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Machete Kills

tn_machetekillsThere are lots of funny things in MACHETE KILLS. For a while it coasts on enjoyably stupid jokes, like the ridiculous trailer for part 3 of the series that it opens with. Early on it has a little faux-serious melodrama, playing it almost straight when a clash with rogue soldiers, a Mexican drug cartel and an army in lucha libre masks leads to the death of Machete (Danny Trejo, DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN, MARKED FOR DEATH)’s partner. I like the setup, with a redneck Arizona sheriff (William Sadler, DIE HARD 2) failing to hang Machete before he gets called in by the president (Charlie Sheen, NAVY SEALS, credited as Carlos Estevez) who offers him citizenship in exchange for doing a dangerous mission. I thought the joke of casting him was to have a guy as crazy as Sheen as the president, like wasn’t Mickey Rourke the president in MASKED AND ANONYMOUS? It honestly didn’t occur to me until seeing him on a White House set that his dad played the president in The West Wing (not to mention playing Kennedy). Anyway, the best part is the idea that this unsavory slasher/wife-and-daughter-fucker/assassin gets to sit in the White House and hear his offer.

Trejo’s face is even more rugged than ever, if possible, and he doesn’t have to joke around. He’s fun to watch just being that same character, but now equipped with various high-tech variations on machetes to chop people up with. Robert Rodriguez (credited as sole director this time, and also with his name above the title, but only a co-story credit) once again fills the movie with a huge, unlikely cast, mostly playing colorful gimmicky characters: Mel Gibson (PAPARAZZI) as a weapon inventor/space cultist planning to blow up the world, Demian Bichir (2012 best actor nominee for A BETTER LIFE) as a revolutionary/terrorist/something, Amber Heard (DRIVE ANGRY) as a government agent undercover as a beauty queen, Walton Goggins/Cuba Gooding Jr./Lady Gaga/Antonio Banderas all playing the same assassin called El Camaleon, Vanessa Hudgens (SPRING BREAKERS) as a girl that’s in one part, Sofia Vergara allowing Salma Hayek some dignity by stepping in to play the deadly Madam character with army of killer prostitutes (see also Lucy Liu in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, Zoe Bell in BAYTOWN OUTLAWS, etc.)
But you know what, I feel like we’ve seen the limits of the Lots of Celebrity Cameos technique. It was cool to see Cuba Gooding Jr. in there, he’s real good in a couple of scenes. But if he was only available for the afternoon maybe you wait until another movie to work with Cuba Gooding Jr. Maybe you don’t have him take his mask off and be somebody else who also has to leave because oh look at the time it’s getting late. Rodriguez seems more passionate about lining those names up in trailers than actually giving them all something to do in the movie. The treatment of Goggins, Gooding Jr. and Banderas is shameful – none of them are in it long enough to get anywhere, and yet their too-small parts (plus Lady Gaga) add up to one pointless character. After all that buildup I don’t even remember what happened to that guy.

I know these are different types of movies, but compare it to another one where Banderas had a small role with a large cast of big names, HAYWIRE. Ol’ Antonio showed up for a little bit and so did Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Mathieu Kassovitz and Michael Fassbender, but all of them seemed like an organic part of the movie, not just something they figured out how to squeeze in just so they could say that person was in the movie. I know Rodriguez was excited about how much he got out of Johnny Depp filming quickly ten years ago, but at this point he’s not getting much, he’s just trying to show off “Hey Famous Person, in only 2 hours in my greenscreen room I can get your name on a movie poster!” It’s starting to seem less like having a fun time and more like having a complete contempt for the audience, like we have no preference between an actual movie and a collection of brief clips of famous people fuckin around.

Don’t you get it, Vern? Ha ha, it’s meta, it’s like those old grindhouse exploitation movies, like they played in the exploitation grindhouses. It’s fun because it sounds more entertaining than it is! What a great postmodern way to be disappointed!

mp_machetekillsThe coolest and most unexpected appearance in the movie is Marko Zaror, the great Chilean martial artist of KILTRO and MANDRILL (and UNDISPUTED III of course). He plays the bodyguard to Bichir’s character and it seems like he’s going to get the Scott Adkins in EXPENDABLES 2 treatment, but he’s in it more than expected, gets to menace people and do some kicks and flips and stuff, the only real action in the movie. If anybody’s gonna make an impression in this it’s him, but he doesn’t get a big credit like almost everybody else, he’s just “Zaror” buried in the end credits. I know he and his director partner were inspired by Rodriguez and his book “Rebel Without a Crew” in making their own movies, so it’s great that they got to work together.

