Director: Scott Spiegel (1999)
Starring: Robert Patrick, Bo Hopkins, Duane Whitaker
Find it: IMDB
From Dusk Till Dawn might just be my favourite ever vampire movie. Not only is George Clooney awesome in it, but it has a great script by Quentin Tarantino (the less said about his acting the better) and Robert Rodriguez at the top of his directorial game. With From Dusk Till Dawn, Rodriguez and Tarantino did absolutely everything that their Grindhouse (which I still enjoyed) failed to accomplish. Along with Con Air and Tim Burton's Batman films, From Dusk Till Dawn is one of the few movies I'll watch absolutely every single time it comes on TV. However, it has taken me until now to seek out and see its sequel.
Despite the fact we all know what the Dusk Till Dawn title heralds, this sequel insists on also being a movie of two halves. Unfortunately, its criminals aren't as interesting as the Gecko brothers and there's no Harvey Keitel or Juliette Lewis to distract from the fact that the protagonists are all asshole bank robbers. Robert Patrick is a likeable presence - I envy the shit out of that quiff - but the action sequences aren't up to the same standard as George Clooney had to play with. Nor are the special effects or makeup much cop. An over-reliance on crappy toy bats really hurts the first half, while even the vampire makeup manages to convince. Most of all, it suffers from a lack of tension and reason for being.
Don't be fooled by the "from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez" that someone cheekily slapped on the poster; they executive produced the film in the same way as I executive produce my dinner every night. "MOTHER. I WANT CHIPS FOR DINNER. WITH PIE." Just because the pie and chips were my idea somewhere along the line, don't mean I cooked no pie and chips. Or indeed anything, ever. As with his Hostel sequel, Scott Spiegel goes through the same motions as his more famous predecessor but fails to emulate what made that film great in the first place. The action does get better during the last half hour though, and it ends on a sweet little note.
Texas Blood Money is not a terrible movie by any means, but it makes for a bad sequel to one of my favourite films of all time. Those with less affection for the original piece may enjoy it more. For everyone else, it's perhaps best left as an intriguingly garish DVD cover buried in the corner of your local rental place.