The Hangman’s Daughter is a direct-to-DVD horror film from 2000 that serves as a prequel to the 1996 hit, From Dusk Till Dawn, and the lackluster 1999 sequel, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money. It stars Michael Parks and Rebecca Gayhart with cameo appearances from Kevin Smith and none other than Danny Trejo…again.
The story opens with an outlaw escaping the noose, with the help of an American female would-be outlaw, and kidnapping the hangman’s sexy daughter, Esmeralda. From the start, this films direction, acting, and effects are already better than Texas Blood Money, so I’m glad to see that. The side story involves an American author and self-proclaimed atheist and a young couple traveling by stagecoach preaching the word of Christianity, along the mexican country side. The two stories intertwine when the outlaws come to rob the stagecoach and night-time sets on the desert. The two parties, and now also including the hangman and his posse, all end up taking shelter at an old whorehouse, which is naturally run by vampires. Finally, a tie-in to the original, but, why is Danny Trejo the god damn bartender again? Has Razor Eddie really been serving drinks for one thousand years? Job security… I guess. Oh, hey, there’s Orlando Jones. Neat.
A fight breaks out and blood is spilled. So begins the ride. Wait, why do all the female vampires sound like cats fighting while they feed? Anyway… the vampire makeup lacks that Tom Savini flare from the first one, but is still leaps and bounds ahead of the second. Orlando Jones, however, looks like Eddie Murphy from Vampire in Brooklyn in vampire makeup. We then eventually find out Esmeralda is actually a half-vampire princess named Santanico Pandemonium (yes, Salma Heyak’s Santanico!). Great, another tie-in! Even better, the film later ends with a pan out to show a Mayan temple behind the whorehouse, the very same one that the “Titty Twister” will sit on some years later.
All in all, I recommend this film. I give it 3.5 undead hookers out of 5.