bitterfig (bitterfig) wrote in ship_manifesto,
bitterfig
bitterfig
ship_manifesto

From Dusk Till Dawn: Seth Gecko/Richie Gecko

Title: My Brother, My Killer- A Gecko Manifesto
Author: Bitterfig
Fandom: From Dusk Till Dawn
Pairing: Seth Gecko/Richie Gecko
Disclaimer: Not mine
Warning: Spoilers.  Language and violence (after all, we’re talking about a movie written by Quentin Tarantino here).  Discussion of homosexual incestuous longings
 


My Brother, My Killer
A Gecko Manifesto

 

 

And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I'm glad you stood in my way.

 

Leonard Cohen

Famous Blue Raincoat

 

            You’ve got to have a love interest in a George Clooney movie, right?  In From Dusk Till Dawn it’s not the obvious choice.  It isn’t Juliette Lewis’ spunky minister’s daughter.  It isn’t Salma Hayek’s sinuous vamp.  It’s Quentin Tarantino.  Does that sound weird?  It gets even weirder.  They’re playing brothers.  Brothers with matching haircuts.

 

            The 1996 movie From Dusk Till Dawn directed by Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado, Spy Kids, Sin City) and written by co-star Quentin Tarantino is a bit of a strange trip.  It starts out as a Tarantino thriller with the expected bad jokes, bad language, gratuitous violence and trunk shots.  As they attempt to flee the country following a bank robbery and killing spree the Gecko brothers,  Seth (Clooney) and Richie (Tarantino) take the Fuller family, a father and two children,  hostage. 

 

            The patriarch of the Fuller’s, Jacob (Harvey Keitel) is a recently widowed minister struggling with a crisis of faith.  To protect his children, Kate and Scott (Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu) he smuggles the Gecko’s into Mexico.  Safely across the border   the mismatched group of thieves and Christians settle in at a raucous bar called the Titty Twister to wait for a guy named Carlos who for 30% of their take from the bank robbery will grant the Gecko’s safe passage to an almost mystical place called El ray. 

 

            Of course before Carlos makes his appearance a brood of vampires reveal themselves.  The movie abandons every narrative thread it’s been building up and become an extended gorefest wherein everyone is slaughtered but Kate Fuller and Seth Gecko.

 

            It’s one of those movies that can be classified as “interesting but flawed.”   One of the more interesting things being the seriously twisted bond between the Gecko brothers.

 

            The Gecko brothers are not nice or good people.  They’re thieves and murderers.  The older brother, Seth is a remarkably capable killer.  In the movie’s opening scene he quite artfully dispenses with a liquor store clerk using a flaming roll of paper towels.  He’s very clever and convincing threatening hostages as well with glib one liners like “you make a noise Mr. 45 makes a noise.  You ask a question, Mr. 45 answers.”  Of course Seth would rather not dispense with liquor store clerk, hostages, Texas Rangers, Police Officers etc. etc.  Amoral but no nonsense Seth would prefer to take the money and get to El ray in the most efficient manner possible.  As he tells his younger brother “I am a professional fucking thief.  I steal money.  You try to stop me, God help you.  But I don’t kill people I don’t have to and I don’t rape women.”  Richie on the other hand does. 

 

            Richie Gecko is part harmless geek part homicidal maniac.  When his not committing rape or murder he’s liable to be worrying about his glasses and retainer.  Richie is what they call high maintenance.  He’s whiny and hyper-sensitive (Seth has to knock him unconscious to get him to shut up when they’re being smuggled across the border).  He can’t be trusted with important jobs like watching the hostage (see rape and murder above).  If that wasn’t enough trouble Richie is also insane as in hearing voices and hallucinating Juliette Lewis is coming on to him insane.  And paranoid.  And trigger-happy.  In fact the most frequently asked question about From Dusk Till Dawn besides “is this the same movie?” is “why does Seth put up with this guy?”

 

            To me the answer is pretty obvious.  As obvious as why Mr. White blows everything to defend Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs.   Cuz he’s in love and he just can’t help himself. 

 

I’m convinced Quentin Tarantino is much more clever and subversive than he lets on and delights in sneaking homoerotism into macho action flicks and there is subtext galore between the Gecko brothers.  They’re really treated more as a doomed crime spree couple ala Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands, or Gun Crazy (the real Gun Crazy, not the Drew Barrymore version) then as siblings.  And frankly most of the romantic vibes come from Seth fluctuates between understandable annoyance, attentive tenderness (binding Richie’s hand after he’s been shot, reminding him to put in his retainer) and outright passion towards his lil’ bro.  I don’t know about you but I don’t spend a lot of time YELLING at my brother and PUSHING him against a wall then HUGGING him really really hard.  In a hotel room no less.  There’s also a scene between them in the Fuller’s RV where Richie comes to after being punched out by Seth where Seth is sitting beside him on the bed telling reassuring lies that’s extremely romantic (till Richie starts getting all worked up about his glasses breaking).  Maybe I’m a little pervy for reading into it but I’m pretty certain there’s something there.

 

The Gecko brothers, with their hot/cool, restrained/out of control, rational/irrational dichotomy are a highly combustible pairing and as with most Quentin Tarantino characters there are plenty of gaps to fill in.  Apart from the thin slice of life and death covered by From Dusk to Dawn the story of the Gecko Brothers in pretty much up to the imagination of the viewer. 

 

Sadly the rich possibilities of the Gecko brothers have been sorely neglected by fandom.  There are a few stories posted in the movie sections of fanfiction.net and adultfanfiction.net.  The lj community brotherslash also has a few.  Personally I’ve been disappointed to find that most writers go with the angle of “Richie’s such a pervert he’s after his own brother”.  Richie is a pervert, but my understanding of the couple is that Seth is the one in love with Richie.  Even though he’s the sane one.  Even though he recognizes that Richie is dangerous and out of control.  The emotional climax of the Gecko brother’s narrative actually takes place when Richie is turned into a vampire.  At this point, Seth is forced to finally acknowledge that the brother he loves is a monster and that he has to let him go.

Tags: -incest, from dusk till dawn
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