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From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter

From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter

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Today’s feature is the concluding entry into the From Dusk Till Dawn trilogy: From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter.

From Dusk Till Dawn 3 was co-written by original From Dusk Till Dawn director Robert Rodriguez with his cousin Alvaro Rodriguez, who has served as a writer on the From Dusk Till Dawn television series and Machete.

The Hangman’s Daughter was directed by P. J. Pesce, who also helmed Smokin’ Aces 2, Lost Boys: The Tribe, and worked on television shows like Tremors, Fringe, and Supernatural.

The cinematographer for From Dusk Till Dawn 3 was Michael Bonvillain, who also shot the films Zombieland and American Ultra.

The editor on the film was Lawrence A. Maddox, who has worked extensively on the television shows Raising Hope and Life on Mars, and also cut the film American Kickboxer 2.

The musical score for From Dusk Till Dawn 3 was provided by Nathan Barr, who also did the music for Beerfest, True Blood, Club Dread, Hostel, and Hemlock Grove.

hangman3The team of producers for The Hangman’s Daughter 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), Lawrence Bender (Intruder, Reservoir Dogs), and Elizabeth Avellan (The Faculty, Desperado).

The makeup effects work was provided by Howard Berger (The Black Cat, The Faculty, Maniac Cop 3), Michael Deak (Pick Me Up, From Beyond), Chiz Hasegawa (Tremors 4, Scream 2), Greg Nicotero (Intruder, DeepStar Six, From Beyond), Robert Kurtzman (It Follows), Melanie Tooker (Legion, Wishmaster), and Bill Hunt (District 9, Scream).

The special effects team for The Hangman’s Daughter included Andre G. Ellingson (Criminal Minds), Giuliano Fiumani (The Core, Waterworld), Chris Hanson (S. Darko, The Faculty), Albert Lannutti (Fright Night), Wayne Toth (The Faculty, Spawn), Janek Zabielski (The Mangler), and Eugene Botha (From Dusk Till Dawn 2).

The visual effects crew for the film was made up of Jim Carbonetti (Simon Sez, The Faculty), Scott Coulter (It’s Alive, Shark Attack 3, The Faculty), George Johnsen (Dogma, Foodfight), Laurel Klick (Wolfen, Bordello of Blood, Mortal Kombat), Greg Nelson (The Faculty, Torque), Patrick Perez (Speed Racer, Stealth), and Jeremy Yates (Simon Sez).

The cast of From Dusk Till Dawn 3 was made up of Michael Parks (Tusk, Red State, Django Unchained), Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn 2, Breaking Wind, Anaconda), Marco Leonardi (Cinema Paradiso), Temuera Morrison (Speed 2: Cruise Control), Rebecca Gayheart (Urban Legend), and Orlando Jones (MADtv, Evolution).

hangman4The name of the film, The Hangman’s Daughter, is taken from a short story written by the real author Ambrose Bierce, who is fictitiously portrayed as a lead character in the movie.

Much like From Dusk Till Dawn 2, From Dusk Till Dawn 3 released straight to video, and was similarly poorly received. It currently holds a 4.8 rating on IMDb. which is still very low, but is notably better than From Dusk Till Dawn 2‘s 4.0.

Michael Parks is fantastic, as he always seems to be. the movie vastly improves whenever his character is on screen. However, he typically appears in conjunction with a couple of bible salesmen, who are a bit excessively cartoonish in the first section of the movie.

The Hangman’s Daughter has a pretty interesting story before the vampires pop up, which is a big improvement over the second movie. The characters (for the most part) are compelling and given some degree of depth, including even the bible salesmen couple as the movie goes on.

hangman1I personally like that the setting of the movie is in the past, rather than another story set in the present day. The lack of the familiar “Titty Twister” bar makes it feel more like a departure from the first movie, which I think is a good thing in this case to keep things fresh.

As was the case with Texas Blood Money, The Hangman’s Daughter definitely looks notably cheaper than the first From Dusk Till Dawn, but I found that the gore and makeup looked much better here than in Texas Blood Money, which relied a bit too much on visual effects rather than practical ones.

A handful of decisions that are made throughout the movie are thoroughly confusing to me, like the clairvoyant inebriation of Ambrose Bierce, the sepia dance sequence that comes on without precedence, and the really disappointing conclusion. However, I think there were far more good things going on in this movie than bad, which is more than I anticipated from the film. I would go so far as to say that this movie is a pretty decent sequel for From Dusk Till Dawn, when you take the budget differential into account.

Overall, I think The Hangman’s Daughter is definitely worth checking out for fans of the first movie, or for anyone who enjoyed Michael Parks’s recent work in Kevin Smith’s Red State and Tusk. He is definitely the primary draw here, though there are plenty of other positive things to enjoy in the movie. It isn’t great by any means, but it is serviceable for what it is.

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From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money

From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money

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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).

fromdusktillsawntwo2The 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).

fromdusktillsawntwo3Texas 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.

fromdusktillsawntwo1A 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.