Today’s feature is the reviled straight-to-video sequel, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money.
From Dusk Till Dawn 2 was directed and co-written by Scott Spiegel, who was also behind the cult classic slasher flick, Intruder. His co-writers on the film were Boaz Yakin (The Punisher, Prince of Persia) and actor Duane Whitaker (Hobgoblins, Pulp Fiction).
The cinematographer for Texas Blood Money was Philip Lee, who provided camera work on such films as Best Seller, Hoosiers, and Jurassic Park III, and was cinematographer for the horror flick Route 666.
The editor for the film was Bob Murawski, who also cut the films Gone With The Pope, Army of Darkness, The Hurt Locker, and Drag Me To Hell, among others.
The musical score for From Dusk Till Dawn 2 was composed by Joseph Williams, who also provided music for The War At Home, Roswell, and Windfall.
The team of producers for Texas Blood Money included original From Dusk Till Dawn director and co-writers Robert Rodriguez (The Faculty, Sin City) and Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Django Unchained, Kill Bill), Meir Teper (Crazy In Alabama, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape), Gianni Nunnari (The Departed, From Dusk Till Dawn), Michael Murphey (Dredd, Trick or Treat), Russell Markowitz (Wishmaster, Suicide Kings), Lawrence Bender (Intruder, Reservoir Dogs), and Elizabeth Avellan (The Faculty, Desperado).
The makeup effects crew for From Dusk Till Dawn 2 included Greg Nicotero (The Faculty, Scream, Maniac Cop 3), Chiz Hasegawa (Tremors 4, Scream 2), Howard Berger (Trancers, Intruder, Troll, Ghoulies), Kamar Bitar (Sin City, The Cell), Michael Deak (Pick Me Up, Demonic Toys, Arena, From Beyond, The Dentist), and Robert Kurtzman (It Follows, Intruder, The Faculty, Vampires, DeepStar Six).
The special effects for the film were provided by Mark Byers (Leprechaun 3, Epic Movie), Jason Collins (Firefly, Ghosts of Mars), Steven Ficke (Cellular, Snake Eyes), Chris Hanson (S. Darko, Vampires), Scott Kodrik (The Faculty, Mortal Kombat), Antony Stone (Jungleground), and Janek Zabielski (The Mangler, From Dusk Till Dawn 3).
The visual effects work for Texas Blood Money was done in part by Jamison Goei (Whiplash, Dracula 2000), Phillip Giles (The Prophecy, Guardians of the Galaxy), Gina Di Bari (Red Planet, Wishmaster), Dave Gregory (Contact, Poison Ivy), Eugene Jeong (Watchmen), Shant Jordan (Bats, Street Fighter), Laurel Klick (Wolfen, Mortal Kombat), and Patrick Perez (Stealth, 2012).
The cast for the film was made up of Robert Patrick (Terminator 2, The Faculty), Bo Hopkins (Midnight Express), Brett Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt), Raymond Cruz (Breaking Bad), Danny Trejo (Machete, Desperado, Anaconda, Breaking Wind), James Parks (Red State, Death Proof), and Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Maniac Cop, Maniac Cop 2).
Texas Blood Money was the second of three original movies in the From Dusk Till Dawn franchise, followed closely by The Hangman’s Daughter. The property has since been rebooted as a television series that started in 2014 on Robert Rodriguez’s El Ray network.
From Dusk Till Dawn 2 was reportedly made on a budget of $5 million, but ultimately went straight to video with no theatrical release. Reviews of the movie were overwhelmingly negative, raking in a 4.0 rating on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 9% from critics and 20% from general audiences.
Texas Blood Money is very slow to get started, which isn’t helped by the fact that the criminal set up in the first half isn’t nearly as compelling as the one from the original From Dusk Till Dawn. Even when the action does get going, it isn’t shot or paced particularly well, making the whole film feel much longer than it actually is.
The significant budget constraints on the production mean that the sets and effects look visibly much cheaper than the original film, but they don’t look awful for what they had to work with. The most distracting thing I noticed were the bats, which look really terrible depending on the scene. For instance, in the Psycho-esque shower scene, which is filmed in close confines, the bat looks nothing short of comical. However, in outdoor sequences, it doesn’t look nearly as bad.
A lot of the shots in Texas Blood Money strike me as if the director and cinematographer were trying a bit too hard to be original and artistic, which is sort of a unique problem for a horror movie. The problem is that many of the shots are distracting, and draw the audience’s eye away from the action. For instance, there are a few shots that are done from various obscured points of view, which while interesting, don’t serve much of a purpose. At worst, they are jarring enough to pull the audience out of an otherwise tense scene.
Overall, Texas Blood Money is disappointingly dull above all else. If there is anything that can be said of the original From Dusk Till Dawn, it is that it certainly wasn’t boring. Texas Blood Money totally missed that sense of fun that was captured so well with the original film, which turns it into a bit of a slog. Unless you are a die hard fan of the first movie, there’s not enough here to even justify a casual glance.