In the middle of the Mexican desert, author Ambrose Bierce (Michael Parks) faces a firing squad but it’s all a vivid nightmare. In reality, Bierce is in a small Mexican town searching for Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. Around him, the townsfolk celebrate as they prepare to hang bandit Johnny Madrid (Marco Leonardi). The hangman (Temuera Morrison) is a cruel man who publicly flogs his daughter Esmerelda (Ara Celi) when she shows up at the hanging against his wishes. Luckily, Johnny is able to make a daring escape with the help of a mysterious figure. Taking Esmerelda with him, Johnny flees into the desert with the hangman hot on his trail. Back at his hideout, Johnny discovers that the mysterious figure that helped him escape is a young woman named Catherine Reece (Jordana Spiro) who wants Johnny to teach her how to be a famous outlaw. Johnny decides not to kill Reece when she tells him that Bierce is travelling with something valuable for Pancho Villa. Johnny and his gang, lead by Joaquin (Kevin Smith), rob the stagecoach carrying Bierce and a pair of religious missionaries named John and Mary Newlie (Lennie Loftin and Rebecca Gayheart). Unfortunately, they discover the only thing Bierce has for Pancho Villa is his life, which he plans to dedicate to the revolution. Johnny decides to let Bierce live because he’s an honourable man but leaves him and the Newlies stranded. Stopping briefly at a remote cemetery, Johnny decides to give Reece her first and last lesson on being an outlaw by leaving her hanging from a cross. Fortunately, Reece is rescued a short time later by the hangman. Meanwhile, Bierce and the Newlies wander through the desert until they come across an inn named ‘La Tetilla del Diablo’ (roughly translated as The Nipple of the Devil) where they meet the beautiful Quixtla (Sonia Braga). While Bierce makes friends with a travelling brush salesman named Ezra Traylor (Orlando Jones), Quixtla shows John and Mary to a room. Along the way they see and hear various debaucheries occurring in the other rooms. In their room, we learn that John and Mary have been married a week but have yet to consummate their marriage. When John goes to fetch Mary a glass of water, he meets Quixtla and succumbs to her charms. As night falls, the inn comes to life with soldiers and bandits alike arriving to enjoy the wine, women and song. Even John joins the party. Soon, Johnny and Esmerelda arrive and while Johnny looks after the horses, Esmerelda is greeted by Quixtla. For the first time, Quixtla hints at her true nature by tasting the blood from the fresh wounds on Esmerelda’s back. Elsewhere, Johnny shoots a vampire feeding on his horse and Mary is captured by Joaquin when she goes looking for John. Soon, all hell breaks loose when John attacks Joaquin and Johnny shoots Quixtla while trying to rescue Esmerelda. Then, things get really bad when the hangman and his posse show up and start a gun battle with Johnny and his bandits. Finally, Quixtla floats in and reveals that Esmerelda is her daughter. This triggers an all out bloodbath with the vampires feasting on anything with a heartbeat. Strangely, in the midst of the massacre, the newly transformed Ezra mesmerizes Mary and bites her neck after a brief dance sequence. Fortunately, Bierce, John, Johnny, Esmerelda, Joaquin, the hangman and Reece are able to escape into some kind of catacombs. Unfortunately, having tasted Esmerelda’s blood, Quixtla has discovered that Esmerelda is really the half-human half-vampire princess Santanico Pandemonium and will stop at nothing to have her. In the catacombs, John is forced to kill the transformed Mary before being bitten by Joaquin who was bitten earlier. Johnny kills John before he can be transformed but the remaining survivors are overrun and captured. While Esmerelda is transformed into a full vampire in a ceremony that involves her killing her grandmother, Bierce, Johnny, the hangman and Reece are prepared for sacrifice. Fortunately, Johnny is able to escape and free the others but Reece is killed and the hangman is bitten by the newly transformed Esmerelda. Things look grim for Bierce and Johnny until the hangman, mustering the last of his humanity, helps them to escape. As Bierce and Johnny flee the inn, Quixtla is killed by the rising sun and Santanico Pandemonium (formerly Esmerelda) calls out for Johnny to come back to her.
Type of mind control: Vampiric stare
Mind control scenes:
There's only one mind control scene in the movie. It occurs when the vampirized Ezra Traylor mesmerizes Mary Newlie and they dance before he bites her.
1 out of 5
The single mind control scene in this movie is very brief and totally pointless. Most of the time, the vampires simply grab their victims and rip their throats out. Why Ezra would mesmerize Mary and dance with her in the middle of a massacre is anybody's guess. This isn't even a very good vampire movie. Whether you're looking for mind control or vampires, I'd skip this movie.