Well, that escalated quickly. After a two week-long absence from TV and Netflix, From Dusk Till Dawn returns. This time, they bought vampires. And strippers. Lots of vampires and strippers. No sooner has vampire queen Santanico Pandemonium appeared than she’s attacking the bar patrons, ripping off heads and sucking their blood. I’d complain about the lack of build-up to the vampire attack, but considering how long it’s taken to get to this point, that’d be a fairly minor quibble. I’m almost relieved.
The vampires attack, and everyone is divided into three categories – alive, dead and undead. Among the survivors: the Geckos, the Fullers, and Sex Machine. Following a gory, prolonged fight sequence, our heroes quickly get a handle on their situation. “This place is a giant people juicer,” Sex Machine excitedly exclaims, putting his PHD to good use. It’s hard to reconcile those brains with a man who would call himself ‘Sex Machine’ and walk around while wearing a massive cock gun, but Jake Busey gives a good enough performance, nevertheless.
An autopsy scene gives the series opportunity to declare its vampires’ status quo. In a series of exposition dumps, Professor Sex Machine gives his fellow survivors a lecture on Mayan history and vampire physiology. You know, in case you hadn’t noticed the likeness to snakes for yourself. Elsewhere, Freddie Gonzalez finds himself in the guts of the basement, caught in a situation many will recognise from Star Wars. He’s still the dullest character on the programme, but the poor guy just can’t catch a break. Maybe his constant lucklessness will eventually endear him to audiences, but it’s not happening anytime soon. He’s the cast’s weakest link so far, which is saying something in a television series which has replaced Tom Savini with Jake Busey. Heck, even not-George Clooney is starting to grow on us.
Everyone gets their hands bloody in the episode’s surprisingly ace action sequences. Robert Patrick reminds us why we all thought he was so awesome in the first place, while Kate gets her hands on a chainsaw for the final fight. Bloody (if a little too CGI-looking), frenetic and violent, it’d be impressive if we hadn’t seen it already in the movie. Still, it does offer some invention – Richie is still in play, Gonzalez battling his way back to the barroom and there are plenty of vampires left to go.
Pandemonium is an apt name for this episode, which is frantic, action-packed and exciting. Well, as exciting as you can get when you already know the outcome, anyway.