(By the way, when Gibson refers to him by name I think he pronounces it something like “Zarr-er.” I always thought it would be “Zuh-ROAR.” Like some kind of space lion. I’m gonna have a hard time readjusting.)

Also Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba and Tom Savini all return as their characters from the first one, so once again you have this movie supposedly based on the awesome character of Machete but with not much room for him to ever do anything. There’s another point for HAYWIRE – all those guys were in it but it still was clear that Gina Carano was the main event. The problem is worse here than in MACHETE or ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO because the characters that hogged those movies were more fun.

I can enjoy the cute Rodriguez-movie-references, like when cleavagy killer prostitute Alexa Vega makes extra long eye contact with Machete, and you wonder if it’s because she recognizes him from doing all those SPY KIDS movies together back during her spy childhood. And did I hear another “El Cancion Del Mariachi” ringtone? I don’t think we need to see the dick gun anymore, though. The Mariachi had it in his guitar case in DESPERADO, then the character Sex Machine actually used it in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, now Vergara takes a turn calling it her “strap on.” She also has boobs that shoot knives and a pair with mini-gatling gun nipples, and the opening credits have a silhouette of a missile firing from a vagina. So I fully expect a butt gun in his next movie.

The plot is full of crazy goofball shit and seems designed to feel like it was made up as they went along, no delete key allowed during the writing process. So Mel Gibson starts as the head of a big weapons firm, before long is wearing a silver cape doing a Marshall Applewhite impersonation. Bichir starts with a fun mega-performance as a sinister James Bond villain type, then has a split personality where he’s sometimes an earnest good guy who wants the best for his people. It is briefly mentioned that immigrant workers are being abducted and used as space station slaves. There are double-crosses, clones and a corny EMPIRE STRIKES BACK referencing cliffhanger. At one point Mel Gibson is showing off his space shuttle while Machete is holding a beating heart in a glass case that if it stops is gonna set off a missile.

Of course I can enjoy some of those things, but the problem is Rodriguez obviously doesn’t mean any of the plot to be taken even remotely seriously, and yet gives us way too much plot to keep track of. If you have long exposition scene after long exposition scene after long exposition scene to explain a plot that you and I know is not the point, then what is the point? What are we doing here? It’s like BLACK DYNAMITE or AUSTIN POWERS with a more convoluted plot, way less style and only 10% as many jokes. Sadly, I was bored through most of this. One hour 49 minutes is pretty long for a fake trailer. I hope the real movie is better.

That’s what I miss about Robert Rodriguez: he used to make actual movies. It was so much more fun when there was at least some small amount of sincerity involved in some aspect of the production. He worked so hard to establish himself and this great independent studio in Austin but since then he’s spent more of his career just fuckin around than he has actually meaning it. Of course people lose their hunger as they get older and more successful, and I’m not one of those people who thinks Rodriguez peaked with EL MARIACHI. But isn’t it sad that when he spent $7,000 just trying to make something that would pass in the Mexican DTV market it felt more like a real movie than this star-studded wide release?

Of course, so much of EL MARIACHI was based on limitations. Even his style of editing came out of having to change angles before the dialogue track got out of sync, because he recorded it on tape and it didn’t play back at quite the same speed as the film. Now he can do literally anything (at least by his low standards of quality for digital effects) and it cripples him. I mean, maybe I’m wrong but in the movie this shot here:

still_machetekills

looked like a terrible green screen in front of a still photo. And isn’t it sad to get to the point where it’s too much trouble to shoot somebody in front of an actual gas station? There’s something wrong there.

You guys know I’m not one of these anti-CGI zealots, but jesus Rodriguez. How dare you make decapitations and bisections seem so not-fun by making every one of them a sub-SyFy digital effect. It seemed revolutionary in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO when he was backed into a corner and realized how to use computers to fake a church getting shot up. But now he just uses it for everything he can, and doesn’t even try to hide it. Didn’t he have fun squirting blood around in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN? With this one he wouldn’t even have to make it look as real. Wasn’t there some point filming MACHETE KILLS where he thought you know what, for this one shot only, I would like to chop a head off a dummy or something?

