Looks like it’s official

seagal-trejoA column in Variety off-handedly mentions Seagal being in MACHETE:

“It began production this week on `Machete,’ the film that Robert Rodriguez is co-directing with protege Ethan Maniquis. Danny Trejo is playing the title character and Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson and Jeff Fahey play supporting roles.”

I don’t think this needs an all-star cast, and I think Jessica Alba should have to get a real job by now, but this should be a crazy combination of people. See, Jeff Fahey’s on the list everybody, let’s stay calm. This is the first time I’ve seen Don Johnson mentioned too, that’s a good one.

I’m sure they rewrote the script since the draft I read, but I seriously have no idea who half of these people could be playing, especially Seagal.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 6:28 pm and is filed under News, Seagal. 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.

80 Responses to “Looks like it’s official”

  1. Would be sweet if RR could sneak Tommy Chong and Phillip Michael Thomas in there, we’d have a weird Cheech & Chong’s Nashville Vice. Or Miami Bridges. Either or.

  2. As much as I am pleased with this news, I hope Seagal isn’t starting down the dark path of ironic, self-deprecating cameos.

  3. I don’t think I will believe this until I see an official poster with that cast list. It just seems too good to be true. If it is it would be great if Seagal gets to do some aikido. Doubtful, but I’m still gonna hold out hope. Having an action filmmaker as good Rodriguez filming Seagal doing aikido would be fantastic. I love seeing it onscreen, but it’s tough to get outside of Seagal’s movies (and I think one Sonny Chiba movie). Anyone know of any other aikido films?

    I really like that they seem to have cast a lot of “past their prime” actors. Nice to see someone doesn’t have the kind of smug, condescending attitude a lot of people seem to have towards these actors.

  4. Well, say what you will about Rodriguez (and I got a few things I’d say) but he has definitely been good about casting guys like that. He put Mickey Rourke in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO and SIN CITY before THE WRESTLER made you “witness the resurrection of Mickey Rourke!” He made Danny Trejo an icon. He put Stallone in some kid’s movie during one of his career lulls. Even in the handsome department he is the one who made George Clooney and Antonio Banderas into badasses. So he’s not hopping on some bandwagon here, this fits what he’s done all along.

    I don’t think this signals Seagal being ironic, maybe it will have a little knowing humor in there but I suspect it will be a serious tough guy role. I hope. Anyway, more serious than THE ONION MOVIE.

  5. I just hope the script wasn’t rewritten to accomidate this big cast with “meaningful” roles.

    Because in my action pulp exploitation, they should be served like my steaks: lean, mean, raw, and bloody as hell.

    BTW, is Seagal still planning or doing that reality TV show where he plays a deputy or some shit?

  6. Yeah, STEVEN SEAGAL: LAWMAN is apparently filmed and everything. I’m not sure when it starts though, or how the hell I will deal with it years from now when I do an updated edition of Seagalogy.

  7. Vern – Cool. Can’t be no worse than ON DEADLY GROUND. Or as useless as THE GLIMMER MAN. So there is hope. Can’t wait for his bravado egomania to get the better of him on camera.

  8. Justice for Trejo, at last!

  9. am i the only one who thinks it would be awesome if he were cast as a Mexican?

  10. “am i the only one who thinks it would be awesome if he were cast as a Mexican?”

    Nah, I’m with you on that.

    I reckon Don Johnson will be playing some kind of prick. He does a good prick, does Johnson.

  11. I want to see Paul Dano in a Robert Rodriguez movie.

  12. And why hasn’t The Cage shown up in an RobRod movie yet?

    He was in Rob Zombie’s phoney grindhouse trailer.
    He’ll bring the madness to anything.

    Maybe RobRod is just slowly sculpting the perfect role to advantage of The Cage’s abilities. Anyway, if they make Machete 2, The Cage should play the villain.

  13. I don’t know about Cage in MACHETE 2, but goddamn am I looking forward to Werner Herzog’s BAD LIEUTENANT “remake”. If any movie can make use of Nick Cage’s bug-eyed scenery chewing it’s that one.

  14. Nic Cage: Bad Lieutenant is my most anticipated film of the year.

    Having that come out the same year as the fourth Fast & Furious movie that I never thought would happen makes 2009 like a year of cinematic religious experiences for me.

