In 1996, when Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez made the original From Dusk Till Dawn, it was an unexpected but sensible career move for Tarantino, an attempt to deflect his next-big-auteur status and simply have fun making a modest genre movie. And while that film was an interesting if ultimately disappointing waste of two gifted filmmakers, its sequel is just a gigantic waste of everyone's time, money, and energy. Written and directed by Evil Dead 2 co-screenwriter Scott Spiegel, Texas Blood Money tells the story of a motley gang of Texas criminals who stumble into the wrong bar and suddenly turn into the sort of vampires that just love to throw people against things. The film opens with a scene that kills off its two biggest stars (top-billed Bruce Campbell and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen), and things just degenerate from there. Soon, bats that look like they were purchased at the dollar store and held up by twine tied to a stick being carried by a man lurking just off camera are turning into vampires that look like the distant kin of the title character from My Demon Lover. From there, all hell breaks loose in an extremely tedious fashion. Spiegel directs the whole disaster like an ineffectual Coen brother on speed, apparently trying to set the world record for most point-of-view shots in a single film. If you were to create a drinking game around Texas Blood Money, taking a shot every time a superfluous point-of-view shot is used (one comes from inside the coils of a phone cord), you'd die of alcohol poisoning before the film is half over. (Note to readers: Do not try this.) And while Texas Blood Money should serve as a tremendous resource tool for vampires looking for effective ways to rob banks, anyone without an insatiable thirst for human blood would do well to wait for the next From Dusk Till Dawn sequel, which has to be better than this steaming pile of cinematic excrement.
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