Top critical review
Old friends reunited
on February 23, 2014
WARNING: This movie does not really have anything to do with "From Dusk Till Dawn." The story is completely unrelated. There are no shared characters. Even the vampires aren't really the same.
So anyone expecting a bona fide sequel to the classic horror movie is going to be very disappointed. "From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money" is best appreciated as a movie in its own right -- a black comedy/buddy caper that just so happens to have vampires in it. It's fun whenever it's over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek, and rather tedious when it's serious.
Buck (Robert Patrick) receives a call from his old buddy Luther (Duane Whitaker), who has just escaped from prison. He wants to get the "old gang" back together at a small motel in Mexico, and Buck dutifully rounds up C.W. Niles (Muse Watson), Jesus (Raymond Cruz) and Ray Bob (Brett Harrelson). On their trail is Otis (Bo Hopkins), a Texas ranger searching for Luther.
But when Luther stops off at an oh-so-familiar bar (for about two minutes), he makes the mistake of telling the bartender (Danny Trejo) that he hit a giant bat with his car. Turns out both the bat AND the bartender are vampires. And when Luther finally turns up at the motel, he's rocking a pair of fangs himself -- and he quickly starts turning his old friends into bloodsuckers too.
"From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money" will massively disappoint anyone who expects an actual SEQUEL. This is just an unrelated story that just happens to be set in the same universe -- and if appreciated as a silly buddy-movie with vampires, it's actually pretty entertaining at times. Well, at least when focusing on the buddy parts.
Director Scott Spiegel seems to doing his best Tarantino impression -- rambling conversations, over-the-top gore, and plenty of boobs on display. He's not quite Tarantino, but he injects some lovely black comedy into the story, such as the "Psycho" homage when a woman is attacked in the shower by a vampire bat. It's such a funny take on the classic scene that I pretty much burst out laughing.
And then... the vampire action hits, and the tongue-in-cheek atmosphere dies. It's just a lot of guns firing and vampires running around -- and Spiegel's twisted, fragmented way of shooting the action scenes makes everything really confusing. Ironically, the vampire movie becomes a lot less fun once the vampire action starts.
But it must be admitted, Patrick, Whitaker, Cruz, Harrelson and Watson do a pretty decent job. Nobody's giving their roles a lot of effort, but they are convincing as a bunch of old friends who are comfortable and trusting of each other -- such as in the funny scene where they sit around and discuss whether porn should have a plot.
And yes, there's a scene with Bruce Campbell and Tiffani Thiessen being attacked by vampire bats. Just one scene, but it is freaking awesome.
"From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money" is best appreciated as a movie by itself. It succeeds best when it focuses on the wacky band of thieves, but not so much when the vampires vs. humans fights start.