Because if he did, I got a suggestion for what would’ve been a good shot to do it on: the one where a space gun kills Tom Savini. He wrote a scene where one of the great makeup effects geniuses of our time gets turned inside out, and decided to do that with a computer effect that might not’ve cut it in the first MORTAL KOMBAT movie. It’s almost like he’s purposely trying to underline how much he doesn’t want to exert effort anymore. I’m not saying put yourself through medical experiments again. I’m just saying make it seem like you wanted to do a good job.

I hope some day Rodriguez starts making real movies again, not just SPY KIDS sequels for adults. If it wasn’t horror movie season I’d go watch those MARIACHIs again to remind me of why I used to look forward to his movies. But I don’t really think he has it in him anymore. I mean I kinda liked the first MACHETE and PLANET TERROR, but MACHETE KILLS proves he’s used up that style. The last movie he made that seemed like he really meant it was SIN CITY 8 years ago, and of course that was a real movie hidden behind Halloween masks and standing in front of flat backdrops.

If I had any faith in him I’d be dying for him to make a vehicle for Mr. Zaror there, show him off to the people who don’t know about MANDRILL. Imagine the Robert Rodriguez of the mid-’90s trying to make a vehicle for a guy like that! But now I’m sure it would be real winky-winky with obvious green screened backgrounds and there’s be 15 other characters played by celebrities who would all have more screen time and be more important to the plot than the title character. Years ago Rodriguez’s dream project was a biopic of Stevie Ray Vaughan. That doesn’t sound like my bag, but I wish he would do it. It would be good for him to have a movie where he’d be a huge asshole not to pour his soul into it. I think he just sees filmmaking as a series of shortcuts and tricks now, not a form of expression.

Well, Rodriguez achieved his goal of making Trejo a name, because he gets way more roles in barely watchable DTV movies now, sometimes as the leading man. Rob Zombie could’ve done that, though (see: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Ken Foree). Clearly Rodriguez isn’t gonna step up to give Trejo the authentic badass Charles Bronson type role he used to know he was meant for, so I hope someone else will.

Please excuse me while I pour a piss-warm Chango on the curb for the guy that directed DESPERADO.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013 at 12:52 pm and is filed under Comedy/Laffs, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

45 Responses to “Machete Kills”

  1. Yeah, when I saw the trailer, my first thought was: “Damn, I think Rodriguez really lost it this time!” I’m not a guy who is into Schadenfreude when it comes to a movie’s success at the box office, but I couldn’t help but sigh in relief when I read the news, that this one here bombed pretty hard. I think it even set a negative record for a movie that was released that wide. (Of course since the movie wasn’t that expensive, it will still make a nice profit at one point.) I guess SHARKNADO killed everybody’s excitment for those ironic trashfilm “loving” audience, even though Rodriguez is still more competent than whoever makes these SyFy movies.

    Although in terms of his love for sub par computer wizardry: I wonder if this makes him kinda like a true successor of the real exploitation filmmakers from the 70s or 80s. Maybe in 30 years, some young space hipster will look back at MACHETE and make an ironic hommage to that kind of low budget filmmaking, with effect work that looks exactly like what we got here, only on purpose.

  2. I agree with everything you said Vern. Such a dumb campy mess. I was hoping it was going to improve on Machete, but instead it’s a huge drop. And I think part of the joke with Sheen is that it means that the US has an Hispanic president. The weird thing is that they use CGI for the beheadings, butthen show poorly made rubber heads bouncing on the ground.

  3. I mean, Robert Rodriguez found a way for me to resist seeing a movie that stars Danny Trejo. That’s an accomplishment, in the wrong direction. He wants to be an attention-getter, cast Mel Gibson as if that alone makes the movie dangerous, but he doesn’t seem to remember that exploitation movies felt dangerous because of content, not stunt-casting. I’ll never see this movie so I appreciate your take. You jumped on a grenade meant for me.

    P.S. Agreed that Marko Zaror is rad. I’ve only seen him in KILTRO and UNDISPUTED 3 but I’ve been meaning to check out MANDRILL too. It’s not like we don’t have promising new action stars — we just need directors that know what the hell to do with them.

