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Series: From Dusk Till Dawn

From Dusk Till Dawn: the Series is a horror television series based on the 1996 cult movie From Dusk Till Dawn. It premiered on March 11, 2014 as one of the headliners of Robert Rodriguez's new network, El Rey.

Like the movie it is based on, the series centers on two brothers, Seth Gecko (D.J. Cotrona) and Richard “Richie” Gecko (Zane Holtz), professional criminals on the run from the authorities after a disastrous bank robbery, who are trying to make their way to safe haven across the border in Mexico. Along the way they take a family hostage: former minister Jacob Fuller (Robert Patrick), his daughter Katie Fuller (Madison Davenport) and son Scott Fuller (Brandon Soo Hoo).

However, things are complicated by supernatural forces at play that have taken an interest in the Geckos, and seem to be leading them to a fateful confrontation.

Now has a Characters' Page.

This series provides examples of the following:

  • Abusive Parents: The Geckos’ father took out his frustrations on his children.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Richie Gecko was played by Quentin Tarantino in the original movie, but in the series he’s played by a former male model.
    • Carlos was played by Cheech Marin in the film and by the younger and better looking Wilmer Valderrama in the series.
    • Inverted by Robert Patrick in Harvey Keitel's former role.
  • Adaptational Badass: The two young women Richie takes hostage in the first episode. Their film counterparts run out the door when the shooting happens. In the series, they stop to kick Richie's ass, first.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The first season of the series follows the plot of the movie relatively faithfully, but at a much slower pace. At the same time it adds new characters and provides a backstory absent from the original film. Until theseventh episode, when the show's plot takes another direction.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Richie Gecko is still a creepy psycho, but unlike his movie counterpart, he has the excuse that supernatural forces are actively messing with his head.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: While his movie counterpart was just a random badass who happened to be at the bar that night, in the show Sex Machine is really Professor Tanner, an undercover professor of archeology following the trail of the Blood Cult.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original movie Carlos was merely the brothers’ contact in Mexico and unaware of the Titty Twister’s true nature. In the series he’s a full blown vampire and intentionally leading the Geckos to the Titty Twister.
    • Likewise, it seems Sex Machine AKA professor Tanner cut a deal with the culebras and wants to sacrifice Katie on the temple's altar. He is also implied to be responsible for the ritual murders Freddie originally consulted him about.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Prof. Tanner fancies himself this, going “undercover” to investigate the Blood Cult.
  • Alcoholic Parent: More than one:
    • Reverend Fuller becomes one after his wife’s death.
    • The Gecko’s father was a violent abusive drunk.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: The Gecko brothers are thieves and murderers, but the vampires run an international drug cartel and drain innocent girls by the container-full.
  • Arc Words: "The Gecko Brothers ride again/The Gecko Brothers are back."
    • "I'm a professional thief."
    • "You're my brother."
  • Asian and Nerdy: Scott was adopted by the Fullers from China. He’s also fluent in Elvish and uses ''Frack'' as a swear word.
  • Bigger Bad: The Nine Lords of the Night who are at the top of the food chain in the Culebras’s society.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Seth accepts Carlos' deal after he promises a safe haven for Richie, who Carlos knows is unstable.
  • Berserk Button : Don't call Richie crazy.
  • Blood Bath : Santanico takes one in episode 7, "Pandemonium."
  • The Cartel: Carlos’s employer, which in this setting is led by vampires.
  • Catch Phrase : "I'm a professional thief." Seth seems to say this at least once an episode.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Carlos accuses Freddie of having a case of this. He claims that even if he got his revenge on the Geckos, he would still be unable to walk away now that he knows about the supernatural.
  • Continuity Nod: A Big Kahuna Burger restaurant features prominently in episode 3.
  • The Determinator: Seth Gecko, of course. But Ranger Gonzales is an even bigger one.
  • The Dragon: Carlos is Santanico’s right hand man and the one in charge of implementing her plan.
  • Doomed by Canon: Even though the details differ, both Earl McGraw and the Geckos’s original hostage die at more or less the same point in the story as they did in the movie.
  • Eldritch Location: The Temple under the Titty Twister. It is said to be built over the doorway to the Underworld and time and space work wrong there. The closer one gets to the center of the labyrinth the worse the Hallucinations and visions get, to the point of Mind Rape. Staying too long inside it results in Sanity Slippage for a human.
