Bullet Points

by wjw on September 12, 2010

So between the two of them Pat and Daniel convinced me that I should see Machete.  This took a little bit of doing, since I’m not a huge fan of the cheap 1970s exploitation films that inspired Robert Rodriguez to make this one.  But a $100 million big Hollywood film with Robert de Niro that looks like a quarter-million dollar 1970s exploitation film?   That’s postmodern!  I’ll check it out!

For those of you who haven’t heard, Machete is based on a fake movie trailer shown in Planet Terror, Rodriguez’ half of 2007’s Grindhouse, his collaboration with Quentin Tarantino.  The trailer, shown above, generated its own fan following, and Rodriguez decided to make the actual movie.  It stars former San Quentin inmate Danny Trejo, along with Robert de Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, “and introducing Don Johnson.”

Any detailed review would sound like the blood-soaked fantasy of an eight-year-old horror fan (“And then Don Johnson shoots her eye out!”), and there’s not a lot of point in actually analyzing the film, so I’ll just give you the bullet-point list of why you should (or shouldn’t) see it.

  • The best campy Robert de Niro role since the last campy Robert de Niro role.

  • Best use of Michelle Rodriguez in a black leather bikini top.

  • Best Weed Whacker vs. gun fight.

  • Best stereotyped role for Lindsay Lohan. (Gotta say, she’s a good sport.  Or was drunk the whole time.  One or the other.)

  • Best use of a 60-foot stretch of human intestine.

  • Some really good one-liners.  (“Machete don’t text.”)

  • Best use a jumping low-rider.

  • Most amazing Steven Seagal toupee.

  • Was that a half-second shot of Quentin Tarantino in a cowboy hat standing amid the redneck militia?

  • Most credits hogged (by Robert Rodriguez, for producer, writer, director, composer, and member of the soundtrack band) since Trey Parker in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (producer, writer, director, cast, lyricist).

  • Best use of heavily-armed nuns since that other fake trailer from Grindhouse, Nuns With Guns (“This is one superior mother!”).

  • Isn’t Jessica Alba too young for botox?  Because nothing moves above the lips!

  • Nice surf guitar, dude.

And, most impressively:


Are there a minimum number of breasts necessarily for a true exploitation film?  Because I don’t think this film reached it.  Not that I didn’t appreciate the ones that were there.

This is the sort of film that you’ll like or you won’t.  Nothing I say here will change your mind.  But now you’ll know if it’s the sort of film you’ll like.  Or not.  As the case may be.

rv branham September 12, 2010 at 11:59 pm

why are being a good sport or being drunk the whole time mutually exclusive?

Ty September 14, 2010 at 5:30 am

Loved it, but you already knew that. . .

Coherent September 24, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I didn’t know that Danny Trejo was over 60! He’s the same age as my Mom? Haha that’s crazy… I also didn’t know he had been an inmate of San Quentin. Wow, he really managed to turn his life around. I loved Machete, by the way, just pure fun.

Ken Houghton September 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Machete was a continuing character in the Spy Kids movies. (There is a claim there were three of them, but I’m willing to swear the third one doesn’t exist. So is Sylvester Stallone’s publicist, I suspect.)

Have to suspect that the movie plans were around long before Grindhouse.

wjw September 26, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Rodroguez wrote a script for MACHETE in the early 1990s, but I’m not sure he planned to actually make the movie until Danny Trejo nagged him into it.

Supposedly Trejo kept phoning him to ask when the movie would get started, and Rodriguez got tired of it and asked why Trejo didn’t just send a text message instead. Trejo said, “Machete don’t text,” and the line ended up in the movie.

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