Monday, June 9, 2014

Movie Review: From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter

After how bad From Dusk Till Dawn 2 was, it appears that the production teams learned a few things.  From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter, is an enjoyable film.

 The film begins with this interesting factoid; In 1913, Ambrose Bierce, a famous journalist and war-hero from the late 1800's, went to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution and was never see or heard from again.  The film catches up with Mr. Bierce in a small town in Mexico, where he is awaiting a stage coach to travel south.  At the same time, Johnny Madrid is about to be hung for his crimes.  At the last moment, a bullet from a wanna-be outlaw cuts the rope and Johnny escapes with the Hangman's Daughter, Esmeralda.  A posse is formed to track down Madrid, lead by the hangman, while Bierce, a pastor and the pastor's bride board the coach south.  The outlaws, the posse, and the wayward travelers all eventually find their way to run-down bordello in the middle of the desert, La Tetilla del Diable (The Devil's Nipple).

 From there, things go badly.  

American bad-ass.
 In my opinion, this film has far more depth than the original.  The characters, save possibly Bierce, are all more than they appear.  Bierce is just an old bad-ass, but mixes his contempt and disdain with practical wisdom.  He appears more as an observer of the events as they unfold.  The story is a commentary on fate, and whether it is worthier to embrace your fate or struggle against it.

One bad day after another for this guy.
 The production quality is on-par with the first film, as are the special effects.  The Hangman's Daughter does rely more on CGI, and while not seamless it is subtle enough not to be a distraction (other than the cobra... what's up with that?).  The only problem I found with the film is that the characters are not really that likable.  They are just interesting enough to carry you through the film, but not so much that you root for any one of them.

Better off as a vampire.
 From Dusk Till Dawn 3 is a worthy prequel to From Dusk Till Dawn.  The requisite effort was put into writing a good script, production quality, special effects, and quality players.  The film provides the origins of the vampire Satanico Pandemonium.  Unlike the sequel to From Dusk Till Dawn, The Hangman's Daughter is it's own film, with a different style than the original.  It is a good mix of Spaghetti Western, Mexican Soap Opera, and Vampire Horror film.   

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