Santanico Pandemonium

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Santanico Pandemonium/Esmeralda/Kisa
'From Dusk Till Dawn' character
From Dusk Till Dawn soundtrack.jpg
Santanico Pandemonium, portrayed by Salma Hayek, as featured on the cover of the soundtrack for the original film.
First appearance From Dusk till Dawn (1996)
Created by Quentin Tarantino
Robert Kurtzman
Robert Rodriguez
Alvaro Rodriguez
Portrayed by Salma Hayek
Ara Celi
Eiza Gonzalez
Aliases Esmeralda, Kisa
Species Dhampir
Gender Female
Occupation Erotic dancer
Title Queen Vampire of the Titty Twister
Family "Hangman" (father) and the High Priestess Vampire, Quixla (mother).
Significant other(s) Johnny Madrid, Richie Gecko
Nationality Mexican

Santanico Pandemonium, formerly Esmeralda, is a fictional character from the From Dusk till Dawn (film series). She is the primary Queen Vampire of the "Titty Twister", a strip club/brothel in the middle of a desolate part of Mexico. In the film series, she is portrayed by Salma Hayek and Ara Celi. She is played by Eiza González in From Dusk till Dawn: The Series.[1][2][3] The name of Santanico is based on the Mexican Nunsploitation film Satánico pandemonium.[4] Although the original film was not very successful at the box office, the film has achieved a cult status because Hayek's role as Santanico was generally well received by viewers.[5]


Santanico Pandemonium is most often seen in her human form, which resembles a beautiful Mexican erotic dancer. She has the ability to transform from human to vampire and vice versa. While in vampire form, her face transforms to have reptilian-like features and sharp teeth. She often uses her human form to seduce her victims before biting them. She is a barefooter and is most often seen wearing a red/black bra and underwear combo, occasionally also wearing a crown and a cape with a snake around her neck. She is vulnerable to sunlight.

From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter[edit]

Born a Dhampir named Esmeralda in Mexico in 1894, she was the daughter of the Hangman and the High Priestess Vampire, Quixla. Esmeralda knew nothing about her mother or what had happened to her. Instead, she was raised by her father, the local Hangman with an eerie past. During her childhood the Hangman attempted to kill Esmeralda on several occasions, but she kept coming back.

In 1913, when Esmeralda is nineteen years old, she is kidnapped by Johnny Madrid (a local outlaw), after a daring gallows escape with the help of Reece, an American outlaw. With the hangman, who fears the worst for his daughter, and a local posse on their trail, Madrid meets with his gang. Together, they rob a stagecoach containing American author Ambrose Bierce and newly-wed couple John and Mary Newlie. As night falls they go to a whorehouse that would later become the Titty Twister in From Dusk till Dawn. Esmeralda soon discovers the truth of her heritage after being turned by her mother Quixla and grandmother, an ancient vampire. She later hypnotizes her father, kisses him, then quickly feeds on his neck, turning him. She begs Madrid to stay, but Quixla lunges at Madrid and Bierce as they tried to escape. Seeing this, the Hangman, who is now a vampire, opens the locked door, which kills Quixla in the sunlight. Madrid and Bierce flee, ignoring Esmeralda's pleas.

From Dusk Till Dawn[edit]

Esmeralda – now known as Santanico Pandemonium, vampire heiress – takes her place as vampire queen and the main attraction at the Titty Twister. Throughout the century she puts on big shows at the bar, as seen when the Geckos arrived to await the arrival of their contact in 1996. After her show is over, Chet the bouncer, having recovered from his beating, enters the bar with a group of people looking to fight the Geckos. This leads to a fight; Richie is stabbed in the hand by Razor Charlie; and Seth takes out his gun and starts shooting people. But as their backs are turned, Santanico morphs into a horrible creature, jumps on Richie's back, and sinks her fangs into his neck, killing him. This spur-of-the-moment surge of bloodlust, triggered by his bleeding hand, sparks the other vampires' feeding frenzy. She is killed in the original From Dusk till Dawn when she is impaled by a chandelier shot down by Seth—after threatening to turn him into her vampire slave.

Santanico kills two characters in the original movie, most notably Richard Gecko. The other is featured in the deleted scenes section of the laserdisc and DVD of From Dusk till Dawn where Santanico (in her human form) sits on the lap of a dazed and wounded biker (played by Greg Nicotero of KNB Effects). Holding his gaze for a moment, a second mouth—resembling a monstrous snake—erupts out of her mouth and bites his head off.