    There hasn’t been a year with more films I’m excited to see as long as I can remember. That Nine movie with Danny Lewis and Penelope Cruz looks great, and I saw the trailer for Girlfriend Experience the other day and it just electrified me. It’s opening here in a couple weeks and now I can’t wait to see it. Almodovar ’s new flick is coming here in the winter.

    I also have to keep reminding myself that Inglourius Basterds hasn’t come out yet. I think they advertised that one a little too strong and little too early. I feel like I’ve seen and forgotten it. I’m still eager to see it, but my most anticipated movie of the summer will definitely be Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2.

  15. Big Name Cast = Lame. MAYBE De Niro, if he can remember to actually act again. Every great B movie needs one classy character actor in a supporting role. Seagal, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, Cheech, cool. They know how to treat this shit seriously. It’s not a joke for them because this is exactly the kind of movie they’ve been making most of their careers.

    But I don’t want a bunch of mugging A-listers who think its cute that they’re doing this futzing up my low down, dirty, Danny Trejo vehicle. No cutesy cameos, no kiss-ass parts written in for big names who want something hip on the resumes. That is the antithesis of MACHETE.

    And would it be too much to ask that they actually cast, you know, more than one Mexican in a movie whose tagline is, “They Fucked with the Wrong Mexican”? Hell yeah they did, although really there was only one anyway, so they didn’t have much chance of fucking with the right one. Come on, Rob. Don’t sell out on this fucker. MACHETE is bigger than all of us.

  16. JarethCutestory

    August 6th, 2009 at 8:03 am

    I can see why you’d be apprehensive about a big name cast. Even if Rodriguez
    keeps the tone of the original trailer, it will require exceptional performances to
    not be distracted by their celebrity status.

    Still, Alex Cox’s film “Straight to Hell” was an attempt to re-enact similarly
    pulpy material with numerous 1980’s A-listers, and, for my tastes,
    the film was quite successful (admittedly, this is a minority opinion).

    I guess if there was one director who could make a similar film, Rodriguez
    would be a reasonable candidate.

    Of course, there’s a world of difference between a vehicle
    starring Denis Hopper, Joe Strummer and the Pogues and one
    starring Jessica Alba and Don Johnson.

  17. Cheech is Mexican, in my opinion, and Alba is part Mexican (as well as part everything else. She’s the UN of hot, boring chicks). Michelle Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican born in Texas, which I think makes her an honorary Mexican by most standards.

    Still, despite her droplet of Mexican blood, I’m more upset about Alba than Lohan. She was the worst thing about Sin City. They follow every other panel to the smallest detail except for the SIX OR SEVEN FULL-PAGE SPREADS of Nancy topless? And really, I always pictured Nancy as a healthy, cornfed all-American bombshell, not some prissy little doll.

    But I digress. I think Lohan’s presence adds a nice element of freak show to the proceedings, which is very g-word. It’s self-conscious stunt casting, which exploitation movies used to do all the time, like when Galaxy of Terror made Joanie Cunningham’s head explode.

  18. Keeping my fingers crossed for this one . The last Rodriguez movie I’ve seen in theaters is Planet Terror and , of course , here in Italy it was separated by Death Proof , so it wasn’t the experience I was hoping for. Even worse , it was released months apart from Death Proof , so I wasn’t able to see them in the same day , even paying for both. LAME. I hope for a Machete theatrical release over here , even if it’s just for a few days. Speaking ass-kicking movies , any news on Rob Zombie’s Tyrannosaurus Rex ?

  19. Isn’t Lohan getting the daughter role? I mean that was the best scene of the trailer:

    “Where are my wife and daughter?!?”

  20. Just wanted to let you guys know I created a Facebook group (don’t laugh) for Seagalogy, there was nothing for it on Facebook so I wanted to put that right and help spread the word.

  21. I laughed. Sorry. But you gotta go into the Matrix to fight the Matrix, right?

  22. I guess, yeah.

  23. Mr M – Actually, looking at the wiki pages for the cast, it turns out that every single one of ’em was born in the US (although, of course, Rodríguez, Cheech, Trejo, and slightly Alba have some mexican ancestory). I mean, I still go to movies with white Americans in them pretty often, but I just kind of wish if Robby Rod is really going to try this “Mexisploitation” thing he had reached out to actual Mexican talent a little more. There is a ton of untapped talent there who could really use an opportunity like this, especially if Rodriguez is serious about really targeting a Mexican and Mexican/American demographic.

