A Cinco De Mayo message to Arizona
May 5, 2010 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Robert Rodriguez's Machete, starring the great character actor Danny Trejo, started as a joke trailer in the movie Grindhouse. Now it's a real movie with a (NSFW) trailer of its own. Enjoy.
posted by Bookhouse (115 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here's a good recent interview with Trejo to help you learn more about the man.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:15 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


OMG
posted by Burhanistan at 8:19 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not as trashy-fun as the trailer in Grindhouse, now that's it's a real movie and all, but I'm still pumped about this. Might even be enough to get me into a theater.
posted by echo target at 8:20 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I dunno, the Grindhouse trailer was awesome, actually making it... Who knows? It *might* not be a collosal mistake which robs it of all fun.

Weird seeing him in Predators clips with non-knife weapons.
posted by Artw at 8:22 AM on May 5, 2010


That's pretty hilarious. I love outright ridiculousness like this, even though I thought this was a thread about the phoenix suns wearing their "Los Suns" jerseys tonight to send a message against the Arizona immigration law.
posted by cashman at 8:23 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


GOD I hope this really is getting made! It looks like he recut the (amazing original) trailer and added a bunch of star cameos to it.
posted by cavalier at 8:23 AM on May 5, 2010


Oh yeah, the above clip is also NSFW.
posted by cavalier at 8:24 AM on May 5, 2010


Fuck yes. I want to be Danny Trejo when I grow up.
posted by brundlefly at 8:24 AM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I have to hand it to that Rodriguez, he's quite a good director businessman.
posted by hanoixan at 8:25 AM on May 5, 2010


I might actually go to the theater to see this, and I haven't done that in five years.
posted by stavrogin at 8:25 AM on May 5, 2010


I think I'd like to build a shrine to this movie.
posted by oddman at 8:26 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


At the moment, I feel like, weirdly, this has become the most important film ever made about illegal immigration.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:26 AM on May 5, 2010 [26 favorites]


Still waiting for Rutger Hauer in the full-length Hobo with a Shotgun.
posted by dortmunder at 8:30 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


The film is also a reported more adult-themed spin-off of the Spy Kids films, since the titular character is the uncle of the two main characters in the film trilogy.

You're the best, Robert Rodriguez. And this really needs to happen more often. How Quentin Tarantino's Mr. Miyagi Gaiden?
posted by griphus at 8:33 AM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


This looks pretty badass! I'm excited!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:40 AM on May 5, 2010


Aw, Danny Trejo love on MeFi! Never seen Grindhouse, and knew nothing about this, but love the man. Awesome.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:46 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll pass.
posted by drhydro at 8:47 AM on May 5, 2010


After seeing Rodriguez tweet about this last night, watching the trailer was the very first thing I did this morning.

Honestly? It was the best possible way to start my day. As the cast list started to go by, my grin just kept getting bigger and bigger. Part of the genius that is the way he does films is that he can get big stars on his set for very short shooting schedules, letting him fill cheesy exploitation films like this with A-list actors.

There are very few directors who I follow more closely, because everything he does, even the really painful stuff like Sharkboy & Lavagirl provides more insight into his process.

And as AZ pointed out, this is weirdly politically on-topic, and will undoubtedly bring an interesting dimension to the conversations about immigration going on right now.

"Introducing Don Johnson"...

Fucking brilliant.

posted by quin at 8:47 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's a choice bit from the interview I linked to up there:

AVC: How are you able to be so prolific?

DT: I love doing it. Let me tell you something. When I was young, I was an armed robber. I did robberies. And there’s no adrenaline rush like that. When you’re using drugs and doing robberies, it’s hard to distinguish whether you’re doing robberies to support your drug habit, or doing drugs to support your robbery habit. Those guys that flip on motorcycles—it’s like the same kind of adrenaline. It’s unreal. The only time I ever felt that was when I heard Andrey Konchalovskiy yell, “Action!” And then I was like, “Wow. Here we are again. This whole adrenaline—” But this time I didn’t have a gun. I was like, “Wow. This is awesome.” I just totally got hooked. I found my calling. And then when I got my check, I said, “Fuck.” [Laughs.] “Wait a minute. For the first half of my life, I went to prison for being a bad guy. Now they’re paying me to be a bad guy.”

AVC: Did you take acting classes?

