An entertaining pilot with room for improvement.
This new TV series by Robert Rodriguez is based on the filmmaker’s 1996 movie, From Dusk Till Dawn, which starred George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino as brothers. Taking their places are D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz, as the Gecko brothers. The show has been put together to help launch Rodriguez’s new TV network, El Rey, however, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series is available on Netflix the day after each airing. So far most TV shows that have been spin-offs from well-known films haven’t been very popular, with most not surviving beyond their first season, but, the likes of Hannibal and Bates Motel, two shows based on horrors, have shown if the writing and cast are good, it is possible to make it work.
Going by the pilot episode, the show will be stretching out the story from From Dusk Till Dawn, of how the Gecko brothers run into trouble at the bar where everyone’s a vampire, but so far we haven’t made it out of the store where we first meet Seth and Richie Gecko in the movie.
Richie Gecko (Zane Holtz, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) has just busted his brother Seth (D.J. Cotrona, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) out of prison, and after the pair rob a bank, they head for Mexico where they have arranged to meet Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama), a Mexican gangster. Richie is prone to having delusions, usually sexual in nature, which eventually gets the brothers into trouble. They go into a store to stock up on supplies for the run into Mexico, but instead of lying low as Seth had instructed, Richie shoots the local sheriff and takes two girls hostage, with a deputy blocking their escape, and now everything is up in the air. Seth needs to come up with a new plan but Richie is suffering from more delusions and seeing demons, making him harder to control.
I was expecting vampires and crazy scenarios like the film version of From Dusk Till Dawn, but, apparently it was not to be. We do see demons when Richie is having his visions, which were admittedly kinda cool, however, Rodriguez should have opened his new series with something a bit more powerful than this. It was interesting and it did entertain, although, I’m very familiar with the film and knew what to expect, especially when it came to Richie’s odd behaviour, however, I wonder what someone who isn’t clued-in on the film will think, and if they’ll appreciate it.
I will continue to watch the show but I hope Rodriguez gives us more in the way of vampires, because that’s the reason most fans will be tuning in after all. I know he plans to delve deeper into Mexican demon mythology of some description, which is all well and good, but without vampires doing some bloodsucking the show won’t have the same appeal as the film. We’ll need to wait and see what future episodes hold.