From Dusk Till Dawn III: The Hangman's Daughter

10/31/2015 16:22

Film: From Dusk Till Dawn III: The Hangman’s Daughter

Year: 1999

Director: P.J. Pesce

Writer: Álvaro Rodríguez

Starring: Marco Leonardi, Michael Parks and Temuera Morrison



This film begins with text about a man named Ambrose Bierce. It seems that he was in the American Civil War; he came down to Mexico to join up with Poncho Villa and was never heard from again. Just to point out, this film takes place a little over 100 years ago.

We then cut to a man who is being spoken to by Mexican men with guns. They have rifles, his hands are tied behind his back and he is front of a wall. They are a firing squad. We hear clicking of a revolver as well. The man in front of them is Michael Parks, who is Bierce.

He wakes up and we see that Parks was dreaming what he saw. The clicking sound is happening as Jordana Spiro is looking at his revolver. He doesn’t realize that she is a girl and we do not at this time either. He knocks her down and takes his weapon. She states that she just wanted to look at it. Parks asks the bartender about seeing Poncho Villa and he states he should take the stagecoach that is leaving soon. The town is to have a hanging of a famous outlaw.

Also taking the coach is a newly married couple that is selling bibles, played by Lennie Loftin and Rebecca Gayheart. The hangman is played by Temuera Morrison. We then meet the outlaw, played by Marco Leonardi. In the crowd there’s a beautiful young woman who doesn’t want Morrison to kill this man. This woman is played by Ara Celi and Morrison is her father. He calls her up to the gallows and whips both of them.

As Leonardi is about to be hung, Spiro shoots out the rope for the noose. He fights his way and escapes on horseback, taking Celi with him. Spiro also has to flee. Morrison tries to shoot Leonardi even with his daughter with him. They begin their pursuit. The stagecoach leaves as well.

Leonardi goes back to his gang and is upset that they did not come to rescue him. It appears that his second in command has decided to take over. Leonardi kills him. He tells Celi to go back to her father, but she refuses. He does find her to beautiful. Spiro also shows up and this is when we learn she is a woman. She wants to apprentice with Leonardi to become a famous outlaw. She also tells Leonardi that Parks has something valuable to take to Poncho Villa. She recommends they rob him of it.

In the stagecoach, we learn that Parks is an alcoholic, while his traveling companions are quite uppity. When their escort is attacked, Parks is the only one that fights back and the couple tries to stop him. It turns though that what he has of value to give to Villa is himself. Leonardi’s gang does steal everything they can from the stagecoach though.

Leonardi then makes an example of Spiro. He hangs her from a grave marker and leaves her for dead. Celi doesn’t like this, but cannot do anything to stop Leonardi. They continue on.

Loftin, Gayheart and Parks continue on with the stagecoach, but it becomes stuck in sand. They decide to go on foot and come to an old structure that has been turned into a bar. They meet the bartender, played by Danny Trejo. Loftin and Gayheart ask for a room. They also have a drink. Parks orders two bottles of tequila.

Leonardi’s gang is also at this establishment and is enjoying a night of debauchery. Leonardi and Celi are also making their way here. Celi doesn’t like the feel of this place and wants to somewhere else, but he tells her that it is too dangerous to continue on at night. Morrison is hot on their trail; saving Spiro who directs them which way the gang had went. He seems to already know of this place as well.

A woman who works at this place, played by Sonia Braga, takes the couple to their room. Loftin wants to make love to his wife, but with her religious upbringing, she is very prudish. He leaves the room and we realize he might not be what he seems to be. Leonardi leaves his horse with a man who works here and finds that he is drinking his horse’s blood. Braga also greets Celi and is taken back with her. She takes her to a private room.

Also at this place is Orlando Jones. He is a brush and broom salesmen. He is enjoying some drinks. This all ends when Loftin begins to fight with Leonardi’s gang. Leonardi is trying to find Celi and Morrison busts in. This is when we learn that this place will become the Titty Twister in the future and there are vampires that live here.

Will they be able to survive the night? Will anyone make it out? Can they avoid being bit? What does Celi have to do with Braga? How does Morrison know Braga and Trejo already?

I have to say that here are some things I really liked about this film. I really like that Celi becomes Salma Hayek in the original film. I thought this was cool explaining how this young, innocent woman becomes this sexy vampire in that film. I also like that we got to see the roots of the bar from the original film as well. We still do not learn where these vampires came from though. This is not a huge deal, but something I personally am curious about.

I do have some major issues though. We do not encounter the vampires until an hour into this 90 minute film. There are a couple gunfights as action until this point and that is it. I felt that it took way to long to get into what the film is about and then when it got there, it rushed through. I wasn’t overly impressed by the acting either. No one really has any character arc outside of Celi. That is disappointing to me.

With that said I would avoid this film unless you are a big fan of the series and want to see a prequel that fills in more of the story. It is interesting to combine western with a vampire horror film, which I did like. I wasn’t really impressed with the acting or the story itself. I like the concept though of telling the back-story of Celi and her becoming the vampire princess Santanico Pandemonium. Takes too long to get going and then rushes itself to the end. Definitely better vampire films out there that is more worth your time.


My Rating: 4 out of 10