DT: In 1985 it was a little different. I would just go with the extras and the director would see me. I was always Inmate No. 1, and I always had one line like, “Kill ’em all.” [Laughs.] It was like, “I can do this.” I remember a director handed me a shotgun and he said, “Kick in this door and take control.” There was a poker game going inside, and the director said there would be a couple of stunt people inside. He said to improvise. So I kick in the door, somebody jumps up, I bash them with the shotgun, and I ask this guy, “Oh, you wanna die, huh?” This lady starts screaming, and I put this gun right in her face. So the director yells, “Cut! Cut! God, Danny, where did you study?” I said, “Let me see. Von’s. Safeway. Thrifty Mart.” [Laughs.] So all this stuff I was doing, I just knew. You’ve got to remember, I was Inmate No. 1 for the first five years of my career. So shit, I know how to be an inmate.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:48 AM on May 5, 2010 [36 favorites]


I have to hand it to that Rodriguez, he's quite a good director businessman.

You know the story of El Mariachi, don't you?

"El Mariachi, which was shot for around $7,000 with money partially raised by participating in medical research studies..."
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:48 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


That... looks...

AWESOME.

Ahem. No, really. Rodriguez is completely out of his mind, and has watched way too many exploitation films. AND I LOVE THAT ABOUT HIM.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:49 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


This could be even better than Black Dynamite.

Also, we've decided around here that "They just fucked with the wrong Mexican" is a whole genre of film. True Lies? When Bill Paxton is hitting on Arnie's wife? He just fucked with the wrong Mexican. Taken? They just fucked with the wrong Mexican.

And "They just fucked with the wrong Mexican" is an utterly awesome genre. Because in it, people fuck with the wrong Mexican. And then that wrong Mexican goes after them.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:52 AM on May 5, 2010 [38 favorites]


Hawt.
posted by vhsiv at 8:55 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I'm more excited about the Heat reunion or the Nash Bridges reunion.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:59 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I loved the trailer in Grindhouse (especially the keyboard music) but I have mixed feelings about the movie. I'm not sure why - is there such a thing as too much pandering in exploitation movies? Or maybe it's my own personal feelings about audience participation - the audience you're with can really make or break a viewing experience.

Right now, Robert De Niro of all people is pulling me toward "see it in the theatre".
posted by zix at 8:59 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


So tempted to throw away $5 on a sockpuppet named "Wrong Mexican".
posted by jabberjaw at 8:59 AM on May 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


Weird seeing him in Predators clips with non-knife weapons.

He had a recurring role on the Young and the Restless a couple years ago, as a kindly but gruff bar owner. It was so strange to see him in such a comparatively tame context.
posted by nomisxid at 9:01 AM on May 5, 2010


Usted acaba de perder el juego.
posted by Babblesort at 9:01 AM on May 5, 2010


I got to see an unfinished cut and it looks super fun! Trejo and Rodriguez's usual suspects seem to have fun making this. This movie will go well with mas tequila!
posted by brando_calrissian at 9:10 AM on May 5, 2010


You know, I might have now have to break my pledge to never watch a Steven Sagal film... that's going to hurt.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:10 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hope he plays the role of a fat cop!
posted by Artw at 9:13 AM on May 5, 2010


"El Mariachi, which was shot for around $7,000 with money partially raised by participating in medical research studies..."

And was later blown up to 35 mm and cleaned up and had it's dialogue re-recorded by Columbia Pictures for about 200,000 dls. El Mariachi probably cost 1+ million overall if you take into account publicity and distribution costs.
posted by Omon Ra at 9:16 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


El Mariachi probably cost 1+ million overall if you take into account publicity and distribution costs.

Does that mean you consider the claim a total lie, or would you just have us watch the original Spanish home video version for complete authenticity?
posted by shii at 9:18 AM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


My train of thought "Hey, that guy from Lost. Hey, Robert DeNiro... holy fuck is that Lindsay Lohan? This is the perfect movie for her! WHOA. STEVEN SEAGAL. STEVEN SEAGAL. STEVEN SEAGAL!!!!"

So yes please, I would like to see this movie. The casting is ridiculous.
posted by saturnine at 9:21 AM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Perhaps I can just look away when Steve's fat ass waddles on screen for some mad karate skilzz and/or Buddhist philosophy and/or guitar licks...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:24 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Trejo is always a pleasure to watch, and Rodriguez is one of the few people who makes commentary tracks I actually want to listen to.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:26 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]



Does that mean you consider the claim a total lie, or would you just have us watch the original Spanish home video version for complete authenticity?


I lived in Austin and actually took a couple of film classes at the same time as Rodriguez. I consider the claim to be a lie (or at least a massive exaggeration) as his family was quite well off and I doubt he ever needed to sell blood plasma or whatever to get a few thousand together.