    But then again, maybe I shouldn’t complain, given all the Spaniards and Italians and whiteys in “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”. Hell, other than Salma Hayek, I think the last legitimate Mexico-born Mexican cast in one of Rodriguez’s movies was poor old Carlos Gallardo.

    Oh hell, what am I bitching about. This movie is going to kick ass and everyone here knows it.

  24. I meant they were all Mexican-American (Chicano? Is that term still acceptable? It pops up in old Elmore Leonard books a lot and I;m never sure if it’s kosher anymore) which is what RR is. And I’m sure Carlos Gallardo will pop up somewhere.

    And you’re right, this movie will kick unholy amounts of ass, and no one knows that better than the motherfuckers on this sight.

  25. I could change my mind depending on what part she has in the movie, but I think the Lohan casting works. Many exploitation movies throughout history have taken advantage of casting former child stars and fallen America’s sweethearts. Also, after I KNOW WHO KILLED ME she is a legit b-movie actor in my opinion.

    I agree on Alba though, although I enjoy her subtle performance in Flipper: The Next Generation as much as the next guy I just don’t get it. There are hundreds or thousands of good looking women in Hollywood, I don’t understand these ones that become huge even though they can’t act without sounding like they’re reading off a fuckin card. And I got no problem with actresses who won’t do nudity but I do have a problem with actresses who play strippers but won’t do nudity, because that’s like playing a cowboy and refusing to ride a horse.

    But again, who knows what her part is, it could be fine.

    For everyone’s information the movie takes place in the U.S. but does have many immigrants in it since Machete hides within the world of (and leads an army of) migrant workers. But there are some white characters in the movie, I don’t think they’ll be painting these people up like the white actors picking watermelons in MR. MAJESTYK.

  26. I don’t know, this is the guy who turned Willem Defoe into a Mexican. Anything’s possible.

    Thanks for the shoutout, by the way.

  27. Jareth Cutestory

    August 6th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    It would probably be easier to turn Defoe into a grandfather clock than it
    would be to turn Alba into a convincing actor. I swear she makes Edie
    Sedgwick look nuanced and profound in compariston.

    And if “Wild at Heart” is any indication, much credit for that successful
    transformation should go to Defoe himself.

  28. Any of these guys who consciously make b-movies these days get it from both sides. If they try to make it too old school everybody whines and calls them a poser and tells them they should just accept that the 70s are over and to do something original. But then the ones who do try to just make a b-movie without consulting the style guide for every beat also get shit from people saying they’re bastardizing the sub-culture. The same guys complaining about how modern movies look too slick are the same ones complaining when somebody tries to make them look grainy.

    I think you can go nuts asking yourself “What would Roger Corman do?”. I think RobRod is doing the right thing and probably just going with actors he thinks are right for the roles. I am very excited for this film.

  29. Jareth Cutestory

    August 6th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    You’ve got a good point – deliberately making a B-movie isn’t easy.
    I’d say that there’s been more success in bringing 1970s kung fu and horror movies
    into the new millennium than there has been with American exploitation films,
    if the Pang Brothers, Tony Jaa and “Chocolate” are any indication.

    At the same time, it could be argued that “24 Days Later” (zombie), “Martyrs”
    and “Dead Alive” (splatter) are relatively successful updates on familiar
    exploitation fare, and, if you define “B-movie” in broad enough terms, stuff like
    “Primer”, “Blair Witch Project”, “Bad Lieutenant” and even Cronenberg’s
    “Crash” would qualify.

  30. The answer to “What would Roger Corman do?” is easy: He’d find the way to appeal to the most people by spending the least amount of money. It’s not like Corman had a burning desire to make the kinds of movies he did. He had two goals: 1. Make a profit, and 2. entertain people, in that order. So he found out what the people wanted and gave them exactly that, without wasting a single dime on anything extra. If a filmmaker wanted to do something extra, he could, as long as it didn’t cost any money and he made sure that Corman had all of the exploitation elements he needed. Somehow this simple strategy created some of the greatest B-movies the world has ever known.

