"I'm not looking for "safe"."
Betrayed by the men who hired, ex-Federale Machete (Trejo) carves up a bloody trail of revenge as he tries to discover why. As he investigates in the only way he know how, with extreme violence, Machete uncovers corruption all the way up to the US Senate. As he dispatches his own kind of justice, Machete makes the shocking connection to the man who killed his beloved wife and now he is going to wage war against Torrez (Seagal) and anyone who crosses him.
Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Grindhouse’ experiment continues but has there ever been an example of a mock-trailer becoming a feature film and is it a good idea?
In 2007 filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino released a double feature to recreate the ‘Grindhouse’ experience of the 60s and 70s for a modern audience. The low-budget exploitation films of the time were the stalwarts of sleazy drive-ins and low-grade inner city cinemas, mixing sex, horror, Sci-Fi with the street culture of the times. With Tarantino’s ‘Death Proof’ and Rodriguez’s ‘Planet Terror’, the pair, for the most part, did exactly that but in the US, the double feature did not set the box office alight. It did play well to fans however, especially when the films were released separately on DVD and Blu-Ray but what the fans adored about the original release was the inclusion of fake trailers in the Grindhouse style for fictional movies that did not exist, until now.
While Rob Zombie’s ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’, Edgar Wright’s ‘Don’t’, Eli Roth’s ‘Thanksgiving’ and a competition winners entry “Hobo with a Shotgun’ are still pieces of Grindhouse fiction, Robert Rodriguez’s own contribution ‘Machete’ has smashed and slashed its way into a feature film and become a cult classic all of its own.
Building on the revenge premise outlined in the original ‘Grindhouse’ trailer, ‘Machete’ again allows Robert Rodriguez along with his fellow director Ethan Maniquis, the chance to show the joys of exploitation cinema from the 60s and 70s to a modern audience. This is a balls out, all action, violence filled romp with powerful men and sexy women thrown in for good measure. The dialogue is stupid, the action is over the top and the acting is so hammy but that is the point and this, along with his previous contribution to the ‘Grindhouse’ resurgence ‘Planet Terror’ shows how down right entertaining these types of films can be.
The cast of Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Lindsey Lohan and Robert De Niro all play into this, having so much fun with their roles but never taking anything too seriously. It is Danny Trejo who is the real star however. No stranger to appearing in Robert Rodriguez films, Trejo gets the chance to be a lead actor and for a man in his sixties, really knows how to kick butt and charm the ladies. This is the role Trejo was born for and one that, if the end credits are to be believed, he will return to.
‘Machete’ is stupid, over the top, bloody, exploitive nonsense but that is the point. Robert Rodriguez has brought us a film that fans of the ‘Grindhouse’ style will adore and everyone else with just ignore but this is one movie that cinephiles should watch and deconstruct to their heart’s delight.
Audience reaction track
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