However - gotta hand it to him, he used this story to create a mythology around his movie that got it traction, and then he used that to spawn a whole indie movie business around it. I wish his stuff wasn't so lowest common denominator - but hey, at least he gets shit done.
posted by fungible at 9:30 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


As long as they don't really make Werewolf Women of the SS, with Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu.
posted by Naberius at 9:33 AM on May 5, 2010


That would be something you should worry about Rob Zombie making, Naberius. It was his trailer.
posted by quin at 9:39 AM on May 5, 2010




Is this mexploitation?
posted by joost de vries at 9:46 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


The odds are good that a movie trying to replicate the cheesy 70's exploitation flicks is going to suck, but based on this trailer I have total faith that Robert Rodriguez is going to pull it off. Odds get much better with Danny Trejo, who seems to walk that line between "total authenticity" and "being in on the joke". I had no desire to this based on what I read, but now I am giddy to see this.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:46 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


As long as they don't really make Werewolf Women of the SS, with Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu.

That trailer was actually directed by Rob Zombie, I think... He's using the trailer as featured backdrop video for part of his current Gruesome Twosome tour (with Alice Cooper), and he'll be continuing on this summer promoting his Hellbilly Deluxe 2 album.
posted by hippybear at 9:46 AM on May 5, 2010


Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo are cousins.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:48 AM on May 5, 2010


I agreed with most of the Grindhouse reviews: Tarantino's "Death Proof" showed a true love of the genre and a genuine attempt to recreate the feeling. Rodriguez was more interested in getting in on the joke, making "Planet Terror" more a spoof than anything else. I'm curious to see which side of the X-ploitation line "Machete" will fall on.
posted by Think_Long at 9:51 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


You've all seen the Lego trailer for Machete, haven't you?

(Audio from the Grindhouse trailer, shot-for-shot Lego remake)
posted by yiftach at 9:52 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


OK, WANT.

And the YouTube comments on the trailer are exactly what you'd expect. Stay gold, xenophobic one-note political bores!
posted by COBRA! at 9:54 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, shit, now I can die happy.
posted by Iosephus at 10:00 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


shii, what fungible said.
posted by Omon Ra at 10:02 AM on May 5, 2010


Amen, five blades, Danny Trejo in Heaven.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:03 AM on May 5, 2010


"Tattoo on his chest. Tattoo of a woman on his chest? And throwing knives?"
posted by asfuller at 10:13 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


We'll try to stay out of his way.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:19 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oye, babblesort, you veo lo que isiste alli, y por los mismo, you suck.
posted by oddman at 10:19 AM on May 5, 2010


I'm a little disappointed that the new trailer wasn't more NSFW, tell the truth, than the original trailer. But, hey, LiLo as a gun-totin' nun? Can I buy my damn ticket already?
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:23 AM on May 5, 2010


I've been tracking "Machete" for a while, and can't wait to see it.

QT, RR, and Burton are the only modern-day directors that can get me into a movie theatre knowing nothing more than that their name(s) are attached to a flick.
posted by davidmsc at 10:28 AM on May 5, 2010


You had me at the Gatling-gun equipped motorcycle.
posted by aerotive at 10:30 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yay! Now I know who I'm going as for Halloween this year.
posted by cazoo at 10:31 AM on May 5, 2010


Think_Long, I must agree with you. A few friends insisted that I watch Planet Terror about a year ago. It was somewhat entertaining, but it ran out of steam pretty quickly for the reasons that you describe. I saw Death Proof about two weeks ago, and I promptly decided that it's (a) far superior, and (b) one of Tarantino's best movies, a nearly pure distillation of many of his favorite themes.

Obviously, vengeance is a very prominent theme in Tarantino's movies since Jackie Brown. What is more interesting, to me, is how they tend to be specifically about vengeance delivered by women and minorities to white male figures. Inglourious Basterds is probably the most glaring example, but Death Proof and Kill Bill are very consistent about this, too. What does it mean when a male WASP director makes a movie about the Jewish revenge on Hitler, or a young multiracial group of stuntwomen getting revenge on an old white male stuntman? Is this just playing out of white/male guilt, or is there something more?

