Friday, January 2, 2009

Vamps revisited

The day after we watched "From Dusk Till Dawn," we watched "From Dusk Till Dawn 2 Texas Blood Money." I won't say that it was unwatchable, but it totally did not grab me. It was just kind of blah. It even had Robert Patrick in it (the liquid metal terminator), but really...yaaaaawn.

Last night we watched "From Dusk Till Dawn 3 The Hangman's Daughter." Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! It goes back to Mexico (remember, the Titty Twister strip club in the first movie was in Mexico), but is set about 100 years ago. We find out pretty quickly that one of the main characters is none other than Ambrose Bierce!

I was delighted! I've written about Bierce before, and my interest in him. He lived in Elkhart County for a while (one county east of us) and they have some of his things at my sister's museum. Bierce was a fascinating character--his satirical writing style was similar to Mark Twain's, but much more acerbic--and although his body was never found, it is believed that he traveled to Mexico to fight with Pancho Villa, and perished there. And that's where he comes into the story of FDTD3--he's on his way to find Villa and join up with him.

But the course of a revolutionary is never easy, and in a small town, he witnesses an execution gone awry. The bandit about to be hanged has an unexpected shooter who helps him escape, and the bandit grabs the cruel hangman's beautiful daughter on his way out of town. Bierce gets out of town on a stagecoach, where he encounters a pious couple determined to save his soul (considering how Bierce felt about religion, this was a nice touch).

Bierce: They say when a man drinks, he develops certain... powers.
The husband: What kind of powers?
Bierce: Clairvoyance. Second sight.
The husband: My wife is right, Mr. Bierce. You ought to take better care of yourself.
Bierce: This is a preservative, and I'm pickling myself for your great... beyond.

The escaped bandit and his gang believe the stagecoach is carrying a fortune in gold, so they ride after it and rob it, only to find there is no gold aboard. The bandits take the horses, and Bierce and the pious couple trek through the desert until they find a building.

It turns out to be a bar, as well as a house of ill repute. Things get bad for the pious couple when he leaves her in their room to get her some water, and he decides to cut loose a bit. The bandit and the hangman's daughter travel through the desert and also end up at the bar, and we find that the hangman's daughter and the madame of the house have a connection.

The bloodbath soon begins, and Bierce and the bandito end up fighting together to try to defeat the evil that thrives in the desert.

As lame as the second movie was, this one was top-notch! Not quite as fresh and exciting as the first one (and no George Clooney), but still very, very good. Interestingly enough, it seems that those involved in writing (Quentin Tarentino) and directing (Robert Rodriguez) the first one had very little to do with the second one, with both of them listed as executive producers. In the third one, they both also get executive producer credits, but Rodriguez is also listed as one of the writers. Although he didn't direct it, I think he must have steered it back in the direction of the original.

I love it that they included a historical figure in this, especially one as intriguing as Bierce. A very cool and interesting twist!

A quick spoiler for the first and third movies

One of the coolest shots in both movies comes at the very end, when the backs of the Titty Twister and the bar in the third movie are shown. We see that the front is only the tip of the building, and the back goes much further down; in fact, it appears to be a Mayan temple, and the two bars are actually the same building. It makes me wonder what birthed these nasty creatures, and what their exact origins are. Cool idea.

End of spoiler

When watching all these guys get lured in by beautiful women in the first and third movies, it made me think about how classic that scenario is. I'm not sure exactly how far back that theme goes, but the one that I think of the most is the Sirens in Greek mythology, who sang so sweetly from their island that sailors were lured to their deaths upon the rocks in trying to reach the women. I suppose that falls under the "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" umbrella. She doesn't want your hot self. She wants your money...or your blood.


  1. i LOVE civ!!!

    you heard any gorilla biscuits, quicksand, or rival schools??? check em out!!!!

    i like how you do the spoiler alert.


  2. #3 was definetely better than two. Being a faux pious person did not save the religious couple, because neither one of them truly lived that life :o)

  3. Hi Beth,
    Hmmm ... maybe I'll check it out. I probably have the DVDs. Will take a look ...

  4. Hi Spooky, (grin!) Yes, you're at
    it again--watching scary movies, that
    is. Wish I had your nerve. I could
    watch with lots of people around, but
    when I'm alone, they come back to
    haunt me!
    Saw "Yes Man" this weekend and I
    think co-star Zoey Dechanel (Sp?)
    might look like you. Agree?
    Hope you are enjoying 2009. Pat

  5. Interesting movie reviews. Bambi was too intense for me so I doubt that I'll see any of these. LOL Enjoyed your view and explanations.

    Happy New Year!!!

    Hugs, Kathy

  6. Happy New Year, my dear Beth. You are such a great reviewer. You know that I love this genre and I think that your assessment of all three movies is right on target.

    We watched the DVD of The Happening today, a sci-fi movie that I missed when it was in the theaters. Intriguing film, really makes you think about humankind's failure to be caretakers of this planet.

  7. Its a good thing I don't watch these type of movies...spoil away, my dear!

  8. When I was young I couldn't get enough of movies that scared me to death. Now...I wouldn't walk across the street to see one. I guess I just outgrew
    Hugs, Joyce


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?