Written By: Robert Rodriguez
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: D.J. Cotrona, Zane Holtz, Jesse Garcia, Wilmer Valderrama, Don Johnson
Synopsis: The fugitive Gecko brothers face a bloody stand-off during a routine stop at a liquor store.
When I first heard that Robert Rodriquez was planning to turn his film FROM DUSK TILL DAWN into a series, I was a little dubious. The film has become a bit of a cult classic and I just couldn’t see how anyone could take this story into a ten-episode show, let alone portray those parts played so well by George Clooney and Harvey Keitel.
Like the film, the pilot begins a liquor store with the ever entertaining Don Johnson as Texas ranger Earl McGraw. If you know the film, you can guess what happens next.
However, this is where immediate changes are noticeable because unlike the film, this show delves into more of supernatural feel very early on. The prologue sees a cult-like group throw a pretty girl into a pit of snakes. Richie Gecko, played wonderfully by Cillian Murphy lookalike Zane Holtz, is given a much more interesting character twist than Quentin Tarantino’s creepy, perverted Richie. It seems he’s not just a little psychotic but also tortured by strange visions of monsters and bloody death, which all appear to be leading him to somewhere.
D.J. Cotrona does his best to channel George Clooney as tough guy Seth Gecko and although at the start it’s a little distracting, he soon makes the role his own. He certainly has his hands full with trying to quietly cross the border whilst keeping an eye on his volatile brother. His dealings with the elusive Carlos give an added mystery as we get a glimpse of Mayan shrines in the background. Straight away we are led to believe his character is much darker than Cheech Marin’s film version.
This episode is dedicated to that infamous liquor store scene and although there are several familiar lines that fans will pick up on, there are a lot of new angles explored. Earl Mcgraw is an important part to the plot and the introduction of his good guy partner Freddie Gonzalez is a nice addition. The stand-off in the store has a great western quality to it and the mix of tension with staggered calming flashbacks of McGraw mentoring Gonzalez tell us that we are in for something completely different.
Freddie Gonzalez is also played wonderfully by Jesse Garcia and has a great presence throughout his scenes. His introduction adds a refreshing twist to the story as he makes it his mission to track down the brothers. Perhaps what is interesting is who the audience end up rooting for during the series.
The forty-eight minutes soon fly by and Robert Rodriquez has given us something impressive without insulting his original film. From the start we are shown that this is a horror series that plays homage to the original film. It isn’t trying to be clever, it knows what it is and delivers hard with a bloody punch.
[usr=4] From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series can be found now on Netflix. Click here to get involved!