Ah, but I got off topic. Yes, Trejo is a god, and his AVC interview is one of my favorites. AVC has had some terrific gonzo interviews (Bronson Pinchot, Brett Ratner/Chris Tucker, Dave Sim, etc.), but that's one of the best.
posted by Edgewise at 10:31 AM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also: watching the new (real) "Machete" trailer gave me goosebumps. Several times.
posted by davidmsc at 10:34 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would love to have Rob Zombie do that movie, just to see Nicholas Cage roll out as much Fu Manchu as we could get. Have you seen the now decades-old Vampire's Kiss? Lurching through a nightclub in ludicrous plastic fangs, doing the hands-at-sides Nosferatu stalk? Leaping atop tables — "there you are!" Chewing scenery just like a roach, yum. Demeaning subordinates ("Even if there was someone here who was here just one day longer than you, I wouldn't ask that person to partake in such a miserable job as long as you were around.") Falling to his knees and screaming "the torures of the daaaamned!" upon hearing church bells.

By all means, I want to see that man with long, gold-plated fingernails and a strokeable, limp moustache, and by gods the set needs a drug caterer to go with it.
posted by adipocere at 10:46 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


When Grindhouse came out three years ago, I was flabbergasted at A: the poor box office response, and B: The Weinsteins' short-sighted actions in light of that poor BO. Maybe when Machete comes out (as well as Hobo With A Shotgun), we'll finally get a full deluxe release of Grindhouse with both movies, all the trailers, and tons of goodies.

So when do we get our full-length releases of Thanksgiving, Don't, and Werewolf Women Of The SS?

(all of those trailer links NSFW, in case you couldn't guess)
posted by mgrichmond at 10:57 AM on May 5, 2010


Modern Mexploitation is born!
posted by zerobyproxy at 10:57 AM on May 5, 2010


That trailer makes me ridiculously happy. And it shows how the lightweight or the trashy can sometimes make a more pointed commentary and a better case than something serious.
posted by Ruby Stevens at 11:11 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes!
posted by kuatto at 11:14 AM on May 5, 2010


we'll finally get a full deluxe release of Grindhouse with both movies, all the trailers

Aw, I just added these two to my netflix queue - do you mean they don't come with the trailers that were shown in the theatrical release?
posted by odinsdream at 11:18 AM on May 5, 2010


Man, I HATED Death Proof and I like QT. The "that's not actually a character but just me talking" characteristic of the dialogue was distracting and also not very interesting.
posted by josher71 at 11:23 AM on May 5, 2010


Rated PC
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:27 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


"We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us!"

Yes, yes I must see this movie.
posted by maxwelton at 11:27 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Michelle Malkin is going to have a stroke when she sees that.
posted by empath at 11:28 AM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Have you seen the now decades-old Vampire's Kiss?

I don't think anyone from Boston University's communications program in the 1990s could escape that film, thanks to former BU film prof Stephen Geller and his habit of showing the alphabet sequence during open houses and intro-to-film classes. I'm pretty sure I saw that part of it three times in two years.

Nicolas Cage actually had something going on back then, as poorly-controlled as it was. I dunno what's happened since.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:33 AM on May 5, 2010


Is this just playing out of white/male guilt, or is there something more?

Perhaps. I'm no expert, but from my limited experience it seems that many grindhouse films, and certainly the blacksploitation genre, are almost always about the minority underdog who has been wronged taking it out on the oppressor. We know that QT mostly does pastiche of these genres, so it doesn't surprise me that his heroes share the same characteristics as his inspirations.
posted by Think_Long at 11:38 AM on May 5, 2010


Went into the trailer like "how could this possibly be a good idea." Came out of the trailer like "this is the BEST IDEA FRICKEN EVER."
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:46 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Aw man, they didn't include the best line from the fake trailer ("If you hire Machete to kill the bad guy …").

Also, Black Dynamite, mentioned above—good?
posted by kenko at 11:56 AM on May 5, 2010


Nicolas Cage actually had something going on back then, as poorly-controlled as it was. I dunno what's happened since.

Actually, one of the fun things about that movie for me now is you can see all his future tics and crutches in their earliest stages -- the "whoa" pop-eyed expression, the manic desk-jump, the hands-splayed-by-his-head gesture, the tommygun delivery that would one day give us how'd it get burned HOW'D it get BURNED howww'ditgetburrrrrned.

You can start from Vampire's Kiss and make a comprehensive catalog of Cage Tics; I would like to one day direct a film composed of nothing but Cage Tics, directing him like Carl Stalling directed the Looney Toons orchestra, just recipe cards with Cage Tics to be re-ordered in whatever sequence to create a unique composition.
posted by Shepherd at 12:09 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


What does it mean when a male WASP director makes a movie about the Jewish revenge on Hitler, or a young multiracial group of stuntwomen getting revenge on an old white male stuntman? Is this just playing out of white/male guilt, or is there something more?