  • Enemy Civil War: The low level culebras are tired of being treated like slaves by the Nine Lords of the Night and their lieutenants, so they start a coup.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: And eye in the palm of the hand is a recurring symbol in the show. Richie hallucinates one in the bullet hole in his hand.
  • Evil Weapon: Richie's bone and obsidian knife. Once Ranger Gonzales gets possession of it he stars getting visions and being harassed by a criminal he and Earl killed years before.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Richie Gecko comes off like this, but the reality is far more complicated.
  • Fille Fatale: Kate is 17, but she comes on to Richie to convince him to let her family leave the Titty Twister.
  • Groin Attack: Kate delivers one on Sex Machine for leaving her and her father to die in the tunnels.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sgt. Frost blows himself up to take out a bunch of culebras and give Seth, Tanner and the Fullers a chance to escape.
  • Human Sacrifice: Plays a key role in the story:
    • It was Santanico’s opposition to be the recipient of this that resulted in her being transformed into what she is now.
    • Kate almost ends up sacrificed while looking for Scott in the tunnels.
  • The Immune: Freddie Gonzalez is immune to the culebras’ venom and can’t be turned. Not even when bitten by Santanico herself. His body even physically expels the venom.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Seth's summary of the Abilene robbery and the people he killed that day.
    ”I left some bodies on the ground back in Kansas. Now, no doubt they were good men and true, but they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they stood between me and my freedom. So I did what I had to do. I did what anybody would do. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?”
  • I Die Free: Implied with the female culebras who serve Santanico at the Titty Twister. They all happily and willingly expose themselves to the sunlight that destroys them in the first season finale.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Richie calls Scott "Tokyo Drift" while they're in the RV.
  • In the Blood:Freddie’s immunity to the culebra venom is attributed to his “ancient bloodline”.
  • It's Personal: After they kill his partner, the manhunt for the Geckos becomes very personal for Ranger Gonzalez.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Sex Machine arms himself with one after the group looses their guns.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Scott accuses Katie of this: the preacher’s daughter dating a guy who texts her Bible quotes as a way of flirting.
  • Mayincatec: The Titty Twister and the temple it hides displays a mixture of Aztec and Mayan motifs, as well as secret passages and gigantic pre-Columbian technology.
  • The Maze: Located at the heart of the Temple, it uses a combination of Psychological Torment Zone and Your Mind Makes It Real to create tailor made tests for those wishing to reach the sarcophagus which contains Santanico’s blood.
  • Mexican Standoff: The show loves them:
    • Scott and the Geckos get into one in the RV. Bonus points because they’re about to cross the border into Mexico.
    • Once in Mexico, Ranger Gonzales and the Geckos get into another one at the Titty Twister.
    • Later when Seth puts a knife to Freddie's throat Jacob points a shotgun at him.
  • Mr. Exposition: Professor Tanner, the main source of information about the Blood Cult and the Culebras.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Santanico Pandemonium and the Nine Lords of the Night.
  • Nasty Party: During a dinner, the lieutenants of the Nine Lords are incapacitated by poison in their blood goblets and then killed at the table by Santanico and Carlos.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Nine Lords’ influence is said to be very widespread and powerful. The only aspect of it seen on the show is The Cartel.
  • Nerves of Steel: Kate doesn’t even flinch when holding a target over her head for Richie to throw a knife at.
  • Noodle Incident: Scott and the lacrosse team.
  • Not His Sled: The series doesn’t even try to maintain the notorious Halfway Plot Switch of the original movie. The supernatural elements are evident from the very first scene of the pilot.
  • Off the Rails: The seventh episode, Pandemonium, marks the point where the show’s plot breaks completely with that of the movie. Santanico survives the initial big fight at the Titty Twister and her plan to overthrow the Nine Lords of the Night takes center stage.
  • Off with His Head!: This is how Carlos deals with some people that are trying to steal from him, followed by Decapitation Presentation.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The vampires in the series are different even from the ones in the movie:
    • They are called Culebras, the Spanish word for snake, which they resemble closely instead of bats. They have fangs that fold into their palates instead of retracting into their gums and inject venom. They also have snake-like scales and skin when transformed.
    • They are unaffected by crosses.
    • Bullets can hurt and incapacitate them but they can only be killed by destroying their hearts, at which point their bodies turn to dust.
    • They can walk in the sunlight without much trouble if they have fed recently, but eventually it starts to burn them.