  4. Funny that the trailer for this movie managed to get me sort of excited to see it, but of course that’s the point right? These Machete films are DESIGNED to work as trailers. It’s no fun to watch an actual movie whose perspective is ultimately sarcastic though.

    I know that Rodriguez’s falling off is inextricably linked with those Spy Kids sequels, but I honestly think the original Spy Kids is one of his very best films. Inventive and surprisingly lean. Manages to tell the entire story of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in the first 3 minutes of the film and all that. I bet there are people on this sight who never saw it for understandable reasons, but they should check it out maybe, I dunno.

  5. Wow, Vern. It’s rare when you’re way more pissed off about a movie than I am. I actually liked MACHETE 2 about on par with the first one. I enjoyed how it got more and more insane as it went along. Putting the fake trailer at the beginning was kind of brilliant because I became convinced by the 2/3 mark that Mel was going to blow up the world to make way for the third movie.

    Speaking of Mel, I thought he was great. A very sly, cooky performance that gave your standard evil genius character a fresh twist. Seeing him riding around in that STAR WARS hovercar made my day. I loved the chance to see Goofball Mel again, after at least a decade of Angry Mel. Plus, despite my disdain for the direct references to actors’ previous works in the EXPENDABLESes, I couldn’t help but smile when I realized that they’d sneakily gotten him into a Mad Max car in a (for a Rodriguez joint, anyway) surprisingly organic way, complete with a recreation of the iconic shot where he walks around the front of the car. (I think there was even a MAN WITH NO FACE reference in there, too.) I loved that stuff because it showed that it wasn’t just stunt casting. There’s a reverence for Mel’s work, not just a desire to fill the Lindsay Lohan “recently disgraced celebrity doing career rehab” slot.

    Also, Senor Estevez saying “I’m the president, man” was a treat. And there are few people on earth who shoot good-looking women as well as Rodriguez does. So there’s plenty of good stuff in here if you’re not too distracted by the shambles Rodriguez has made of his potential.

    As for everything else, yeah, Rodriguez needs to lay off the CGI, and more Goggins would have been appreciated. But did you notice how spot-on Banderas’ purely physical impersonation of Goggins’ body language was? There were little easter eggs like that all over the place. I know this is the kind of ersatz movie-movie bullshit we as a society should be moving beyond, but I’m okay with Rodriguez doing it. At least until he finishes the trilogy. Then it might be time to take away all his toys and see what he’s really made of.

  6. Great review, Vern. I enjoyed the first 20 minutes or so, but then I figured out that Machete Kills was gonna be more along the lines of Naked Gun, or at best Pootie Tang, than like Mariachi or Planet Terror. Here’s my review: http://drunksunshine.com/machetekills/

  7. Dan S:

    “butthen”

    I wish this wasn’t a typo.

    Did anybody watch Nude Nuns with Big Guns or whatever on Netflix? I started watching it and, fuck guys it might actually be a real film and not postmodern “hahaha look how dumb grindhouse movies are” snark. Of course I wasn’t in the mood for one because why else had I put on a film of this title, so I shelved it.

  8. sounds like Robert Rodriguez is suffering from Tim Burton syndrome, where the CGI age totally ruined their style

    it’s the same story with Burton, his style was cool when it was actual sets he would build (like Edward Scissorhands home) or stop-motion stuff, but when it’s all CGI is just becomes dull

  9. I agree with pretty much everything you say here, and I liked Machete and Planet Terror a lot more than you. Planet Terror may have been tongue-in-cheek, but it still had the creative camera-work and editing that made Rodriguez’s name and plenty of glorious practical effects with CGI as a supplement. There were actual locations and characters actually served a purpose. Machete was a bit lazier, but I still had a lot of fun with it. This one was just static shots of barely-connected celebrity cameos in front of green screens with shitty CGI effects added in later as the “action scenes”. Tarantino, by contrast, followed up his Grindhouse effort with Inglourious Basterds, which I consider his best work.

    I mean, the effects work is just disgraceful. Killing Tom Savini with a shitty GI effect? The season premier of the Walking Dead (a show I’m not even that crazy about) was directed by Greg Nicotero, who’s done effects work on a number of Rodriguez films, and it was far more cinematic and and had better effects than Machete Kills.

