Long before vampires were synonymous with square-jawed, pre-teen sex symbols, there was Robert Rodriguez’s gory cult-classic From Dusk till Dawn. Short on washboard abs and chock-full of severed heads, the horror crime homage to B-movie bad taste chronicled one long, bloody night in the lives of the fugitive Gecko brothers, who find themselves holed up in a sketchy borderland road house filled with bikini-clad bloodsuckers of some vague Mesoamerican origin.
The 1996 splatterfest also had the distinction of bringing us a still sandy haired George Clooney in his first starring film role, as well as a twenty-something Selma Hayek in one of her earliest English-language features. A veritable cultural phenomenon, From Dusk Till Dawn has since spawned two forgettable sequels, a video game, a novel and now, eighteen years on, a cable T.V. series.
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series premiered last year on El Rey Network — Rodriguez’s own experiment in Latino-oriented broadcast television — to warm critical reception, garnering accolades from the likes of Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter. Unsurprisingly, a ten episode second season has been greenlit by the network and began production in El Rey’s hometown of Austin, Texas this week.
While season one followed a similar formula to the original film, using the serial format to dig deeper into the Gecko brother’s twelve-hour supernatural nightmare and finding new shades in the characters along the way, season two will pick up with the Gecko brothers living out their comparatively calm lives as transborder fugitives. Richie, played by Zane Holtz, is shacked up with the pre-columbian vampiress, Santánico (clearly the screenplay wasn’t written by a Spanish speaker) on the outskirts of Houston, while brother Seth (D.J. Cotrona) continues scraping by south of the border with his girl Kate, played by Madison Davenport.
The supporting cast includes an impressive roster of contemporary Latino talent like Wilmer Valderrama, Eiza González and Jessie Garcia, all of whom will be brought back together in season two to face an even bigger threat (that is, bigger than a titty bar full of bloodthirsty vampires).
This season’s line up of directors will also feature some interesting picks, including Cuban genre sensation Alejandro Brugues (Juan de los Muertos) and Eduardo Sánchez of The Blair Witch Project fame.