Brandon Soo Hoo
Well, we’ve we reached the halfway point of the season, and the Gecko brothers along with the Fuller family have reached their destination, the Titty Twister. So at this point one would not be in the wrong to expect that we are finally going to get some action. But as we’ve already learned from the preceding five episodes what can be expected is not always what we get delivered.
The episode begins with a flashback to Richie rocking a Daniel Bryan like beard and living in a shack in the middle of nowhere. The reasoning behind this flashback is for another visit from Santanico. In the present Seth is going a little paranoid due to the lack of Carlos’ presence at the arranged meeting place. Things get even worse for him once he discovers that Carlos is the owner of the Titty Twister, and he ends up getting into quite a scuffle with the bar’s doorman and several of his goons. Meanwhile Freddie is having some visions of his own before stumbling into somewhat of a trap with Carlos and a few of his flunkies.
The episode starts slowly before evolving into what could easily be defined as the best episode of the series thus far. The action ratchets up, as does the almost overwhelming sense of dread with knowing what is coming. The only vampire interaction comes from Freddie’s battle to escape from Carlos’ goons. This leads him to make his way directly to the Titty Twister himself just in time for the main attraction of Santanico Pandemonium.
I have to give much credit to director Dwight Little, best known as the director of the last good Halloween film, Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers. He takes what was clearly meant to be the final place setting episode and infused it with an eerie sense of dread and puts in the most action seen so far into place. It is clear with how the episode ends that the next episode will be where we finally get what we have all been waiting for, some real blood and guts violence. But the way that Little manages the story and action keeps you invested heavily.
That’s not to say that the episode is flawless. Most of the episodes weak links actually involve something that couldn’t be avoided, and that is the recasting of some of the crucial roles from the film. Jake Busey’s Professor Tanner character is now in the iconic Sex Machine role. While Busey is clearly one of the more unhinged and talented cast members of the show, he just isn’t on the same level as Tom Savini and the greatness that he brought to the role. The same goes for the recasting of the doorman, originally played by Cheech Marin and the even more crucial role of the Titty Twister’s bartender, originally played by Danny Trejo. While obviously in a perfect world we would be able to disconnect these roles as we have with the series’ main protagonists, but given how iconic those characters were, it becomes very difficult.
This episode is also the first time we get more than a few moments of Wilmer Valderrama’s Carlos. This is especially notable, given how well into the role he has assimilated. As I have mentioned in my previous episode reviews, it is difficult to separate the man from his role as Fez on That 70s Show. But with this episode, he has completely shed that image of the goofy foreign guy in favor of becoming a great villain. This becomes even more impressive when we think about the fact that Carlos is an original creation to the show, so he did not have anything to rely on character wise.
It’s almost hard to believe that it took six episodes to get us to the point of what the show is really about, but now that we have reached the destination, much as Seth and company have reached theirs, it is starting to feel worth the ride. At this point, all we can hope is that the show takes advantage of the incredible atmosphere and momentum that Dwight Little has given them.
Get ready for the blood that is coming. Now it’s time to see if the show can handle the grisly part as well as the original film did.
Episode Six – “Place Of Dead Roads” is now available for instant streaming on Netflix.