From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money[edit]

Santanico does not appear in this film, for she is replaced by a new character named "Lupe" (Maria Checa), a woman Jesus bumps into when he arrived at the motel. After they finish having sexual intercourse, Jesus sleeps while Lupe grabs a shower. While taking a shower, Luther comes through the window in bat form and she was killed. While Jesus is hiding from the vampired Luther, Lupe comes back as a vampire and Jesus kills her by cutting her head off and lands into the bath.

Music video[edit]

"She's Just Killing Me"[edit]

She's Just Killing Me, a song by rock band ZZ Top and their first single released from their 1996 album, Rhythmeen. The song is featured in the film From Dusk till Dawn and on the soundtrack which also includes Mexican Blackbird by ZZ Top. The music video shows ZZ Top playing in a bar then cuts to video clips from the film From Dusk till Dawn featuring George Clooney and Salma Hayek as Seth Gecko and Santanico Pandemonium, respectively.


From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series[edit]

In the parallel universe 2014 television series, Santanico Pandemonium was born 500 years prior to the first season. She was kept by her tribe to use for blood offerings to their gods. When she tried to run away (feeling guilty from the sacrifices made in her name) she was chased and forced to become a vampire. She was imprisoned in a temple and became the leader of the vampire blood cult. Eventually becoming the "queen vampire" at the Titty Twister bar that was built onto the temple in modern times to lure in travelers.

Somewhere in a jungle, a terrified woman is being chased by some tribesmen. She is caught and thrown into a pit of snakes that repeatedly bite her, until a giant python slithers into her mouth. Elsewhere, Richie Gecko breaks his brother Seth out of jail and the two set off on a crime spree. They rob a bank, killing four Texas Rangers and two police officers in the process, and stop at Benny's World of Liquor. Rangers Earl McGraw and Freddie Gonzalez arrive and a bloody standoff ensues.

Richie has visions of demons and a mysterious woman beckoning him from beyond, and Seth learns from the drug lord Carlos that the Geckos must reach the Mexican border on their own. Gonzalez crosses into Mexico and is captured by Carlos's cartel. Carlos wants him tortured and killed, after hearing he has insight about the blood cult. At the Titty Twister, Seth believes they made a mistake coming there, while Richie believes otherwise. Outside, a man named Narciso saves Seth from a biker gang attack led by the bar's bouncer. Gonzalez escapes the cartel and arrives at the bar, just in time for Carlos to introduce Santanico Pandemonium's show. Richie recognizes her as the woman in his visions that led him there.

Santanico performs a sultry dance for the audience before climbing onto the Geckos' and Fullers' table. Gonzalez uses her dance as a distraction to pin Richie's hand to the table with a knife. This causes Santanico and others to transform into serpentine vampires. They attack most everyone in the bar, as Carlos and the blood cult members briefly watch then move to a back room. The Geckos and Fullers survive the attack, but know there will be more when they find the bar sealed shut. Professor Tanner, known there as "Sex Machine", informs them of the mythology of the bar/temple. Meanwhile, in the back room, Carlos and Santanico dispose of the nine cult members who call them "slaves". Santanico returns to the bar for Richie and another attack begins. As Santanico tries to turn Richie to her cause, Freddie confronts Carlos about his destiny and the temple’s mysterious past. Seth, the Fullers and Sex Machine battle their way deeper into the temple, where they meet an unexpected ally.

Venturing further into the temple below the bar, everyone mostly gets separated from each other. Scott helps Carlos in a fight with Gonzalez, after Carlos turns Scott. Richie gets turned by Santanico but must help Seth pass a "survival test", wherein they reenact the robbery that led to Seth's imprisonment. During the test, Seth learns Richie killed their father, when they were kids, by setting him on fire. Tanner helps Katie through the temple, after she witnesses her mother overdosing on sleeping pills. (Jacob would wreck while rushing her to the hospital.) Tanner leads Katie to a sacrificial room, hoping to appease the culture he has studied all these years.

Gonzalez realizes Tanner is a cult fanatic and saves Katie by killing him. Alone with Scott, Jacob cannot bring himself to kill his son who has turned, while Scott bites his father, hoping Jacob will see that being a demon serves a better purpose. Katie must kill her father before he turns. The Geckos survive their test, but Richie swallows the serpent containing Santanico's blood, making him her prince. Carlos betrays her by siding with Narciso and the Nine Lords. He kidnaps Richie, wanting Seth to bring him the $30 million in oil bonds. A final battle ensues, before the sun rises to cleanse the bar/temple of its cult. Gonzalez is allowed to return to his family, Richie and Santanico head for the States, Carlos is welcomed into the Nine, and Seth and Katie ride off together.


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