    The references to past Rodriguez films really drove home the point of how lazy this film was. There was a reason Depp’s character in Once Upon a Time in Mexico had his eyes torn out and had to fight at the end. In this, that happens to Michele Rodriguez because the writer said “wouldn’t it be funny if this happened?” No, it fucking wouldn’t. I really, really hope Rodriquez moves past this “Grindhouse” phase soon. He’s making a Sin City sequel, so hopefully that signals a return to the ridiculous, but still serious Rodriguez of yesteryear, when even the most ridiculous action scenes and characters actually had a reason to be in the movie.

  10. That paragraph is the best takedown of post-modernism-as-snark I’ve se in a while. Great post, Vern.

  11. Perhaps there should be a term for actors who, like Trejo or Dwayne Johnson, seem damned to never star in the great badass roles that they were obviously destined to play. Maybe UNCONSUMMATED BADASSES, or does that sound too fruity? Perhaps it does.

    I mean, I’m sure most of us can picture a great version of a MACHETE movie (In my case, it would be PREDATOR meets SCARFACE.) This is especially depressing if you consider that Rodriguez was once the very type of guy who one would consider ideal for directing a great MACHETE movie. But have you noticed that his career has been going steadily downhill ever since he let his children give him creative advice? Maybe there is something about changing diapers that is incompatible with being an edgy pioneer striving for excellence. Hmmm …

  12. Awhile ago I saw a comment thread where people were complaining about Martin Scorsese’s prolific release schedule (only on the internet, right?) and somebody said something to the effect of “He basically has no choice, the guy has alimony payments out the ass.” Maybe this is true of Rodriguez, and for that matter Tim Burton, as well? I know Tim Burton lost his touch and became a ‘brand’ right around the time that he and Lisa Marie got divorced, and I remember hearing that Rodriguez got divorced in the past few years.

    Sorry to steer this into celebrity gossip territory– Machete 2 just sounds like the work of a dude solely motivated to make the most money he can off of the cheapest possible product, and I’d rather there be a reason than Rodriguez saying ‘fuck it, I don’t care any more.’ Although you can come back from that, I guess. If all he cares about from now on is big returns off small investments, I think there’s little hope for Sin City 2.

  13. I know one thing, I sure miss the old Tim Burton, BEETLEJUICE was one of my favorite movies as a kid and now I couldn’t care less about what he does

    the last worthwhile movie he made in my opinion was MARS ATTACKS, which had CGI, but not enough to be overwhelming, it was made just on the cusp of the CGI era and featured a lot more imagination than his later movies, you gotta love how the setting was like a weird blend of the 1990’s and the 1950’s for example

  14. I mean, I liked Big Fish a lot, but thinking about it now it almost feels like a conscious swan song considering the ocean of shit that followed.

  15. Big Fish was decent I guess, but not too memorable

  16. Preach. P.S. That “death of Machete” bit in your review, with the apostrophe-“s” attached to the parenthesis, is brilliant.

  17. I was highly disappointed with the first one so I had a feeling this was going to be pretty bad. I might watch it on dvd in the future when I’m bored. On an off topic subject, Scott Adkins finally gets a co-starring role in a movie with a $70 million budget and it’s a movie that will probably send him right back to the straight to video world with the door slammed shut and locked tight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBq1AupSrLI That is a trailer that looks like it came straight from a parody on some sketch comedy show. Renny Harlin will never be allowed to play with a decent budget again,lol

  18. The Original... Paul

    October 14th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Damn, wasn’t expecting this… ok then, one to avoid?

    Damn again.

  19. I enjoyed Mel’s performance and the way the film basically turns into the crazy trailer that opens it. I’m surprised you left out the fact that Mel is driving a landspeeder replica during that scene where he’s showing off the space shuttle and Machete is holding a heart in a glass jar. (Side note: Anyone remember the episode of Wonder Woman where the villain was a human brain?)

