No doubt about it, there is a whole mess of horror on television as of late. Whether you want to hear an “American Horror Story”, take a stroll with “The Walking Dead” or revisit the infamous “Hannibal” the genre is alive and well in the comfort of your own home. Even classic films have received small screen resurgence with “Bates Motel” featuring Norman Bates and his mother Norma (Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga). Is it any surprise that a filmmaker like Robert Rodriguez would get in on the action? Let’s face it, the 1996 mixed genre flick FROM DUSK TILL DAWN would not have been a good fit for television a long time ago. Fortunately times have changed thanks to HBO, FX and a few other envelope pushing cable stations.
“From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” will be the first original television show on Rodriguez very own El Rey Network – check your local listings. It is here he has created a station where you can find classic TV shows like “The X-Files” or “Dark Angel,” the critically acclaimed James Cameron created series starring Jessica Alba. And with Dusk premiering on March 11, 2014, we may see a few other offbeat genre contributions if it is successful. Rodriguez has a clear idea for El Rey and if you are fans of the previously mentioned classics or if you are looking for a place where “Grindhouse” features have a home, you need look no further. And for all you Lucha Libre AAA League Wrestling fans, you’ll have it on that very same network.
If you have yet to see the preview of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” I reckon you take a gander at it. This slick looking couple of minutes features a heavy dosage of groovy shots. From a body floating in a pool as blood turns the water red to the promise of seriously intense action, this looks like a genre package of goodness. The religious song which starts it all off creates an appropriately creepy atmosphere. At least for me this old-fashioned gospel tune screams eerie good time. The question of how closely the series will play to the franchise before it one can only guess. However, judging from D.J. Cotrona spouting off George Clooney’s dialogue from the first film, “Everybody be cool. You be cool.” I’m guessing the series won’t stray far from setting up the previously developed franchise mythology.
While I’m not completely sold on the two leads in the series simply because I haven’t seen enough of them in context, the casting of both Don Johnson and Robert Patrick is more than a little exciting. And call me crazy, but Jake Busey and Wilmer Valderrama could be quite the addition to this here shindig. Out of all these fellas though, it is Johnson that looks like he may steal the show. Of course Michael Parks – who previously took on Johnson’s role of Ranger Earl McGraw - was perfect and definitely a tough act to follow. Yet the minute you see Johnson on screen with the little bit of dialogue he has in the trailer, I can’t help but feeling this may invigorate his career.
My biggest concern with a series based on FROM DUSK TILL DAWN was the fact that it could have easily not been television ready for a network show. However, since we are straying far away from that, maybe this crime/horror crossbreed will take a few risks when it comes to bloodshed, violence and dare I say nudity? With the success of “Breaking Bad”, “Sons of Anarchy” and so many other edgy dramas there is hope that “From Dusk Till Dawn” won’t be pulling any punches. Considering this baby is spawned off the brainchild of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, it’s safe to say that fans will want a whole heaping of badass going on. Bring on the stripper vampires!
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” looks to be one hell of a ride. The series will be featured on a network that seemingly is designed to take chances, so we should be in store for something joyously disturbed. With any luck the series will remain true to the original franchise – which looks to be the case as the trailer features a heaping of blood and even the phrase “f*ckin’ weirdo.” The cast looks promising, especially some of the vets on-board including Johnson and Patrick. And yeah, I’m willing to give D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz as Seth and Richie Gecko a chance. Vampires, crooks and violence… I’m betting this one will be worth sinking your teeth into.