  31. Well, I’m hoping Don Johnson plays the loser cop he portrayed in Frankenhiemer’s Dead Bang.

  32. I am waiting for the commercial for this that says…………..”Witness the resurrection of Steven Seagal”- Vern.

  33. Wolfie, don’t forget, Bitch Slap comes out soon. The year isn’t even close to being over yet.

  34. I am eagerly anticipating Bitch Slap. But I feel like everytime I bring it up it jinxes it and its release gets delayed so I have been suckered into some strange supersticious game with myself and stopped talking about it as a 2009 release.

    But there’s no way it could beat my enthusiasm for Badder Lieutenant. There’s few projects that could.

    Anyhoo, 2010 also looks like a pretty fucking great year for movies already.

  35. What is this Bitch Slap of which you speak?

  36. I wouldnt say that RR “deliberately makes b-movies”, more that he always strives to make a movie very quickly and to make the shoot fun.

    That was certainly my overwhelming impression of Once Upon a Time in Mexico – wasn’t quite as awesome as it could have been, but damn it looked like everybody had a great time.

  37. I always get the feeling the RR is in training for something big. He doesn’t know what it is yet, but every movie is like an exercise in which he practices new skills. When he finally has all the skills he needs, he’s gonna blow us away with something never before seen by the eyes of man.

    I also like that he’s I8 years into his career and he hasn’t made a single movie that could ever be confused with a “serious” piece of work. I don’t see any biopics or historical epics or quiet character-based dramas in his future. He just isn’t interested in that crap. He does what the fuck he wants (i.e., the kind of stuff he would have liked when he was 15), and he doesn’t care if anybody takes him seriously as an artist.

  38. Jareth Cutestory

    August 6th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    The “resurrection of Steven Seagal” would be great. The guy definitely has some sort of presence.
    realistically, I’d be happy with “Hey, Seagal didn’t embarass himself” – Vern.

  39. I think people tend to romanticise these exploitation flicks. It’s more to do with the culture and the aesthetic I guess, the grimy theatres, the grainy prints, it’s like the punk rock of cinema. As for the films themselves, well most of them were really boring… lots of scenes of bad actors talking with maybe a couple of good payoff scenes. Hell, the goal with Grindhouse was to make a 70s style exploitation film but RR fucked up and made a highly entertaining John Carpenter film. Tarantino’s contribution was way closer to the goal, although he’s actually good at dialogue so it works out a lot better.

    Even if RR’s films aren’t great he usually makes them fun to watch so I’ve got my fingers crossed for this one. Hell, I’ll be happy as long as it isn’t infected with the shaky-cam virus.

  40. No, what RR fucked up on with PLANET TERROR wasn’t the aesthetics…just he spent a fortune on it, the same money that Corman could have made 20 movies with. At least.

    Of course I’m the same person who enjoyed DOOMSDAY leagues better than PLANET TERROR, and think one of the two scored the intended pass for a touchdown.

  41. I think because Planet Terror is such a successful parody people don’t notice that it’s actually a pretty solid movie in its own right. It has cool, likeable characters who each get their moment to shine, quotable dialogue, great action, awesome gore, unexpected shocks, and every little plot strand is satisfyingly paid off. Despite being “not a real movie,” it still does a better job of accomplishing the things I want out of that kind of movie than dozens of other movies that are doing it for real.

    And RR kind of does work Corman style. He does as much in-house as possible and always puts more up on the screen than he spent. Adjusted for inflation, he didn’t spend all that much more on Planet Terror than Corman did on, say, Battle Beyond the Stars. The total budget for Grindhouse seems extravagant, but it had to pay for two movies and all the fake trailers, so the budget for Planet Terror was actually RR’s lowest in a while, certainly lower than Sin City or any of the Spy Kids movies.

  42. Also, Vern brings this up in his Grindhouse review, but it bears repeating: Planet Terror and Death Proof are homages to grindhouse movies, not actual grindhouse movies. Do you give George Lucas shit because he spent more on Star Wars than they spent on the Flash Gordon serials that inspired it? It’s not supposed to be a Colonial Williamsburg-style reenactment of the way they shot movies back in Ye Olden Times. It’s just supposed to take some of the vibe and energy of those old movies, but tricked out with all the latest advancements to do shit they couldn’t do back then. It’s the best of both worlds. I don’t agree that purposely hobbling himself with a low budget would make the movie more authentic. If anything, that’s just some Dogme style bullshit that would make the whole thing feel more like an aesthetic exercise than a real movie. Instead of condescending to the genre, he made the best damn grindhouse movie the weak modern dollar could buy.