    It’s definitely too long though and didn’t really kick in for me until the second half. (What can I say, I’m a sucker for Moonraker.) I also agree about the stunt casting. I’m even tired of hearing about it for the Expendables films. It’s just hard to get excited about ____ filming for 2 days anymore. (Or to get upset if Bruce Willis doesn’t want to do it for 3.) I did see an interview where Rodriguez admitted El Camaleon wasn’t really needed. Apparently he toyed with cutting that whole sequence right up until the end, then decided to just go with the excess.

  20. Zaror told me a story that seems indicative of the Rodriguez problem. He had two sets going at the same time, so Zaror would shoot one fight scene, then while they reset he’d go to the other set and shoot that fight scene. You can shoot a movie twice as fast that way, but it will also be half as good.

    It seems weird to describe something that labor intensive as lazy, but it looks lazy. It’s all shortcuts. I felt it looked like he didn’t even shoot enough footage to complete the scenes. It’s all trailer shots, but no cohesion, hence it is all one long trailer.

    “Vanessa Hudgens as a girl that’s in one part” says it best.

    The thing about this GRINDHOUSE aesthetic is, weren’t there some GRINDHOUSE movies that were actually good? That strove for excellence? Aren’t there some classics? At least ones that tried?

  21. One Guy From Andromeda

    October 15th, 2013 at 2:36 am

    I can’t see how this sounds different than the first Machete. The opening of that one was kind of enjoyable but then it deteriorated into lazy, unfunny, convoluted and most of all ugly. Looking back at Rodriguez’ career i find it hard to see what it was about that guy at all in the end. Desperado is a cool movie, but even Sin City and Once Upon a Time in Mexico are not that enjoyable when rewatched. At this point i don’t even think i will watch the Sin City sequel.

  22. Every time Danny Trejo does a film Charles Bronson is mentioned. But if Charlie’s career shows us anything it’s that they don’t make action stars like that anymore. I blame todays actors for directors like Rodriguez. Yesterdays tough guys would never star in shit like this. Sure they would show up for the odd comedy, but they would never disgrace themselves.

  23. The strange thing about Rodriguez is that there are pieces of his movies that show he could be more then he actually is. The reality is that he has became a hack. I can only really name 3 movies I like by him and that’s El Mariachi( sorry I’m not a fan of Desperado, I prefer the original), From Dusk Til Dawn, and Sin City. Everything else is mediocre to bad. At this point I have a feeling the Sin City sequel is going to end up in that mediocre to bad category.

  24. To be honest, I would love to see him make another paycheck movie. THE FACULTY wasn’t his best movie, but his most focused (and one of the most entertaining post-SCREAM late 90s teen horror movies).

  25. My local mega theatre is already offering a two tickets-for-one deal on this one. Kinda sad.

  26. I wish Rodriguez would produce more movies. PREDATORS didn’t come out that great, but it would be awesome if he could lend all of his budget-stretching know-how to filmmakers who still gave a shit.

  27. I know I’m the guy who was defending this movie, and I haven’t changed my tune, but it would be nice if Rodriguez’s wealth of moviemaking knowledge was occasionally put to better use than to find new body parts to attach guns to. He could be a real asset to a production with a lot to accomplish and not much time and money to get it done.

  28. @Mr Majestek- I actually liked Predators, except for Laurence Fishburne who was completely out of place. I agree about Rodriguez though. He really seems to be on autopilot at this point. He hasn’t done anything interesting since Sin City. I do believe he has it in him to make a great movie eventually, but at this point I’m starting wonder.

  29. eh PREDATORS was just a weak rehash of the first movie, not terrible but not particularly good or memorable either

    the whole movie felt like the world’s most expensive fan film than a “real” sequel if you know what I mean

  30. That’s exactly why I like it. Nothing wrong with shooting low if you do it right.

  31. It’s what grindhouse really was, a cheap knockoff of a better movie. When done right, knockoffs can be good movies.

  32. Has anyone seen the new western with Trejo; DEAD IN TOMBSTONE?

  33. I hate to say it, because I really like director Roel Reine and I was hoping a non-ironic Trejo movie would be the antidote to my problems with MACHETE KILLS, but I don’t think I’m gonna finish DEAD IN TOMBSTONE. I got about an hour in and I think I’ve had enough. Weird tidbit: alot of Mickey Rourke’s part (as Lucifer!) is dubbed by a guy that sounds more like Dolph than Mickey. I honestly thought it might be him for a minute there.

