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This Villain was Headlined on February, 2020.

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Villain Overview
Welcome to slavery.
~ Santánico Pandemónium in her vampire form.

Santánico Pandemónium (also spelled Santanico Pandemonium) is the main antagonist of the 1996 horror crime action thriller film From Dusk Till Dawn. She stars as the main attraction at the Titty Twister, a seedy and smutty hole-in-the-wall bar and strip joint just over the border of Mexico where criminal brothers Seth Gecko and Richie Gecko flee to with a family of hostages in tow. She is the queen of the vampires that hides in the Titty Twister. Initially presented to her captive, entranced audience as an illustrious and highly arousing exotic dancer, Santanico reveals herself — and the Titty Twister's glamorous clientele to be a horde of ravenous, monstrous and aggressive vampires with her.

In the first film, she was portrayed by Salma Hayek, who later played Elena Sánchez in Savages. In the third film, she was portrayed by Ara Celi. In the 2014 TV series, she was portrayed by Eiza González.

Appearance

Original Incarnation

In her "human" appearance, Santanico appears as slender and buxom Latino woman with long black hair, deep red lips, and a soft complexion of a woman in her late 1920s. Dressing only in a black bra and panties and adorned with a feathery headdress, Santanico cuts a very slinky and seductive figure, ideal for entrapping eager young males into the vampire's lair to serve as a suitable and virile feast for the bloodthirsty monsters masquerading as beautiful and lusty strippers and dancers.

A very different beast emerges in her true form, however, as Pandemónium resembles a half-woman half-snake albeit with a legion to the immortal undead vampire creatures. Though her head and neck region appears to be the only part of her that undergoes the swift, dramatic change into monstrous transformation, her facial structure definitely suggests that she's no longer human. Pandemónium loses her long black hair and her soft complexion in favor of a hard, scaly serpent-like skin, her eyes also become snake-like with striking slit-pupils, her teeth distort and lengthen into sharp fangs, her deep red lips inflate making them fuller, her ears become rigid and sharp, and the flesh that makes turning similar to the rest of face and pointing upwards like that of a traditional vampire creature.

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

Santanico has dark brown hair and brown eyes. She is mostly seen with red lipstick that has a darker style. She is regarded as being very beautiful by numerous characters throughout the series, and she is the main attraction at the Titty Twister as well.

Pandemónium has a very defined culebra form, and gets body scales as well as facial scales, whereas the Titty Twister's other dancers only had facial scales. This could indicate that she is a more powerful culebra. Her scales often have a reddish hue or pattern.

History

Movies

From Dusk Till Dawn

Before entering, Seth Gecko and Richie Gecko get into a fight with doorman Chet Pussy (Cheech Marin's third role), after the latter makes a lewd comment towards Kate Fuller. Inside, they are initially ordered to leave by bartender Razor Charlie, as only bikers and truckers are allowed, but Jacob Fuller defuses the situation by showing him his driver's license which has a trucker rating. Seth and Richie drink heavily, encouraging the entire group to do the same. Richie takes special notice of the club's star performer Santánico Pandemónium during an extended solo performance, after which Chet and some others approach the group, looking to settle the score with the Geckos. In a short confrontation, Richie is stabbed in his already wounded hand, and seeing his blood, Santánico is quickly overcome by immense bloodlust and changes her appearance from an attractive female dancer to an unholy, beastial vampire. While Richie is distracted, she jumps on his back and struggles with him resulting in her biting him in the neck and feeding upon him before Seth can stop her. Though Seth manages to stun her with a gunshot, Richie soon passes away from his wound. This encounter signals the rest of the watching staff to transform and feed on the stunned onlooking patrons.

Later during the ensuing chaos, Santánico recovers and finds Seth alone and after he unsuccessfully tries to kill her. She attacks him and then pins him down with her bare foot and taunts him whilst undergoing a transformation into a horrific vampire. As Santánico "welcomes" Seth to slavery at the mercy of the vampires, he quips back "No thanks. I already had a wife!" and shoots at the chandelier above them dislodging it from the ceiling. In chaos, Seth breaks free and she is crushed and impaled by the spiked decoration. Upon death she reverts back to her human body and burns away, melting into a pile of slimy goo and green vampiric blood.

From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter

In the early 1900s, the American author Ambrose Bierce had a nightmare about his future death at the hands of Pancho Villa. Bierce wakes up and talks to a local bartender about his intentions to join Pancho Villa's revolutionary army. Bierce joins a stagecoach with the newlywed couple John Newlie and Mary Newlie travelling Mexico to preach Christianity. Meanwhile, dangerous local outlaw Johnny Madrid escapes from the gallows and then kidnaps his hangman's beautiful daughter Esmeralda with a little help from young woman Reece who wants to become Johnny's apprentice as an outlaw. With the hangman and a local posse on their trail, Johnny meets with his gang who all rob Bierce's stagecoach because of Reece's belief that Bierce keeps an invaluable object. This turns out to be the manuscript for Bierce's new book. Madrid hangs Reece at a graveyard, forcing her to try to hold her balance on a tombstone or she will be strangled to death. The hangman and his men find her and set her free, forcing her to lead them to Madrid.

As night falls, all parties coincidentally seek shelter in an isolated inn/whorehouse which is run by vampires led by the high priestess Quixtla who targets Esmeralda. All of the Hangman's men are killed, as are the remnants of Johnny's gang. Mary is bitten by a vampire and John is revealed to be a fraud as a preacher who only married Mary for her father's money. Reece is revealed to be a known outlaw who killed her whole family. Esmeralda is revealed to be the half-human, half-vampire princess Santanico Pandemonium and the daughter of Quixtla. Johnny, Bierce, the Hangman, Reece, John, Esmeralda and a few patrons manages to escape in the dungeons beneath the brothel. Mary appears and confronts John and attacks him but he manages to kill her while showing regret for tricking her. A patron turns into a vampire following an earlier bite and attacks the group, killing some of them before he is killed himself.

Eventually, the various humans set aside their differences to survive the vampire attack. But they are eventually captured and Esmerelda transforms into the vampire princess. Johnny manages to break from his bonds and free the others. Reece and John are killed by the vampires. Esmerelda turns the Hangman into a vampire, but he kills Quixtla before the change is complete, allowing Johnny and Ambrose to escape. As the film ends, Esmerelda screams for Johnny not to leave her. Johnny somberly looks away and joins Ambrose's quest to join Pancho Villa's army.

After the credits roll, part of the alternative ending is shown; Ambrose is revealed to have told this story to someone in a bar. The listener refuses to believe in vampires. Ambrose offers proof and proceeds to turn into a vampire himself and kill the listener. (The original cut showed a completely different outcome of the last fight, Madrid being killed by Esmeralda after a last shot showing Bierce fighting a hoard of vampire who eventually overcome him.)

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

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