  43. Mr. M – There is a tiny whiny little problem with your homage argument. STAR WARS is for the ages, and rather unique fully-realized creation, regardless and isolated of the homages.

    GRINDHOUSE isn’t, nor was DOOMSDAY.

    “Planet Terror is such a successful parody”

    About as successful as EPIC MOVIE.

  44. Wow, okay. Not a fan, I see.

    I don’t think your comparison holds up. Epic Movie is a spoof, not a parody. It recreates bit and pieces of other movies, and you’re supposed to think it’s hilarious just because you’ve seen that part in the trailer for that movie you didn’t see and also there’s an ersatz Britney Spears OMG that’s soooo funny she just farted lolz!!1!! Planet Terror just emulates the general mood and feel of an early eighties latex FX movie, but with arch dialogue and a knowing tone. There are no direct references to other movies in there. You don’t need to have seen a single other movie in your entire life to “get” it, although it’s funnier if you have.

    And time will tell whether Planet Terror is for the ages. I know I’ll be busting it out every year or two.

  45. Planet Terror is awesome. Rodriguez’s tightest script since El Mariachi.

  46. Mr. M – “I don’t think your comparison holds up. Epic Movie is a spoof, not a parody. It recreates bit and pieces of other movies”

    If I replaced Epic Movie with Planet Terror, that same line of logic would apply. Unless RR was inspired (ripped off, but hey who doesn’t?) by other James Cameron/John Carpenter/etc. pictures I’m unaware of.

    And really, spoof and parody DON’T mean the same thing? C’mon Majestyk. Really? You’re not the Bush White House. Don’t bullshit a bullshitter. Those terms are interchangeable as one and the same, along with take-off. If not, you need to e-mail Weird Al Yankovic right away man, cause he’s been wrong all these years (and dozens of albums) later.

    PLANET TERROR didn’t work for me. Not a bad film, but if I’m sold on the concept that its a supposed B-action exploitation fare, I don’t want management then to tell me it was a parody if I’m left cold by it.

    That said, the car sequences in DEATH PROOF were fantastic. So was Kurt Russell.

  47. “Planet Terror is awesome. Rodriguez’s tightest script since El Mariachi.”

    Isn’t it sad that a less than $10,000 movie is more energetic, memorable, charming, funny, aciton-packed, uniquely individually special, and….AWESOME…than all that 30/40/50 whatever millions for Planet Terror? Usually its supposed to be the other way.

  48. There is a difference. Spoofs like Epic Movie recreate specific moments from specific movies for the purpose of ridicule. Making fun of other movies is their only reason to exist. Planet Terror takes a humorous stance on common elements from various entries in a few different subgenres for the purpose of good-natured parody without explicitly referencing any of them. I defy you to point out a single moment in Planet Terror where you can say “That’s making fun of X.” There are moments that might make you think of The Thing or Assault on Precinct 13 or even The Fog, but recognizing the movie’s reference points is never the focus the way it is for Epic Movie. It stands on its own two feet.

  49. I think we’re getting to caught up on the semantics here. What would you call it then? An homage? I don’t like it when people use the term “parody” as an excuse to critic-proof their movies and slip a shoddy product under the radar, but I really don’t think that’s the case with PLANET TERROR (or DEATH PROOF).

    I think Rodriguez was mostly inspired by Umberto Lenzi’s NIGHTMARE CITY (one of QT’s favourites I think), but the end result (the bad-ass characters, the one-liners, the music) has John Carpenter all over it. The thing is, I don’t think it worked particularly well as a homage to 70s exploitation films, but as a straight forward B-action movie I think it worked great.

  50. Bloody-disgusting posted more about the plot, and who is playing who:

    “The feature version of the trailer finds Machete (Trejo) a renegade former Mexican Federale, roaming the streets of Texas after a shakedown from drug lord Torrez (Seagal). Reluctantly, Machete takes an offer from spin doctor Benz (Fahey) to assassinate McLaughlin (De Niro) a corrupt Senator. Double crossed and on the run Machete braves the odds with the help of Luz (Rodriguez), a saucy taco slinger, Padre (Marin) his “holy” brother, and April (Lohan) a socialite with a penchant for guns. All while being tracked by Sartana (Alba), a sexy ICE agent with a special interest in the blade slinger.”

