June 5, 2014 From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series Season One (Review)
In 1996 Quentin Tarantino was in the prime of his movie making, surprising and delighting both horror and action movie fans with the collaboration with director Robert Rodriguez for the film From Dusk Till Dawn. Headed by A list name actors including George Clooney, Harvey Kietel, Danny Trejo, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hyack, Michael Parks, Tom Savini, and Tarantino himself; From Dusk Till Dawn quickly became a cult classic spawning two sequels.
For those which have not seen the modern vampire classic, From Dusk Till Dawn followed the story of two criminal brothers, who are not adverse to using homicide to solve their problems, named Seth and Richie Gecko. After escaping from a semi-successful bank heist, Seth and Richie are pursued by Texas Rangers as they make their way to meet a man named Carlos over the Mexican Border at a bar named The Titty Twister. Along the way, Seth takes the Fuller family hostage, using them and their RV as a cover at the border.
After a stressful border crossing, Jacob, a former preacher, his son Scott, and Daughter Kate make reluctant company for the Gecko brothers as they arrive at the infamous strip club, heralded as being open from dusk till dawn. What happens next is a dark unforeseen twist that ramps up the movie, binding the characters indelibly forever together. Shot in classic Tarrentino style, From Dusk Till Dawn’s uniqueness made writers and directors re-think tired plot styles and execution.
Now almost two decades after the release of the original film, Rodriguez partners with Tarantino and his newly founded El Rey Network to bring the much anticipated From Dusk Till Dawn series to viewers. Season one kicked off on March 11th consisting of ten episodes. Based on the original story, the From Dusk Till Dawn series begins prior to the events of the story-line of the film. As a prequel of such, the plot launches with Seth (D.J. Cotrona – Dear John 2010, G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013) and Richie (Zane Holtz – Holes 2003, Vampires Suck 2010) completing their latest bank job and are holed up in an out of the way liquor store, with Rangers Earl (Don Johnson – Miami Vice, Nash Bridges) and Frederiko (Jesse Garcia – Good Dick 2008, The Avengers 2012). Shot in present day, with flashbacks to recent past events, from the beginning it is evident Seth is clearly in control while Richie is clearly unbalanced. Seth has been liaising with new business acquaintance Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama – That 70`s Show, Fast Food 2006), who for thirty percent of their take will let them into a paradise called El Rey (The King).
Desperate to get out of the liquor store, events are propelled into action as Fred’s partner gets shot and dies. Fred swears vengeance for his mentors even if it takes him to the gates of hell, and he comes very close. Once the Gecko brothers escape, they take the troubled Fuller family comprising of former preacher Jacob (Robert Patrick – Terminator 2: Judgement Day 1991, Walk the Line 2005), Kate (Madison Davenport – The Possession 2012, Noah 2014), and Scott (Brandon Soo Hoo – Tropic Thunder 2008, Enders Game 2013) hostage. Set on their goal of getting to the Mexican border, matters become complicated by Richie`s debilitating visions of horrid creatures, a beautiful mysterious woman urging him to kill, and Ranger Fred’s relentless pursuit.
As their journey continues, Carlos’ deep ulterior motives reveal how deeply he is tied to Richie, and there is much more going on than a simple bank job. In fact, as the series goes along it becomes apparent that each character has their own destinies that are in fact tied to each other, and Mesoamerican as well as Aztec and Mayan mythologies.
Once Richie, Seth, Fred, the Fullers, and Carlos reach the infamous Titty Twister, even though it may seem obvious what is going on, there are plenty of pleasant and scary surprises. When Santanico Pandemonium (Eiza Gonzalez – Amores verdaderos 2012, Casi Treinta 2013, ), takes the center stage, everyone realizes Richie may not be as crazy as they all thought. Follow them as the band of unwilling misfits have to become warriors of the supernatural in a race to survive through the depths of hell, prophesied 500 years ago.
Old fans and new fans of Tarantino and Rodriguez will find a lot of depth in this series which shows a great deal of thought, research, and a strong mystical Mexican background. Most of the characters from the original film are in the series, and those which had had minimal screen time in the film are explored further during the opening season. Interestingly, the series does not only focus on the background plot, but it also delves into each characters perspective; and as rthe show moves along, answers each and every questions that fans may have had from the film. Shown in flashback and memory style, it can be a little disorientating for the first couple of episodes, but once viewers are into episode four it all starts falling into place. From Dusk Till Dawn is a series well worth watching which will have followers pleasantly surprised and looking forward to each new episode. With the announcement the series will in fact continue into season two many are awaiting the date and time it will premiere again. CrypticRock give season one of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series 5 out of 5 stars.