As a teenager I developed an almost unhealthy obsession with the movie From Dusk till Dawn – most especially with one scene in particular. The scene in question featured a monologue from a crusty Texas lawman on the joys of alcohol abuse and the dangers of being served food by the mentally disabled. Aside from Quentin Tarantino’s beautifully crafted dialogue, the real joy of this scene lay in the actor’s gruff delivery, his craggy, weathered face, squinting eyes and thousand yard stare – all under the shade of a sheriff’s hat. The actor, of course, was Michael Parks – a man Tarantino once described as the world’s greatest living actor.
It wasn’t long before I started seeing this actor pop up in other films, and his momentary presence seemed to increase the currency of a film immediately (for me anyway). I am perhaps the only person in the world who believes that his performance in Death Wish 5 ranks him amongst the all time greatest bad guys. I would be doing the man a disservice if I attempted to encapsulate his genius into words, so here are some clips from a few of my favourite Michael Parks films for your viewing pleasure (and filmic education).
Kill Bill Volume 2
Death Wish 5
From Dusk Till Dawn