Monday, August 1, 2011

From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999)

I recently read a review on Dread Central that brought up a good point: "From Dusk Till Dawn" was a solid film that really didn't need a sequel per say. Granted, you could say that about a lot of movies-"Jaws", "The Matrix", "Robocop", "Starship Troopers"-but here was a movie that was an anomaly as far as 1996 theatrical movies were concerned-a film that was an unapologetic ode to exploitation movies that featured gore and nudity with no shame and little censorship. That out of the way, we didn't need two sequels, as "Texas Blood Money" proves.

Buck (Robert Patrick), Luther (Duane Whitaker), CW (Muse Watson) Ray Bob (Woody Harrelson's brother Brett) and roided-up owner of a fighting dog Jesus (Raymond Cruz) are out to pull the ultimate robbery in Mexico. Too bad Luther runs into the Titty Twister, where he meets Razor Eddie (Danny Trejo as the only actor reprising a role), who turns him into a vampire. Soon, more people are turned and killed, and all hell breaks loose.

I will say this much: seeing it again, "Texas Blood Money" is slightly more enjoyable this time around. Here, there's a few amusing gags, lots of energy, a fun cameo from Bruce Campbell and Tiffani-Amber Theissen (which is more fun considering Campbell's cameo at the end of the director's first film "The Intruder") and some interesting kills. Plus, it's obvious that the director isn't trying to do a cookie-cutter style horror sequel, and actually pulls a few curve balls every now and then (including an amusing riff on the shower scene in "Psycho" .)

Still, this is a direct-to-video sequel, and sadly, not a particularly fun one at that. Sure, a few moments of humor work, but most of them (a bad conversation about what makes a good porn movie, a lot of terrible puns) fall really flat. Also, except for Patrick, Trejo and Cruz, nobody here delivers a good to decent performance. The make-up and gore FX are also hit and miss (a shock considering they came from KNB) and at times come off as cheap, and the score by Joseph Williams is as dull and generic as they get. Then there's the POV shots. While a few of them are fun (fangs biting a neck from the mouth's POV), most of them are terrible and headache inducing. Sure, this might have worked in "The Intruder", but here they feel unnecessary.

As far as non-theatrical sequels go, I've seen much worse than this, and again, I enjoyed parts of it. However, it's nothing worthy of a recommendation, and ultimately reminds the viewer that some movies just don't need sequels.

Rating: 4/10

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