Necks of Kin
From Dusk Till Dawn bares its fangs for season 2
In an abandoned East Austin body shop, D.J. Cotrona hides behind a burnt-out wreck of a car. He's back in the costume and war paint of suave bank robber Seth Gecko – black suit, no tie, a curl of a tribal tattoo on his neck. Elsewhere on set, Zane Holtz is wearing his own version of the Gecko uniform as Richie, Seth's psychotic and psychic sibling. The Gecko brothers are reunited for season 2 of horror show From Dusk Till Dawn.
Series producer Robert Rodriguez calls his 1996 film the short-story version of the tale of bank robbers-turned-vampire hunters, and the TV show is the novel. Season 1 retold that short version, expanding and elaborating. As season 2 begins, Cotrona said, "That storyline is done, and now we're carrying on."
It's a clean page being written upon, with one big change already for the Gecko brothers. Holtz puts it simply. "We broke up."
It's a little more complicated than that. Richie (Holtz) had been turned into a culebra, an ancient breed of Mesoamerican snake monster. Meanwhile, Seth is on the run with Katie (Madison Davenport), one of the few human survivors of last season's massacre at the Titty Twister. Cotrona explained, "These guys have a very co-dependent relationship. They're two halves of the same whole. Even if they're butting heads, that's their process." This sudden sibling separation "takes this symbiotic relationship and blasts them into completely different worlds." It's a tougher transition for Seth, whom Cotrona describes as "used to being in control and calling all the shots, while Richie is used to doing all the mechanics."
"The brain," interjects Holtz. Still, he's not quite out on his own, as he's in the thrall of the seductive and vampiric Santanico Pandemonium (Eiza González). Holtz said, "We'll see how that partnership works, in comparison to the Gecko brothers." Without Richie, Seth is rudderless. "He's a sad boy," said Holtz. "He's emo."
"So many emotions," sighed Cotrona, shaking his head.
Los hermanos Gecko have never been so divided, and it seems only one man can bring them back together. Rodriguez regular Jeff Fahey appears this season as Uncle Eddie, the man responsible for – arguably culpable for – raising the gangsters, and he'll be damned if he sees them separated. Eddie's a tough guy, but Fahey is a tough man to track down. When Rodriguez first hired him in 2006 for Grindhouse, he had to fly the actor in from Afghanistan, where he was a global ambassador for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Then when Rodriguez first tried to get him for Dusk, Fahey was in London's West End for a critically acclaimed performance as Juror No. 3 in 12 Angry Men, then Mexico as Republic of Texas Secretary of War Thomas Rusk for the History Channel's Texas Rising. But finally, Rodriguez found his window. Fahey said, "He sent a description and some of the dialogue, a few scenes, and I was in. Of course, I would be in anyway, because it's always a great, comfortable, fantastic adventure every time I work with him."
With Eddie, audiences will finally see where Richie and Seth acquired their taste for crime, and for snappy black suits. "I'm their mentor," Fahey said. So is Eddie a good guy? "Absolutely," said Fahey. "Just a little misunderstood by some elements of the law." Now it's his job to get the family back together, even if one nephew bursts into flames in sunlight. With avuncular pride, Fahey said, "He always valued the relationship they had as thieves."
From Dusk Till Dawn season 2 debuts on the El Rey Network, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 8pm.