    It seems Seagal will be playing a Mexican, a Mexican drug lord. Will be something new for him. I can’t believe Alba will play an ICE agent. I guess she is 28 years old so I guess she will begun to get “adult” roles. I guess a “socialite” is the key word for why Lohan is cast.

    Also their is a difference between spoof and parody, they writer of Scary Movie 3 and Superhero Moviw, wrote a long post about that on his blog. The Artfulwriter or something is the blog called. He wouldn’t even call Epic Movie or Date Movie a spoof or a parody, he would called the something new, as they neither are spoof or parody. But their is big difference between spoofing something and parody something. But there is a difference between what Scary Movie and Epic Movie does, and what Epic Movie and Hot Fuzz does, and what Epic Movie and Planet Terror does.

  51. Spoof –

    1 – a mocking imitation of someone or something, usually light and good-humored; lampoon or parody.

    2 – a hoax; prank


    Random House Dictionary says I’m right. Unless someone can dig up Webster’s dead ass to say otherwise.

  52. Is NIGHTMARE CITY a confirmed influence on Planet Terror? Because it definitely reminded me of NC, and I’m happy to see someone else got the same impression.

  53. I’m pretty sure I heard Tarantino mention NIGHTMARE CITY a lot when he was touring around promoting the movie(s), so I really doubt it’s a coincidence. PLANET TERROR has less boob stabbings though.

  54. “drug lord Torrez (Seagal)”


    Sounds like he is maybe only in the prologue. Which could work in his favour as he wont be competing with the other stunt casting.

  55. I just took a look at the script. Seagal is pretty much the main villain! Fahey gets more screen time but Torrez is kind of like Machete’s arch-nemesis. He speaks Spanish too. Looking at the script now I think some of this dialogue will seem like Seagal made it up himself. This should be great.

    The Lohan and Alba characters I don’t know about though, sounds like he rewrote the twins who I assumed were the Crazy Babysitter Twins into these two new characters.

    Now the big mystery is who Don Johnson plays. I hope it’s a significant part.

  56. Wow, it’s going to be really weird seeing Seagal play a bad guy. I guess he’s going have to break his policy of never, ever getting hit (yes, I know he died in EXECUTIVE DECISION but this is different).

  57. “Now the big mystery is who Don Johnson plays. I hope it’s a significant part.”

    Is there a scene where Torrez talks to his nutritionist?

  58. I have no idea where to draw the line between parody and straight-faced joke. I probably laughed more during Drag Me To Hell than I did during most movies promoted as comedies, but I didn’t hear anybody talk about Drag Me To Hell as a parody and same goes for Planet Terror until this talkback. Most people just called Planet Terror an homage, and I probably prefer that term. It is an homage, it’s just an homage to something that was funny like Drag Me To Hell, only 20 years ago.

    Maybe the term I want is “impressively silly”.

    Or maybe I’d rather just live in a world without labels.

    Anyhoo, I really liked Planet Terror in its abridged Grindhouse form but I prefer the extended cut we have on DVD better and have watched it a couple of times over the years.

  59. Mr. Majestyck………http://www.bitchslapmovie.com/

    And again. Don Johnson as Detective Jerry Beck from Dead Bang. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Bang

  60. Well, that looked awesome. It’s about time someone made Boobs: The Movie.

    I always liked Dead Bang. I like how it never seems to be going anywhere. Also, possibly the best title ever. That bang is so dead.

    And RRA, you know I fully support your right to like or dislike whatever movie you want for whatever reason you damn well please, right? You’re Bobby Brown, it’s your prerogative. But comparing Planet Terror to Epic Movie, well, that’s just mean.

  61. I think Shoot ’em Up is where the line is between straight-faced but crazy and balls out comedy. Any goofier or sillier you’re making a parody. That’s my measuring stick anyway.

  62. Wish Seagal was not in this. Have not been able to stand him in anything. Esp. when he was portrayed hanging off the side of a speeding train, and not one hair was out of place or moving. Besides, if you’re bald, be bald. He strikes me as vain and self centered. Glad you realize some of us were worried about Jeff Fahey.

  63. “Jeff Fahey has more screen time…”

    yes, but can he ever really have ENOUGH screen time?

