahem, vacates the premises, the rest are left to fend for themselves in a script that mirrors the feminist underpinnings the script for The Descent had. The film deserves bonus points for having hacked off limbs that don’t look like they were dissected cleanly by a laser.