"Prequel" to the first From Dusk Till Dawn is set in Mexico in the early 1900's which begins with the escape of Johnny Madrid, a dangerous local outlaw, from the gallows who then kidnaps his hangman's beautiful daughter, Esmeralda, with a little help from Reece, a female outlaw from the U.S. With the hangman and a local posse on their trail, Johnny meets with his gang who all rob a stagecoach which contains American author Ambrose Bierce along with newlywed couple John and Mary Newlie. As night falls, all parties coincidentally seek shelter in an isolated inn/whorehouse which is run by vampires led by the high priestess Quixtla who targets Esmeralda. Esmeralda is revealed to be the half-human, half-vampire princess Santanico Pandemonium, whom the vampires want as their heir in which all the humans must join forces if they are to survive the night from the vicious blood-suckers. Written by
At least this film was better than the second sequel to "From Dusk Till Dawn." The casting is a little better (whereas the second one had a poor cast, bad writing and direction) here, although it seems Michael Parks was still wasted, spending most of his time drunk, stumbling from one situation to the next. This film is basically a remake of the first, only situated in the 19th century. The problem with it is that you don't care about anyone in this film. In the first film, Clooney was interesting. No one here is. They're all unlikeable thugs and if they get killed by vampires, you really don't care. The direction here is far better than the second one. You can see the Rodriguez influence. There is humor in the film, references to other films, but unfortunately, they don't really fit. If this was a theatrical release, I'd have to say to miss it. But as a video, it's a good Friday night second feature.
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