    • After draining their victims they can absorb their memories and shapeshift into their form. It’s implied they do this by feeding on the person’s soul as well as their blood.
    • They can consciously decide not to inject their venom when they bite someone, allowing them to feed on someone without turning them.
    • They also enjoy eating human flesh and organs, in addition to the blood.
    • According to Word of God, the creatures are in fact not really vampires, but something very similar and more ancient.
  • Papa Wolf: Jacob instinctively points a gun at Sex Machine the second Kate mentions that he hit on her.
  • Popol Vuh: The supernatural forces in the show are associated with Mayan mythology, with the Popol Vuh itself being name checked several times.
  • Psychic Block Defense: Loosing his trust in Santanico allows Richie to block her Mind Manipulation.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: The deeper one goes into the Temple, the worse the hallucinations pulled from your own memories become. Turned Up to Eleven in the Labyrinth itself.
  • Public Domain Character: The Nine Lords of the Night.
  • Rearrange the Song : The opening theme is the "dance" sequence from the film, speeded up.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Santanico and Carlos are both over 500 years old.
  • Recycled: The Series: Retells and expands the events in the movie From Dusk Till Dawn with an entirely new cast. A peculiar example in that it premiered 18 years after the movie did.
  • Religion of Evil: The Blood Cult that worships the Vision Serpent as a god. It’s composed of serpent-vampires and requires massive amounts of Human Sacrifice.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The Nine Lords have Narciso put Carlos inside the Labyrinth to be "reeducated" after he helps Santanico slaughter the Councilors and then turns on her. He doesn’t expect to come out alive.
  • Riding into the Dawn: The first season ends with two sets of people riding into the rising sun: Seth and Kate in a sports car and Richie and Santanico in an SUV with tinted windows.
  • Safecracking: Richie’s specialty. He was considered the best before his Sanity Slippage
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Richie Gecko used to be a highly intelligent, methodical and dependable bank robber. However while Seth was in prison he became more and more unhinged, and it only gets worse as the series starts.
    • A prolonged stay inside the temple has deteriorated Sgt. Frost's grasp on reality.
  • The Savage South: South of the Border there are vicious drug cartels, safe havens for criminals and vampires.
  • Seer / Psychic Powers: Richie has constant visions and displays knowledge that he should have no way of knowing. It is implied to be the result of Mind Manipulation by Santanico Pandemonium.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Temple is Santanico’s prison, courtesy of the Nine Lords of the Night.
  • Self-Made Orphan:
    • Richie set his father on fire when he was a kid.
    • Kate kills her father before he completes his transformation.
  • Shout-Out :
    • "You came out of that bathroom looking like Jack Torrance."
    • In episode 8, in response to Prof. Tanner's speculations about aliens and other dimensions, Seth says: "I can do Temple of Doom but Crystal Skull and I'm out."
  • Shown Their Work: During the flashbacks to the conquistadors' arrival, all the Spanish speaking characters talk with actual Spaniard accents.
  • Small Reference Pools: During the flashbacks to the conquistadors’ arrival to the vicinity of the temple, they claim the land in the name of Queen Isabella, even though the Spaniards didn’t begin exploring the North American mainland until years after her death. This is likely due to her being the only Spanish monarch of the period that a US audience would be familiar with.
  • Spanner in the Works: In-universe, Ranger Gonzales continuously derails Santanico’s plans for Richie. Out-of-universe, his actions at the Titty Twister mark the point where the show’s plot breaks with that of the movie.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Santanico, Richie and Scott all survive the events of the first season, while their counterparts died in the original movie.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Texas Ranger Freddie Gonzalez.
  • Temple of Doom: The Titty Twister is build on top of one, complete with Human Sacrifice altars and secret underground labyrinths.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Prof. Tanner drops the backpack with all the weapons into the giant people grinder.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Every member of the Fuller family, the farther along they get dragged into the Geckos's situation. Scott is the most enthusiastic of the three about it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: By the end of the first season finale we know the fates of every character except Scott. He just disappears from the story all of a sudden.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The labyrinth at the center of the Temple constructs its tests from the memories of the people who walk into it. And if you die inside maze, you die for real.

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