There is a cool standoff in the familiar (to fans of the film) convenience store between Earl’s partner Freddie “Frederico” Gonzalez and the Geckos with two young hostages caught in the middle. D.J. Cotrona does a good George Clooney impersonation throughout while Zane Holtz as Richie continues to see dead people (or live people who look like crusty demons).
All in all, the show does a solid job of telling its own story apart from the film, while fleshing out characters we only saw briefly back in 1996. It’s a slick show, decently acted. There is a deeper story at play here. A mystery with the enigmatic Carlos, what he knows about Richie, and what he is really up to in Mexico. Things are set up for a meeting at a bar on the border, but based on this first episode we can expect things to go differently than they did in the flick. What I like about the show, my constant references to the past aside, is that it looks and feels like its own thing. It has influences and shares bits with the original source material, but it is trying to be something new and fresh.
While there are definitely some parts that are more style than substance, and the liquor store scene could have been edited down a bit, overall this looks like a nice entry into the horror/action tv landscape.
One other thing it does right is erase the stink of the two excommunication-worthy sequels to the original film. This is a cool show that so far actually manages, thanks to the pacing of television, to tell a deeper story than the film. It lacks that key Salma Hayek scene (You know the one, my brothers), but all in all it is a solid debut that whets the fangs for bigger bites to come. Yuck, yuck, yuck, vamp humor.
From Dusk Till Dawn will air on The El Rey network on Mondays at 9/8c.
For a bonus review of JJ Abrams’ latest TV endeavor — “Believe” — from our one and only TV maestro, Divine Derek Vigeant, click on over to the next page!