Planet Terror Written and directed by Robert Rodriguez U.S.A., 2007 …
Unlikely as it may have seemed, 2014 has emerged as the year where, among other things, Eva Green proved to be the best part of a rock-dumb green screen sequel film. First there was her turn in 300: Rise of an Empire, and now comes Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. She is the eponymous “dame,” Ava Lord, a character so rigidly crafted to the femme fatale archetype as to be a cartoon. Of course, that goes for all the characters in this series, as they are portrayed both in these films and in the comic book series on which they are based. The cast also overflows with corrupt politicians, brassy whores, and down-on-their-luck antiheroes suffering apparent vocal fry, with a towering black manservant and a mute Asian assassin thrown in for good measure. Even moreso than the original movie, A Dame to Kill For is extraordinarily broad. It’s absolutely hilarious, and only on purpose perhaps a quarter of the time.
Set in Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, Woods pays homage to several genre faves, notably Sheltered, and Revival. Fans of James Tynion IV’s (Batman Eternal, Red Hood and The Outlaws) will be eager to read his first original comic series, but they might also be somewhat letdown; Woods works as neither horror nor social commentary. The best way to describe the first issue is to imagine a blend of Stephen King’s The Mist and The Faculty written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Robert Rodriguez.
Robert Rodriquez’s 1996 cult classic From Dusk till Dawn is a flawed but ultimately surprising, fun, and witty gore-fest sendup of vampire movies. Surprisingly the TV adaptation, for Rodriquez’s channel the El Rey Network, is just as much fun as its source material.
From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, much like the movie, knows exactly what it is. This is not highbrow entertainment. This is pulpy cult gore at its best. One of the most enjoyable things about the movie was the surprising genre changeup halfway through the film. The show makes up for this lack of surprise by expanding on what we didn’t see in the movie, such as the Gecko brothers’ botched bank robbery, which we see flashes of here. All that being said, half the fun of the pilot comes from the execution. It’s an incredibly confident and tightly wound series opener.