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From Dusk til Dawn: The Series

September 15, 2014

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When I first heard that Robert Rodriguez was making a TV series out of his cult classic From Dusk Till Dawn, I was excited. I love vampire things in general and I had fond memories of the film. As it turns out, I didn’t really remember the film all that well. I started watching the show, and was confused as to why there were no vampires for the first few episodes. So I read a detailed synopsis of the film. And I was surprised to learn that the show is the film, plot point by plot point, only far more in depth and expanded. And the deeper I got into the expanded the world, the more I enjoyed it.

The plot of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series is the same: Outlaw brothers Richie (Zane Holtz) and Seth Gecco (DJ Cotrona) stop at a convenience store where things quickly get out of hand. They go to a hotel to lay low, and hijack an RV with a father (Robert Patrick) and his two kids (Madison Davenport and Brandon Soo Hoo) in it. They go to Mexico, stop at a bar called the Titty Twister, which happens to be full of snake-like vampires who want to kill them all. Here, though is where the story starts to differ from the movie. In the film, the main vampire, Satanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek) is just another bloodthirsty vampire. In the series, however, Santanico (Eiza Gonzalez) is much, much more. I’d say more, but spoilers.

As a stand alone series, it starts out moving slow, but once the group of misfits gets to Mexico, things pick up and I couldn’t finish the series fast enough. There is blood, of course, but also, action, suspense, surprise, and campy fun.

Once I’d finished the series, I decided to go back and watch the film, and what I was fascinated by how many lines of dialogue and images from the film are directly translated into the series, even small things. Satanico still pours liquor into Richie’s mouth from her foot; Richie still gets stabbed in the hand, though by a different person; Seth still tells Richie he hopes he can give Richie peace in death that he couldn’t give him in life, though the context is wildly different; and many more.

There are differences, of course. We get a lot more history for each character, the Aztec vampire mythology is heavily expanded, small characters in the film have expanded roles in the series, and there’s a new major character in a cop chasing the brothers (Jesse Garcia).

The first season ends much the way the film does, with the surviving characters (not all the same) driving away from the Titty Twister, while the camera shows us that the bar is built on top of a huge Aztec temple. But where the show goes from here is up in the air. I highly doubt that the show will follow the plot of the second film in the series (some elements of that film were in the show), so the options are endless. Either way, I’ll be watching eagerly.

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