When I started upgrading upgrading my DVD collection to Blu-ray I also preferred to upgrade single DVD movies to entire collections if possible. My DVD duo-pack of Tremors 1 and 2 is now a 7 movie Blu-ray boxset. My Saw 1 and 2 DVD’s have been replaced by a 7 movie Blu-ray boxset as well. So when I was looking into replacing From Dusk Till Dawn I naturally went for the trilogy collection despite knowing that the two sequels aren’t that good.
That’s a bit of an understatement as especially the second movie was reviled upon release. It was trashed into the ground in every review I came across. So naturally this stirred my curiosity. I did manage to catch it on TV in the early 2000s and I remember I didn’t really care that much for the movie and I never even saw the third movie. Now that I own the entire trilogy, I decided that it was time for a revisit 20 years later.
From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money is a 1999 straight to video release. The first thing that has to be noted is that this movie has a giant shadow cast over it by its cult classic predecessor. The original From Dusk Till Dawn is a genre classic. A movie notable for both being written by and starring Quentin Tarantino, launching the movie career of George Clooney and having Salma Hayek perform a sensual dance with a snake in the bare minimum of clothing.
From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money has none of that.
The movie is about a group of criminals who try to pull of a bank heist in Mexico. One of them is an escaped convict who has a run-in with Danny Trejo’s Razor Eddie prior to the heist. He’s the only returning character connecting this movie to its predecessor. With one of them turned into a vampire, these criminals will find out their up against more than just the law.
Bottom line: From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money is a bad movie. But honestly, after witnessing 20 years of movies starring a sleepwalking Bruce Willis or an overweight Steven Seagal being dumped into video stores and onto streaming Texas Blood Money is not that bad.
Shot on film and directed by someone who is a close friend of Sam Raimi, Texas Blood Money actually has some redeeming factors. First of director Scott Spiegel takes a cue out of Raimi’s playbook when it comes to camera positions and angles. While he overdoes it several times, there are plenty of moments that the camera angle or position is pretty darn interesting. There’s isn’t an object that he doesn’t use for a POV shot. One of the most notable ones are several moments where we see a vampire’s bite from the perspective of the vampire’s throat. That is something modern movies don’t get to do due to budget and time constraints.
The movie seems to be shot on location and doesn’t use the yellow Mexico filter to create an unnatural looking aesthetic. While Clooney and Tarantino are nowhere to be found, Texas Blood Money does incorporate some familiar faces. Robert “T1000” Patrick has top billing as the anti-hero Buck, the aforementioned Danny Trejo reprises his rol and Raymond Cruz plays one of the many latino criminals in his filmography. There are even small cameos by Bruce Campbell and Tiffany Amber Thiessen.
But being better than the trash they put out today is hardly a good argument. Texas Blood Money is a disappointing sequel to one of the classics of the 90s. The script is bland, the dialogue is generic, the effects are terrible and there is no memorable scene in the entire movie. Before watching it for the first time in 20 years all I could remember was a pitbull on a treadmill and a showdown between a guy and Trejo as a bat in the middle of the road at the middle of the night.
Not the most exciting elements to remember from a movie.
I’m recommending this movie only to people who want to see the entire From Dusk Till Dawn trilogy. Luckily the next movie, From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter, turns out to be better.