  34. Just yesterday Trejo’s episode of MONK was on TV again. If this is available for you, you should watch it. It’s definitely more fun than whatever Trejo is doing these days. Shit, I would even go so far and say that “Spider Ruttner” is one of my favourite Trejo characters, just because of the small arc that unfolds during his 15 or 20 minutes of screentime! I wish they would have brought him back at one point during the show.

  35. (According to IMDB his character name is actually “Spyder Rudner”.)

  36. i waited til this came to the cheap 2nd run theater before i saw it (and read this). glad i did. vern is spot on once again, and its kinda depressing. i actually loved the first 3 spy kids movies (i actually wrote “all 3” initially but i forgot he made another one that i never saw until i was almost done writing this post and so i went back and changed it and added this parenthetical) although they are arguably more ridiculous than even machete kills, they contain a lot more actual sincerity as well. plus i thought stallone in spy kids 3 was funnier than anything in machete kills.

  37. Saw the pilot to FROM DUSK TIL DAWN on Netflix. Interestingly, Rodriguez style was a bit more gritty than he has been for awhile, but I am not entirely convinced of this show. The narrative of the pilot (Focusing on the events in Bennys World of Liquor)was built in a different fashion than I expected and it was great to see Don Johnson, as always. The actors playing the Gecko brothers have no real identity however. They just mimic Clooney and Tarantino. I am also not sure about Richie’s ( supernatural?) connection to Santanico Pandemonium. We will see how that plays out. It really is to early to judge the show yet, but I will definitely stick aroundt and see how it plays out compared to the original film and the subsequent back story from part 3.

  38. Shoot – is it on Netflix? Searching for it at the site and its not there. Has it been taken off?

  39. RRA: As I understand it, the show is only being carried on Netflix in non-US regions. The El Rey cable network has exclusive broadcast rights within the US.

  40. Actually, I think Gibson is the real James Bond villain here. he clearly is Hugo Drax from MOONRAKER. MACHETE KILLS is ok. I liked it. It doesn´t start well, though. Machete doesn´t get a cool introduction, the first 20 minutes or so I thought it was terrible and the action in the film throughout is disappointingly lame. It´s just dudes firing guns at people with an occasional grisly death. There is no hint of Rodriguez rhythmic editing from DESPERADO anymore and the action suffers from it. Just because you have guys firing guns at each other makes it automatically thrilling.

    The Overpopulated world of the MACHETE-films I like. I don´t mind all these crazy gimmicky characters, what´s worse is that Machete himself doesn´t come a cross as good as he should. It feels like senõr Rodriguez missed the point of the popularity of that original fake trailer and Danny Trejo is basically just treading through tjis movie without any real awesome moments. His introuduction in the film should have been awesome considering the mythic nature of him but is just a piss poor reveal instead.

    I did warm up to it throughout the film for all the crazy shit that is in it. It is terribly disappointing as an action film, but enjoyable as a slice of crazy violent entertainment.

  41. Yeah Shoot, I’m afraid that Rodriguez is on auto-pilot these days. I liked both SIN CITY and PLANET TERROR. MACHETE – THE FIRST SLICE was a novelty that played better as a trailer. Haven’t seen this one and I wont be in a hurry. Shit, I’m starting to sound like Paul…

  42. Just gave up on the FROM DUSK TIL DAWN TV series after episode 3. It’s just…boring.

  43. I´m afraid my Scandinavian partner is right. I´ve been trying to give it a shot, but I realized that when I saw the third episode was up on Netflix and read the synopsis my gut reaction was “I don´t really want to watch this, do I?”

    How long are they gonna drag out the first part of the movie I am already so familiar with? I also get a sense that the show actually might get worse because of the shoehorned causality of the crime story part and the vampire part of the movie. Trying to glue those part together into a cohesive narrative is just dumb and so far it has been just that. Richies visions are just dumb plot devicing trying to make the story make any sense, hence ruining what was great about the original movie. If you were going in blind watching FDTO-The movie you got one helluva surprise coming to you halfway through and that is incredibly fun, although perhaps not acceptable as far as structured narrative goes. But sometimes cohesive narratives are overrated.

  44. The Undefeated Gaul

    February 1st, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    That’s brilliant! Funniest commercial since Van Damme’s ultimate split.

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