    As to the parody / homage issue… I do think Planet Terror is a parody, the same way Austin Powers is a parody. It takes a concentrated look at the mores of a specific kind of film, and then tweaks them a little to point out their foibles. I mean, I think the missing parts of the story ultimately make it more meta-level parody than merely a story told to honor its roots. That having been said, Planet Terror also loves its source material enough to have fun with the material itself on a literal, and not just a metaphysical level.

    So, I would call the comparison of EPIC MOVIE and PLANET TERROR apt, in that they are kind of attempting to do the same thing. It’s just that one creates fun, memorable moments and characters, while still offering a clever parody of the genre. The other not only fails to do either, it fails to do anything at all except hopefully provide Kal Penn with some capital for Harold and Kumar 3. But realistically, it’s pretty harsh to compare any other movie, or even moderately successful bowel movements, with EPIC MOVIE and its ilk.

    And yeah, I think SHOOT ‘EM UP might be the ultimate yardstick for how far a genre movie can go before it becomes pure parody, rather than homage. It’s a crazy take on the genre which escalates on such and insane level that it almost defacto recognizes its place in the genre, but I believe it also genuinely wants to tell a story which you care about — and that, to me, is the difference.

  64. this is just great. made my day.
    keep the updates coming. your devotion to this matter is highly appreciated!

  65. from IMDB “Don Johnson as Lt. Stillman”

  66. Mr. Majestyk – I remember an anecdote where Pauline Kael’s editor, a friend of Sam Peckinpah, was sorta upset that she beat the shit out of some new Sam movie at the time and that it might hurt Sam’s feelings. Her two word response in telegram: “Tough shit.”

    If I am a pretentious film critic (and I am), I would give TERROR two and half out of 5. At worst not good, at best not bad.

    I didn’t like DEAD BANG, a daffy actioneer waste of time for John Frankenheimer’s talents…even if his 80s career was shit*. That said, there are three awesome things about the movie: (1) That one scene where Don Johnson acts the shit out of a phone conversation, and then pulverizes the poor phone. (2) Chasing after a thug, and puking afterwards. You never see that at the movies, and (3) Forsyth as a curse-sensitive FBI agent.

    *=Still want to see his THE CHALLENGE, that martial arts movie he did with Scott Glenn and Toshiro Mifune.

  67. Can nobody see the difference between a movie that lovingly lampoons and twists genre cliches and a movie that recreates specific moments from specific movies in order to mock them? That’s all Epic Movie does: “This is a movie you’ve seen, only it’s funny now.” Please tell me where Planet Terror does that. I must have missed the part where the kid from The Grudge showed up and kicked the Jonas Brothers in the nuts.

  68. Mr. M – Why you so upset that I can’t two bowel movements about PLANET TERROR?

    You see me get mad and go on and onafter you helped collaborate with Baynito Michaelini’s occupational forces on TRANSFORMERS 2?

    Besides, its one thing to write a love letter in homages. Its another matter if that said letter is worth reading or not.

  69. Mr. M — no no, I can see that there’s a huge difference in execution between something solid, imaginative, and funny like PLANET TERROR and something loathesome and vile like like EPIC MOVIE. But I do think they’re going for the same thing… parody, spoofery, call it what you will. Love and craftsmanship is what differentiates them.

    Seems like you think EPIC has a kind of humor which is something beyond parody, however… more like some sort of bizarre new comic form which doesn’t have any actual jokes but instead merely repeats things more or less verbatim. I guess whether you agree with this very understandable line of reasoning or not has a lot to do with what you think they were going for… is it just parody done badly or do they have a more sinister plan of action?

  70. Alba’s the only one of those names I have a problem with. This is supposed to be an exploitation type movie, and despite Alba’s status as a sexy starlet, she just do shit like that. Sin City showed that, as her choice to play a stripper without stripping* totally ruined the idea of Nancy being an “Angel” that everyone was mesmerised by.
    *it’s not the nudity itself, because I honestly think with how RR was using SFX to add shadows and stuff, they could have crafted a pretty faithfull adaptation of those scenes from the comic, while also using said shadows to preserve Alba’s modesty and deliver something that made the character feel more mythic. Instead, what they went with I actually thought came across as more sleazy.

  71. ^she just doesn’t do shit like that.
    As for Lohan, I’ve never seen anything with her in it, so I’m not really qualified to have an opinion on her being in this.

