From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999 Video)
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Check it out, I'm on my way to rent the 3rd one... Peace Out!
Its more entertaining than a lot of recent theatrical releases. I think the gore is great, and the Evil Dead qualities: Sam Raimi-ish camera angles (overdone), demon-like vampire deaths make this movie even more entertaining. I think its really a great cheeseball B-horror movie.
The original "From Dusk Till Dawn" was one of the most enjoyable genre efforts of the 90s, which unfortunately, received a lot of criticism from non-horror fans who thought that Tarantino's screenplay started off as a potentially interesting drama that sold out midway through, opting instead to become a over-the-top gorefest in the second half. Of course, most genre aficionados found those horror elements so entertaining that they didn't care at all about the detour in Tarantino's script. Of course, "FDTD 2" doesn't near measure up to its predecessor, but if there's one thing that it does to improve upon it, it's that it doesn't even try to pretend that it has the potential to be anything else, and just presents itself as a good ol' horror outing, mixed in with a fairly standard heist story. It also helps, however, that the characters are more sharply written and the dialogue is more witty than you'd expect for a flick of this kind. The fine B-movie cast somehow makes you care in spite of yourself, and by the time the movie reached its climactic bloodbath at the bank, I was surprised by how much I was into the film. But when all is said and done, what really matters is if the horror elements deliver, and Spiegel does just that, providing some very inventive death scenes and some show-off Raimi-esque camera work (including a neat point-of-view shot of a key going into a keyhole). Sure, the gore and the F/X aren't exactly up to the "Saving Private Ryan" level of realism, but it's not like they were that great in the original either. It's not the slickness of the production, but the enthusiasm and spirit of it all that matters. And since "From Dusk Till Dawn 2" has that kind of spirit and delivers what it promises, it comes across as a direct-to-video production that's pretty-damn-fun!
The problem is that that's really all there is, and there's not much running track. Like the original, it tries to stay "reality" grounded as a caper flick, but given this is a shorter movie, this goes on _way_ too long before you actually get to vampires.
Once we get the first guy bit by a vampire, it moves along to "vampires rob a bank" and "vampires shoot it out with police." But...that's really about it. The writers seemed to have run out of ideas, and so we just get interminable variations on these two basic ideas. There is no real climax - the vampire bad guys are subsequently interchangeable, and the only really competent one (Jesus) gets killed before the formerly-dimwitted one. The ending is just one big shootout, prolonged by a convenient solar eclipse. Which is another pointless plot point - if you want vampires to be in the darkness, just keep them in darkness and have the sun come up normally. Adding the solar eclipse does nothing here. It's stuff like this which suggests the writers didn't know quite what they were doing.
As for the Raimi-esque POV shots, a little goes a long way - something that Scott Spiegel should have learned from the master. It's kinda fun the first twenty times, but after that...
Overall, I'd recommend it if you can catch it on the cheap. It's no classic, but it's mildly amusing.