Trailer Talk: ‘Machete’


Back in 2007, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino brought us “Grindhouse,” which consisted of “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof,” but along with the duel feature-length films, came mock theatrical trailers. These fake trailers included: “Werewolf Women of the SS” by Rob Zombie; “Don’t” by Edgar Wright; “Thanksgiving” by Eli Roth; “Hobo With a Shotgun” (which was only seen at select screenings of “Grindhouse,” particularly in Canada) by Jason Eisener, John Davies and Rob Cotterill; and there was also “Machete” by Robert Rodriguez.

Buzz about a “Grindhouse” sequel has been present since the double feature’s initial release. It has been rumored that Edgar Wright might be keen to expand “Don’t” into a full-length film, while Eli Roth also turns “Thanksgiving into a full-length film — and combining the two to produce the sequel. “Hobo With A Shotgun” is also in the process of going full length, and filming is currently under way in the Halifax area.

And then there’s “Machete.” Rodriguez wrote “Machete” back in 1993 specifically for Danny Trejo (“Desperado,” “Rob Zombie’s Halloween,” “Planet Terror”), but never got around to making it. After the positive acclaim of the mock trailer for “Machete,” it was planned for the film to be made and released by the time “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof” hit the home viewing market, but due to delays, the film was pushed back until this year.

The premise for “Machete” is that of a “Mexican Exploitation” film. Machete is an ex-federale from Mexico who is hired in the U.S. to slay for pay. Rodriguez has said that Machete would do the dirty deeds for what is a lot of money in HIS eyes, but for everyone else here in the states is peanuts. Texas is his stomping ground, where he roams neighborhoods looking for pay in exchange for yard work after a druglord shakedown. He is hired by a local spin doctor to kill a corrupt senator for $150,000. Machete accepts the murder contract because this senator is sending hundreds of illegal immigrants out of the country. Double crossed, Machete is on the run and not to be messed with. During the heated Arizona immigration fiasco, a trailer for Machete was put out over the internet with its opening coming from Machete speaking directly to the state. The trailer has been dubbed “Machete: The Illegal Trailer.” Rodriguez later revealed it to be a joke, stating it was Cinco de Mayo and he had too much tequila.

The cast for “Machete” is absolutely stellar. Danny Trejo is already a cult favorite actor. Michelle Rodriguez plays Luz, a sexy roach coach worker with a revolutionary heart. Cheech Marin, plays Padre Benito del Toro — he’s good with blessings, but better with guns. Lindsay Lohan plays April Benz, a socialite with a penchant for guns. Don Johnson is a border vigilante with a small army under his belt. Jessica Alba is immigrations officer Sartana Rivera, who enforces the law but would rather do what is right. Robert De Niro plays a corrupt senator. Steven Seagal is drug-lord Torrez. Rose McGowan reprises Cherry Darling, her character from “Planet Terror.” Other reprisals from “Planet Terror” include Electra and Elise Avellan (nieces of Robert Rodriguez), who played the babysitter twins.

The cast is full of A-listers which has my hope bar set super high. I’m sure Lohan’s recent brush with the law will add more hype for the film. I wonder when we will start hearing horror stories from folks on the set about her being a nightmare to work with; true or not, it’s publicity. I’m very anxious to see what Michelle Rodriguez does with this role. I am a huge fan of hers, but I must say, she kind of plays the same character over and over. She must start branching out and clinging to a more diverse set of roles. Jessica Alba is sure to be a favorite, as one of the more memorable lines from the trailers comes from her shouting, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us!” The MOST memorable line has to be from the faux trailer, where the movie dude voice over says, “They just @!#*!@ with the wrong Mexican.”

I am a huge fan of Robert Rodriguez’s style (even though I haven’t seen all the “Spy Kids” sequels), and with him writing and directing this film I’ve been anxiously awaiting for its release since I too was sucked in by the mock trailer. Sept. 3 can’t come soon enough! There is bound to be face smashing, wild action scenes, profanity and chicks with attitude. Even if the storyline falls short, there’s no doubt in my mind that with Rodriguez behind the nonchalant violence, it won’t matter, we will be entertained.

He’s Machete, I’m already rooting for him. He knows the score. He gets the women. And he kills the bad guys!

. . .

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  1. Adam Poynter #

    I remember seeing GRINDHOUSE opening night and all of the mock trailers were a treat. Not surprised that they are being flushed out into fulll films. Like Jessika I have high expectations since I loved the Grindhouse films alot (especially Death Proof)and with such a great cast as this, it would be hard to mess it up!

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