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[TV Review] “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” Pilot Is Impotent and Lazy

What’s the point of remaking something if you can’t do it better than the original?

18 years after From Dusk Till Dawn hit theaters, Robert Rodriguez will see his television adaptation of the same name debut on the new El Rey Network. I was able to catch the pilot episode, which premiered this weekend at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. While the first episode is a nearly shot-for-shot and line-for-line remake of a feature film, it does open up the door for interesting possibilities…

The hardest part about reviewing the first episode of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” is that it’s equally good as it is bad. Here’s what I mean by that – for those of you who have seen the 1996 film, it’s a god-awful rehash with cheaper sets and a lesser-than acting prowess. If you’ve never heard of nor seen From Dusk Till Dawn, well, it’s clever, cute, fast-paced and possibly engaging.

Going with the assumption that everyone on Bloody Disgusting has seen Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s film, I don’t understand the direction of the series. The pilot is trivial and over and above idiotic. Why the hell would anyone want to watch the exact same opening scene, extended into a 40-minute episode, with cheaper sets and even cheaper actors? It just makes zero sense. Even more disconcerting, D.J. Cotrona’s rendition of Seth Gecko is enraging. I don’t know if I should blame Rodriguez or Cotrona, but it doesn’t make any sense to have Cotrona do a crappy impersonation of the great George Clooney – why couldn’t he create his own interpretation of Seth Gecko much like Zane Holtz did with Richie Gecko (originally played by Tarantino)?

A brief spoiler(?) as the pilot ends with the convenience store shoot out, which makes me believe the entire first season is going to be a crappy rehash of the events of From Dusk Till Dawn. To me that’s impotent filmmaking, lazy storytelling, and a spit in the face to the fans that El Rey’s catering to using the title “From Dusk Till Dawn” (assuming that’s who they’re selling it to).

With that said, I am interested in seeing where the series goes when it’s not riffing on the original material. I’m hoping Rodriguez and company can get through the motions quickly and take us into new territory this season – but I doubt that’s going to happen based on what I’ve seen. And even if that does happens, can Rodriguez engage viewers with his own witty dialogue? Without Tarantino to the rescue, I see a dark future ahead for El Rey’s debut original series.

If anything, at least new viewers will enjoy the expanded chaos of From Dusk Till Dawn that’s jam-packed with wit, gore and surprises.



  • Lazlosoot

    If I could rate reviews, I would give this a -5. We’ve all tilted our heads with confusion as you’ve given really good reviews to truly crappy films, but when something comes out that actually is pretty great, you have to crap all over it. The review reads like a jealous girlfriend who is recently dumped and quite bitter about it. What did you honestly expect from a TV show adapted from a movie? Of course it’s going to recreate some iconic moments from the film. Instead of rolling my eyes at those moments, I actually really enjoyed them. This is exactly what I wanted from a show based on the movie, and the crowd I saw it with went wild for this. Believe it or not, there is a personalized audience for every show out there. Some people love Walking Dead, I personally can’t stand it. Bates Motel is popular, but not with me. You can keep those ones, I’ll enjoy From Dusk… all on my own. This is also the last time I’ll come to this site, the stuff posted on here has gotten progressively worse for awhile now, but this review kicks it in the dirt. H8ers have a good day if you will!

    • weresmurf

      Haven’t seen it yet, really looking forward to it. What I’m hoping, is that it takes some cues from the movie, the basic framework, then expands upon it and veers left, giving us something brand new with the same characters. I love RR’s works, this to me, looks intriguing. The review above just seems… like it set out to be negative towards it from the getgo? Most reviews I’ve read today have been regarding it as anywhere from ok to pretty damn good? That bodes well for me.


      Dwamn, who is the hater?
      It sounds like you cant stand other peoples opinions and yet your saying there are “personalized audiences” so its ok not to like a show … … .. uuhm
      You want a website that posts reviews just so you can agree with them? cause if not 😮 youll hate it and leave with a hate comment
      people! -.-

      • Lazlosoot

        No, Honey. I’m simply saying, the reviews of this site have gone from poor to bad to worse to laughable, to this. I’m perfectly fine if the reviewer thinks this sucks, yet wants to praise the next silly hollywood remake that comes out. My point is that just because this guy thinks it’s crap, doesn’t mean it should affect anyone elses opinions. Because believe it or not, sweetheart, we all have our own individual likes and dislikes. If you see the series and have the exact same thoughts as this tool, then come back and gloat about how right he is, and we’ll all be very happy for you. But try to have an open enough mind not to let one person’s own thoughts and opinions guide you into yours. Though, then again, what more can I expect from teenagers of this generation? I’m waiting to be impressed.

        • Jasonicus

          Amazing how you hate this site but keep posting. You sound like a butthurt fanboy. Sorry they destroyed your dreams with this review. Please, get a life already.


          Thanks for calling me honey and sweetheart. I feel very loved.

          I agree with Jasonicus. You do sound like a pissed off fan.

