Hitting our screens on Tuesday, September 6 for a third season of sibling rivalry, casual murder, sex-trafficking, pop culture references and people saying “trust me” is Robert Rodriguez’s TV adaptation of his cult 1996 film. Here’s a refresher:
From Dusk Till Dawn, El Rey, Tuesdays 9/8C
Seth (George Clooney) and Richie (Quentin Tarantino) Gecko are fugitive bank robbers trying to make it to Mexico with the help of a shady underworld connection. He leads them – and their hostages, the fragmented but faithful Fuller family – to a cantina elegantly named the Titty Twister, over which the sultry Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek) reigns. And then suddenly there are hideous snake-like vampires, and most everybody dies.
Two direct-to-video releases followed, but since they either contradict or are irrelevant to our story – though the prequel, The Hangman’s Daughter gets points for including 20th-C humorist Ambrose Bierce as a protagonist for some reason – we needn’t trouble ourselves with them at all.
Adhering pretty much entirely to the original movie, there are still notable changes made, along with numerous additions. One of the more significant is the reshaping of Richie (Zane Holtz) from a petulant psychopath into a petulant criminal of, apparently, “pure heart” manipulated by an imprisoned demon queen (and an enchanted knife). Santanico (the unfathomably beautiful Eiza González) is given back story as a centuries-old Aztec sacrifice turned unwilling courtesan; we meet the Nine Lords of vampiredom and their traitorous sychophant, Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama); and we learn that Reverend Fuller (Robert Patrick – who also starred in the sequel) is wanted for vehicular manslaughter in the death of his wife. Elsewhere, an envampired Richie survives till dawn, as does the youngest Fuller, Scott (Brandon Soo Hoo); Texas Ranger Federico Gonzalez (Jesse Garcia) is out for revenge on the Geckos for the death of his partner, though he eventually lets that go; and Santanico escapes her prison, with Richie in her thrall, planning to take down the lords to whom she has been property for so long. The Geckos are prophesied. Also, biker Sex Machine (Jake Busey) is a scholar!
To punish anyone who ever idly wished that teenaged Kate (Juliette Lewis) ran off with Clooney’s Seth at the end of the movie, this iteration’s Kate (Madison Davenport) is on the road with a Seth (D. J. Cotrona) heartbroken by Richie’s new vampiric loyalties. He spirals into heroin addiction, which Kate enables, while the two plot robberies and obsess over their vampire brothers before abruptly going their separate ways. Santanico’s obsession, meanwhile, is killing the ruthless Lord Amancio Malvado (Esai Morales), her long-time captor (she does), and Richie’s obsession is proving he is as good at crime as his brother (he’s not.) Carlos plots and schemes for power – being eventually dismembered for his trouble; Scott accidentally kills his high school crush and picks the wrong side in almost every battle; Ranger Freddie has to leave his family to keep them safe; Kate dies; the Gecko brothers take over the vampires’ criminal enterprise, in fulfillment of prophecy; Santanico dumps Richie; and it turns out Sex Machine’s junk, lost in an accident, grew back when he became a vampire.
Kate isn’t really dead, of course!
And Machete is there.
SEASON 3 TRAILER: