A Texas Ranger is in hot pursuit of the infamous Gecko brothers.
If ever there was a bad ass TV show more inclined to familiarize audiences with a new cable network, the award for that has to go to El Ray’s “From Dusk Till Dawn” action-thriller-horror series.
It is quite possible that you may have missed the series in its entirety with “El Ray Network” also being new to cable? Look no further as they now have the whole damn series ready for ya (on bluray no less) collecting all 10 episodes and load of special features. Most of you should be well familiar with the cult film of same name “From Dusk till Dawn“.
The film was a hit with vampire fans placing it easily among the top favorite action-horror vamp movies of all time.
If you can believe it, the TV show is basically the original movie premise rolled out into a 10 episode series. Now, that might sound a bit redundant seeing that the movie version debuted in 1996 laying out the entire framework. However, (and this is what really caught my attention as a dedicated fan of the series) the story itself is drawn out in detail to give far more background footing to the characters of the film and the theology behind.
Much of this is based on building a solid foundation on the “Gecko Brothers” as they make their way across the Mexico border. Though to keep things interesting we have the family, The Fullers, Jake Busey as Professor Aiden “Sex Machine” Tanner, a ranger set on revenge Freddie Gonzalez (Jesse Garcia), Carlos the drug lord plotting against his serpent clan and the stunningly hypnotic Santanico Pandemonium (Eiza Gonzalez) taking the role that Salma Hayek made famous.
We get loads of information and mythology-builds on the vampires and what their all about ….creating not only a pact of fang-biters, but a whole cult of serpentine based creatures called “culebra”. Aztec and Mayan traditions are woven into the mix combined with the flair of the Mexican badlands and a manhunt for 2 deadly murderous criminals. It’s a iconic experience centered on blood-based-imagery and century old traditions.
Really…this series has it all!
The Gecko Brothers are complex (to say the least). We have the cold hearted unpredictable Richard “Richie” Gecko (Zane Holtz) who is prone to violent outbreaks and bizarre hallucinations. Richie seems to be on the verge of “losing it” as he is summoned by an apparitional version of Santanico.
Standing at his side is brother “Seth Gecko (D.J. Cotrona) the older more matured mastermind of the 2 man-gang. His motivation is the take (of which they hold a bond that is worth 30 million).
The series could have easily kept things simple by focusing on the 2 brothers and STILL come out ahead. However take all that in and mix in a vampiric snake cult…. well, have quite an interesting solid cable TV series.
The “run” itself is flavored with all sorts of unique characters and personalities who come and go in various capacities. Freddie Gonzalez stays hot on the trail of the Gecko outlaws following a shoot-out that kills chief ranger Earl McGraw (Don Johnson). Richie gets shot in the hand while him and his brother try to keep things together in the heat of the chase.
As an ongoing subplot we have retired minister Jacob Fuller (Robert Patrick )and his 2 kids who just happened to get themselves caught up in the whole mess. The Fuller’s RV provide a great getaway vehicle for the clever Geckos who are hell-bent o reaching the border to finalize a money-run.
Essentially it is our lead-in to the final destination of an ancient Aztec temple that is disguised under the facade of an all night nightclub topless bar named “Titty Twister”. We know the story from the 1996 film, though what we don’t know is the ulterior motives that comprise the serpent cult and its members. Santanico takes the lead as the screen seductress hoping that the Gecko brothers are the same brothers who were prophesized as solving the labyrinth and tricking the 9 Gods into allowing her freedom. The Geckos while having to combat fanged culebras at every turn are challenged with entering the “Ahk’abbih”, described as a labyrinth of the mind filled with rompecabezas (puzzles) originating from their thoughts and fears. Catacombs beneath the nightclub introduce a new level to the cult mythology revealing much more to the locale.
“From Dusk till Dawn: The Series” is interwoven with details about this mystery cult’s agenda rich in symbolism and mysticism cementing the series as a true supernatural crime horror series.
The series was developed by Robert Rodriguez of which I believe directed 4 of the 10 episodes leaving the rest to a handful of competent directors to finish out the season. Rodriguez’s influence is “dead-on” in this series ripe with Southwest flavors and old world appeal. This is most apparent in the yellow-toned day break treatment applided to each espidoe much in the flavor they used for the series “Breaking bad”.
The channel El Ray is also a product of Rodriguez who appears to be the mastermind behind this debit channel targeting Latino audiences. El Ray was launched in 2013.
“From Dusk till Dawn: The Series” was announced as being renewed for Season 2 (13 episodes). I’m glad that someone at the El Ray networks recognized that they had a a great thing going with this series. Robert Patrick now a part of the “Scorpion series probably wont be making the next round, though that question is answered in the last episode of the series.
“From Dusk till Dawn: The Series” is now available on bluray per Entertainment One offering season 1 and a bucket full of extras.
Extras for this release include:
Audio Commentary from Robert Rodriguez, Producers and Cast
Full Length Trailer
Best Kills Video
On Set: The Making of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series
Behind the Scenes “On Set: Brought to you by General Motors”
Behind the Scenes “On Set: Brought to you by Dos Equis”
Character Bio Featurettes
General Motors Commercial featuring Seth Gecko
Dos Equis Commercial featuring Carlos Madrigal
Big Kahuna Commercial
“What’s in the Briefcase” Spot
Q&A from Premiere at Alamo Drafthouse with Robert Rodriguez