In 1997, Robert Rodriguez released a 90s B-movie gem called From Dusk Till Dawn. It starred a very young (and not so grey) George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino (who also wrote the film.) It also featured Salma Hayek, Tom Savini and Danny Trejo.
If you haven’t watched the movie yet then firstly: what is wrong with you? And secondly, this article contains spoilers.
From Dusk Till Dawn is famous for many reasons. While Salma Hayek’s intoxicating snake dance may be one of them, the fact that the film starts as a bank job gone wrong with the Gecko Brothers (Clooney and Tarantino) on the run from the law and aiming to go south to the Mexico is also one of them.
They hijack an RV with a good and honest family and venture to a strip club called The Titty Twister (yeah, real classy) to wait for their contact, Carlos to pitch up. Halfway through the film, things suddenly and unexpectedly change from a crime film to a horror-survival film as the strippers and barmen in this club are actually snake-like Aztec Vampires.
The film is honestly bat-shit crazy. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s basically two movies in one. It is also one of my favourite films of all time. So, when I heard back in 2014 that there was a TV series, I was worried it would sully the film for me, despite the great Robert Rodriguez returning to the helm.
I watched the first two seasons when they aired but for some reason I missed season 3. Recently, I found the entire series on Netflix and decided to start from the first season and make my way through to season 3…
I’m happy to admit that the series not only lives up to the movie but surpasses the movie due to how much more meat there is. The story is more-or-less the same but with added characters and a deeper dive into the Aztec lore. The Gecko brothers are casted amazingly with DJ Cotrona as Seth Gecko and Zane Holtz as Riche Gecko.
Eiza Gonzalez plays Salma Hayek’s former role and the character is a much bigger piece in the story this time round. But Wilmer Valderrama steals the show as the charismatic and sinister Carlos who is a character that also has a bigger role to play (yes, Fez from That 70’s Show).
The series is by far my favourite TV series I have ever watched. Robert Rodriguez is like that guy who never outgrew playing with his action figures, except now he uses actors as the figures to tell his story. The series is beyond cool, so much so that the word ‘cool’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.
The music is awesome and a Spanish cover of the Tito and Tarantula classic (which was the original film’s theme song) is used in the intro. This is also an intro I refused to skip as each season had these really badass intros. To top it off, certain actors from the film play different roles in the series as well.
There is a Catch Though
While by the end of season 3, the story does come to a satisfactory ending with minor plot holes and character fates that I’ll always wonder about, there was a MCU styled post credits scene that set up a new villain with intentions to ruin everyone’s day. But sadly there will not be a season 4, which is such a shame.
This show was and still is my favourite TV series of all time. It balanced humour, gore, horror, action and that sense of ‘coolness’ so well. When comparing the movie and the series, I’d say that the movie was Robert Rodriguez’s first draft while the series is his edited and revised version.
If you haven’t seen the movie or series yet, then you are failing in life and need to watch them. The series is available on Netflix.