September 3, 2010

Machete: He was given an offer he couldn't refuse...

MacheteThe long awaited 'Machete', starring Danny Trejo, is today released in movie theaters across the Americas. This Exploitation, Grindhouse style action movie follows the fortunes of the eponymous Machete.

Machete, a former Mexican Federale was hired to assassinate a corrupt American Senator, but soon found that he was, himself, the target. He immediately embarks upon revenge against his former employees. It transpires that the senator himself was behind the hit, seeking to discredit Mexican-Americans in order to force through anti-immigration legislation.

This sets the scene for an explosive, violent, often hilarious, sometimes poignant, romp through an action-packed movie. There is an arsenal of weaponry, female nudity, bad language and gore galore. It's not the most high-brow of movies ever, but its exactly what fans of the Grindhouse genre have come to expect and love.

Cheech Marin, Robert de Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan and Jeff Fahey combine for the electic casting, in this 20th Century Fox production, directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis. Robert Rodriguez was the talent behind 'Desperado', 'From Dusk 'Til Dawn', 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico', 'Sin City' and 'Grindhouse'.

Rodriguez's latest offering, 'Machete', was fifteen years in the conception (the screenplay was drafted in 1993). It was filmed and produced before its theme issues hit the headlines, with the passing of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-immigration law. Pure coincidence has seen the movie appear extremely topical. Rodriguez himself has noted this, commenting, "It feels like this movie couldn't have come at a more perfect time, even though we came up with it a long time ago."

Without such publicity, 'Machete' might have remained a favorite of cult audiences - the kind that flocked to see 'Kill Bill' and all other Tarantino output. But within the current climate, it is being discussed and reviewed by mainstream movie goers. For a movie that doesn't take itself at all seriously, it is stirring up controversy across the board.

The film's stars and directors are laid-back about the whole furore. Danny Trejo answered it with the comment that, "People are going to be offended equally and be happy equally." When faced with the argument that people in Arizona will be offended, Trejo disagreed, "I think Arizona is going to like this movie. It doesn't just deal with the guy who comes over the border to support his family; it deals with the corruption on both sides - the drug dealers, the guys who are getting paid to bring people here and the politicians who, any time they need a good platform, choose immigration. So the feds may now really do something."

The gorefest won't end here. Robert Rodriguez is already planning two more 'Machete' sequels.

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