          Trust me. Most of us have our own opinions and dont let anything affect it. That you make a sites opinion” more than it is.. is your own problem.

          Your like; oh my gash, this review reads like a jealous girlfriend….
          now no one will watch it cause nobody has their own opinion anymore. oh looord. what a crap opinion! i need a new site.. but till then ill tell everyone they are wasting their time and hate on it!

          ok my love. have fun.

          ontop. i havent watched the show. Ill give it a try though.

          • Lazlosoot

            I assure you both that I am not, darlings. As my original point in this that still somehow yet stands, is that I refuse to let someone else decide my opinions for me. My criticism is that if anyone sounds like “a butthurt fanboy” as you kids today say, it’s the reviewer. He complains about it being too similar and yet, too different from the original movie all at the exact same time. It’s the most incoherent review I think I’ve ever read.

    • Jasonicus

      So you must have loved the Psycho remake as it was a shot for shot remake of a classic. If you like rehashes then Hollywood is for you. Enjoy your unoriginal TV.

      • Lazlosoot

        When in fact, I am not of this generation. I grew up going to see the original films in the theaters. Remakes in general annoy me. Yet, there have been a few I enjoyed. Usually when those are done by the men who originally made them, like Funny Games US. If From Dusk till Dawn was going to remade, I’d rather it be by Robert himself, than your CGI whore Michael Bay. I will enjoy this just fine, and let you enjoy whatever utter crap you consider classic these days. How’s that for a deal?

  • superchopper

    I agree. The reviews here have really been sour and schizophrenic lately.

    • Lazlosoot

      Glad I’m not the only one to notice.

  • Lion7718

    I posted earlier that I thought this series was gonna flop.
    I have no interest to watch it at all, from all of read…and not just from BD…it just seems like a jumbled mess.
    But who knows, if one of my friends thinks it’s worth a look after 3-4 episodes…I might give it a try.

    • weresmurf

      If one of your friends? God forbid people make up their own minds…

      • djblack1313

        yeah, Lion7718, i’m not saying this will be good or bad but make up your own mind. relying on a friend’s opinion doesn’t seem to be the way to go. just sayin’.

        • Lion7718

          Like I said, I have no intention on watching this…if someone says it’s not as bad as I think it will be…than I might take a look…otherwise I could care less.

          • weresmurf

            So you’re unable to make up your own mind. Jesus christ it must fucking *suck* to live life as a sheep. Watch something for once, make up your own mind on something and stop relying on other people to tell you if it’s good or bad. Reviews are just opinions of other people, not gospel truth. Heavens forbid you take a risk. I don’t know if it’ll be good or bad either, like DjBlack, but I’m gonna risk it. I might hate it, but I know that I went in of my own accord, not waiting for someone else to ‘give me permission to watch it’. Because that’s just pathetic.

          • Lazlosoot

            You could only care enough to feel the need to comment on it. Thanks, but your opinions like in the review above, are wasted. We have no interest to hear the rants of someone without a mind of their own. So go care less some where else.

  • jcamp

    hi, this is a really great review

  • doomas10

    I love the fact when someone does not agreeing with somebody else’s opinion the site has to take a blame or not. Calm down people. As for the series itself, oh well, I am not expecting much regardless of the review. The review exists for a reader to understand the points that could potentially help him/her identify with those of his/her opinion. To me, I was not interested in this at all and I am really surprised that it gets its own series. FDTD was done to death with the direct to video movies and RR keeps rehashing the same things – see Machete. What is next? A series about Desperado?

  • joeshmo447

    Who the hell has the El Rey network?? I can’t even watch it online somebody heeeeeelllpppp! Where can I even see this show lol the trailer got me pumped. I know that mr disgusting gave it a shit review but I like to actually judge movies/shows for myself, we all have different tastes.

    • I actually agree with Mr. D’s review for the most part.

      First of all, they confirmed my worst fears about Richie twenty minutes into the show. He’s some of kind of clairvoyant with an “I see dead people (or in this case, vampires and monsters)” sixth sense. There’s a scene where Richie envisions two hostages at the gas station/liquor store as monsters/vampires, and Richie’s on the ground whimpering and screaming as they’re (the two hostages) kicking him.

      They’re dragging the one-off joke into the mud now. From Dusk Till Dawn didn’t need two more films, and we sure as hell don’t need a series. Although, I’ll stick around for three or four more episodes to avoid abandoning the show with a knee jerk reaction, but if Tuesday night’s premiere is a warning sign, then I don’t have high hopes for the rest of the season.

    • Whoops. I meant to post this first. lol.

      I don’t think From Dusk Till Dawn is available on any online on demand services now. If you have Direct TV (I automatically assume everyone uses Direct TV. lol), El Rey Network is on channel 341, and it’s on 664 for Comcast.

  • Kate Henry

    Agree completely. Was excited to watch this but the first episode just made me regret it – I might as well go watch the original. Very disappointing. There was so much they could have done with this show and this is the crap they produce? Definitely won’t bother watching the rest of the season.

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