  72. RRA, I’m not mad about you not liking Planet Terror. I’m not even mad. Your opinion on the movie is your business. The only point I’m arguing is that Planet Terror is not the same species as Epic Movie. Same phylum maybe, but that’s like saying that rats and alligators are the same thing because they’re both invertebrates. Whether or not you like rats or alligators is beside the point. I just don’t want to see the two conflated into one species of ratigator, because that would be a pretty fucking dangerous mutant in my opinion.

  73. Also, I apologize if I came off hostile before. Totally not my intention. I am really truly just arguing this one little meaningless point that has nothing to do with whether or not you liked the movie. I wish there was some kind of manly substitute for the smiley face symbol so shit like this wouldn’t happen. Like maybe if we could put two parentheses together so they look like a chest bump or something. I dunno.

  74. “is that Planet Terror is not the same species as Epic Movie.”

    No offense, but you said “parody” and I said “spoof.” I’m only quoting your terminology, which my comic sidekick/by-the-book rookie partner, Random House Dictionary…pointed out is one and the same.

    Why not “love letter” instead? Because thats what that TERROR shit is, a Cameron/Carpenter jerk-off.

    So was KILL BILL, but you know I actually invested myself in that epic tale of bloody revenge and quite compelled by the action cinema and….in short, its a fucking good movie on its own two feet and katana. What can I say, I got behind that bitch.

    TERROR has a good cast, a decent if half-assed scheme*, and I just can’t care about what happens. Nothing about that love letter stirred my emotionalism or intellect or politics. What about it did I miss? Mind you I’m the same guy who geeked when Vern reviewed a personal trash favorite of mine, CLASS OF 1999.

    Remember Q the Winged Serpent? A pure B-movie, a love letter to the monster genre…yet I would recommend that Larry Cohen classic because of its humor (not self-mocking, but…just funny) and Michael Moriarty’s Oscar-worthy homerun of a performance.

    So my question is, what about PLANET TERROR…why would you pimp** it to folks? And just say its for Carpenter/Cameron fans. You might as well just suggest ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK or THE ABYSS or some shit like that. I think Vern kinda hit upon this part in his (negative) review of DOOMSDAY.

    *=Does the movie really truely benefit being fleshed out, instead of the Grindhouse edit I saw? If so, I might give that full cut a chance.
    **=Say what you will about DOOMSDAY, but the Katrina/Palestinian allegories got my attention. Plus Malcolm McDowell ruling a neo-feudal kingdom from a tourist castle. That beats a gun leg.

  75. I meant to write “And don’t just say its for Carpenter/Cameron fans.” in my next-to-last paragraph.

  76. I actually can’t tell the difference between the Grindhouse and DVD cuts. If you didn’t like it before, you won’t like it now.

    As for the whole spoof/parody thing, I would say that a spoof is a kind of parody, but not all parodies are spoofs. I Planet Terror perfectly straddles that Shoot ‘Em Up line somebody brought up earlier. It’s tongue in cheek, but still an actual movie, not a collection of Mad Magazine gags. I am now willing to let this drop if you are.

    As for what I like about the movie, I just think it’s a lot of fun. I like the cast, I like the action and special effects, and I like the general feel of it. I don’t even really think of it like nostalgia or homage anymore. I like it on its own merits. I know the look was designed as a pastiche (That’s what it is! A pastiche!) but it also gives the movie a unique atmosphere. I really feel it’s one of RR’s best movies. Not as good as Desperado or the first half of From Dusk Til Dawn, but better than Once Upon a Time in Mexico and the second half of From Dusk Til Dawn.

    And you are totally right about Q. I have been quoted as saying that Moriarty’s performance in that film is the single best ever given in a B-movie. You could have dropped that performance into a Cassavetes movie and it would have worked.

  77. I just wondered how much screen time Seagal will get. Is Seagal, like others have hinted, just in this film at the start of the movie? Or does Torrez come and go throughout the film? I guess this is a question for you Vern given that you’ve read the script.Thanks for any answer you can give.

  78. In the draft I read Torrez is only in a few scenes, but they’re very crucial scenes.

  79. Thanks Vern for your answer.

  80. Hey Vern, just wondering if you have seen Latino Review’s review of the script and if you concur at all with their views…

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