A million years or so ago, Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney starred in a movie by Robert Rodriguez about mad killers and vampires. The first half of the film is about two brothers, one is a thief and one is a madman. Then things shift gears in a pretty radical way as they find themselves trapped in a vampire invested nightclub in Mexico. One of my main gripes about the film was that the two halves of the story seem to take place in different universes. If you wanted a Pulp Fiction type movie, you were pissed off by the second half of the film, if you wanted a vampire movie, you were pissed off by the first half.
The recently launched El Rey Network has a Dusk Till Dawn series going. After two episodes I have to say that I pretty much like it. The series has mostly kept to the split story format, but they have wisely added a few hints of things to come. As I recall, the vampires came right out of the blue in the film, and it has been at least ten years since I’ve watched the movie. So the first two episodes are mostly normal world events with a couple of shots of a fanged skull and a snakey vampire.
The pacing of the show is fast and intense. The Gecko Brothers are violent robbers who seem to end up killing everyone they meet and blowing up a lot of stuff along the way. Our hero is a Texas Ranger who wants to track them down. The first two episodes are heavily inner cut with flashbacks and constant changes of scenery. It looks good though and I’ve had not trouble keeping up with what was going on.
Don Johnson had a nice little role in the first episode where we open up with him talking about how Holy Water works. Robert Patrick looks fine as the old minister who has lost his way and the rest of the cast doesn’t look all that familar to me. So far they are doing a good job recreating the roles from the movie. Which seems to be the plan here, El Rey’s Dusk Till Dawn is like a super extended director’s cut of the movie Dusk Till Dawn. So far it’s pretty much the same story, just told in a lot more detail.
My only complaint might be on the special effects front. There were three monsters in the first two episodes and they were all pretty over the top and not all that realistic in their execution. But then, realism may not be what they were going for here. I mean real in the sense that the bodies on CSI look more real than the bodies on, say, The Simpsons. The rest of the effects seemed fine, things blowing up and blood splattered around and such.
I like Dusk Till Dawn. So far.