We were sceptical when Robert Rodriguez announced that he’d be turning his and Quentin Tarantino’s cult movie into a TV series, but the first season of From Dusk Till Dawn gradually built into a fun blend of pulpy noir, vampire mythology and gory action. Season 2 goes for the same recipe, but ends up struggling from the same issues, with a couple of new ones to boot.
The Gecko brothers have split up following the Titty Twister bloodbath, with newly vamped Richie (Zane Holtz) joining Satanico Pandemonium (Eiza González) on her mission to kill bloodsucking overlord Amancio Malvado (Esai Morales), while Seth (DJ Cotrona) is struggling to get by in Mexico with newly orphaned Kate Fuller (Madison Davenport).
An ancient prophecy involving a blood well will draw them back together, along with conniving vampire Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama) and his new dogsbody Scott Fuller (Brandon Soo Hoo), dogged Texas Ranger Gonzalez (Jesse Garcia), and unstoppable killing machine The Regulator (Danny Trejo).
Although the first season did an admirable job of turning 90 minutes into ten hours, there’s rather more wheel-spinning here as Rodriguez and company go entirely off-road.
With most of the characters heading towards the same final destination (even if they don’t all know it), keeping them apart means the show drags, despite the frequent outbursts of bloody violence.
So while we get Danny Trejo as a body-part eating badass, we also get more bickering, endless hissing about vengeance and an increasingly convoluted history to go with the Tarantino-y conversations about Kopi Luwak and Iron Fist.
On the plus side, there’s still a southern-fried charm to its Texan weirdness, there’s plenty of scenery-chewing from veterans like Morales, Jeff Fahey and Jere Burns, and it does deliver on the action and gore fronts.
The final couple of episodes do finally put their foot to the accelerator, and fans of the first season will find enough to keep them invested, but the already-in-production Season Three is going to have to stop coasting if it wants us to come back.