From Dusk til Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter (1999) – Film

“From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter”

Movie #6 for the 2019 31-days of horror challenge.

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Notorious outlaw, Johnny Madrid, escapes the gallows with the hangman’s daughter, Esmeralda. As they seek a safe haven for the night, they come across a remote cantina where where they discover the dark secret of Esmeralda’s lineage.

This spagetti-western/horror prequel is the third entry in Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn franchise. This is the first screenplay by his cousin, Alvaro Rodriguez, and for the most part, I think it’s a pretty solid origin story. There are several subplots that are handled well and help give the film a little more depth and seriousness, especially as the primary plot is rather whimsical/fantastical. Some of the characters actually develop and evolve, and some just become more interesting as character aspects are revealed. Although, that could just be credited to the fantastic talent of the actors.

The film certainly has an unquestionably talented cast, starting with Michael Parks, as the journalist Abrose Biers; Temuera Morrison, as the hangman; Marco Leonardi, as Johnny Madrid; Ara Celi, as Esmeralda; Rebecca Gayheart, Lennie Loften, Danny Trejo, Orlando Jones, and more. There is a tremendous amount of chemistry and heat between the 3 principal characters/actors, Leonardi, Celi, and Morrison. Celi exudes sensuality in every scene. Parks simply never disappoints. Jones… I’d love to find out if his was supposed to be such a prominent part at the end, or if his natural talent, charisma, and showmanship earned him more screen time than was originally intended.

It is not the crazy, creative, extravaganza of violence and peril that is the first From Dusk Till Dawn, but that wasn’t the intention with this. Oh, there is plenty of violence and gore once the vampires show up, but before that, it’s more of a love story.

Despite its short comings, and I won’t deny there are more than a few, this is a movie that I revisit from time to time.

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