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From Dusk Till Dawn III: The Hangman’s Daughter (1999)

by on 2012/06/24

“Thanks to your god, I am an atheist.”

* * *

There is something about Michael Parks (From Dusk Till Dawn) that I find fascinating. You see him in From Dusk Till Dawn and he’s foul-mouthed Texas Ranger Earl McGraw looking right at home in a grotty, dustbowl convenience store. Then you see him again, and he’s aged pimp Esteban Vihaio in Kill Bill, Vol. 2. sipping tropical cocktails, talking about love and you know, knives.

This character actor has range. 31 different flavours of slow-blinking creepy. I love it.

In From Dusk Till Dawn III, he’s Ambrose Bierce, writer, drunk, unapologetic atheist and aspiring volunteer to the Pancho Villa revolutionary army in Mexico.

Now, Michael Parks and vampires? This I had to see.

Ambrose Bierce along with pious newlyweds John and Mary Newlie (Lennie Loftin and Rebecca Gayheart), sociopathic teenager Catherine Reece (Jordana Spiro), gallows escapee Johnny Madrid (Marco Leonardi), terrifying hangman Temuera Morrison, and suspiciously sympathetic ingenue Esmeralda (Ara Celi) all wind up at the Titty Twister …I mean, friendly unknown bar in the desert.

And there was Razor Charlie (Danny Trejo) behind the bar just where we left him. Unfortunately no smooth-talking, pro-lady(parts) host in Cheech Marin in this movie.

This prequel to From Dusk Till Dawn tells us right on the package that this is infamous Santanico Pandemonium’s origin story. But unfortunately, there’s no Salma Hayek with tequila dripping from her gorgeous toes to be found here either.

There is the lovely Sonia Braga as Quixtla though. She’s the alluring, mature madam at the whorehouse (to end all whorehouses). This instalment of the splatter fest series absolutely doesn’t skimp on the full frontal nudity, let me tell you. Don’t let a child within 100 yards of the opened box.

Nor does it skimp on the gore. As I said of the first in the series,  these vampires are quivering sacks of gelatin, quickly dispatched by throwing them on a table leg, pool cue …a spork. Ok, I made the spork part up.

Johnny Madrid, as the swashbuckling criminal, is pretty charming. Esmeralda is lovely. Ambrose Bierce is amusingly tanked. The quiet, judgemental religious types die bloody.

There are moments of interest here to be sure. Although it could have used more Michael Parks.

If you want some vampires in your western, you could do worse than this film. For a better vampiric western dust up, check out John Carpenter’s Vampires.

* * *

94 minutes

Rated R for strong violence, gore, naked old vampire ladies in desparate need of a wax

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