Um, considering that he's of mixed Irish/Italian/Cherokee ancestry, there isn't anything particularly WASPish about Tarantino. I don't see his movies as being about white guilt, but more about redefining the role of the victim. The Tarantino hero/heroine doesn't engage in nonviolent resistance to combat society's ills, but instead takes decisive and violent action to redress personal injustices. I remember reading around the time of Death Proof that Tarantino's favorite historical figure and personal hero was martyred anti-slavery militant John Brown, and that he hoped to one day make a biopic of Brown with himself in the lead role. After seeing Inglourious Basterds, I wonder if it wasn't just practice for that eventual film.

Anyway, the Machete trailer looks pretty boss (although I miss the gratuitous b-movie nudity from the first trailer), and unexpectedly relevant to current events. I wonder if Rodriguez has talked to Michael Jai White about doing a Black Dynamite/Machete crossover film, because their combined Afro-Mexican alliance against The Man would be nine kinds of awesome.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:09 PM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm no expert, but from my limited experience it seems that many grindhouse films, and certainly the blacksploitation genre, are almost always about the minority underdog who has been wronged taking it out on the oppressor.

That's true, but I could invert the question to ask why Tarantino is so interested in blaxploitation in the first place. It is really easy to just imagine that he just generally digs on retro-cool, and I'm certain that's certainly part of the equation.

With QT, it's hard to know when he's trying to say something, or whether he's just trying to be cool. I go back and forth on whether Inglourious Basterds was great or awful, with no in-between. It all depends on whether or not I think Tarantino understands his own creation. If he was like "Hey, what could be cooler than a movie about Jews killing Hitler?", then I tend to think that's plain awful. But if he is trying to challenge us to simultaneously be repulsed by the killing of Hitler and sympathetic to suicide bombers, then I give him full marks for fucking with my brain.
posted by Edgewise at 12:11 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


This thread mainly makes me sad that Grindhouse was such a flop. I remember reading interviews with QT and RR where they talked about what big hopes they had for it - how they wanted to make it a franchise, maybe even put out a double-feature every year with different directors. That's the perfect format for this kind of movie. I'd love to go to the Machete/Thanksgiving double feature, complete with fake advertisements.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:17 PM on May 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


kenko : Also, Black Dynamite, mentioned above—good?

There is a scene where the main character stands up suddenly, and the camera lags when following him. At the top of the frame, you can see the boom mic, which dips, at one point, low enough to brush his head.

He then beats up a room full of people, stopping part way through to smash a stack of bricks, karate demo style.

It defies description; "good" not being sufficient in scope. I'd use the term "sublime".
posted by quin at 12:22 PM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


he hoped to one day make a biopic of Brown with himself in the lead role

Now I want to see a Harriet Tubman biopic starring Pam Grier.
posted by Zed at 12:23 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


My Cinco de Mayo dream was to see Lindsay Lohan dressed in a nun's habit and firing a gun in the same movie as Michelle Rodriguez and Cheech Marin. Thanks RR!!
posted by jnaps at 12:23 PM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. He could pull it off.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:28 PM on May 5, 2010


Edgewise: I don't see how it's possible not to see IBs as existing partially as a comment on the making of revenge-fantasy movies-- i mean the whole climatic scene takes place in a movie theater in which a dramatic version of a historical event gets taken over by a vengeful jewish director. In movies, he's saying, one can ignore real life and create the ending you desire. In my opinion.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:28 PM on May 5, 2010


It is really easy to just imagine that he just generally digs on retro-cool, and I'm certain that's certainly part of the equation.

I haven’t seen IB, so I can’t really make a comment on that movie. It seems to be a very human (or at least cultural) notion to identify with the victims, and root for them and cheer the death of the bad guy. QT is no different, which is why he probably loves the xploitation genre so much – victim becomes the victor. It doesn’t so much have to do with WASPy guilt as much as it has to do with his championing of the victim, and that these are the movies where the victim ends up kicking ass.

Wow, that was gibberish. Basically, I think if there was a genre called Shrek-sploitation, where an oppressed and beaten down Shrek finds his inner strength and goes on a revenge killing spree, then QT would also incorporate some Shrek elements into his next film.
posted by Think_Long at 12:37 PM on May 5, 2010


I have to hand it to that Rodriguez, he's quite a good director businessman.

And how (I mean, seriously - that whole "Spy Kids" franchise went into his pocket!) He's also employing a lot of people in and around Austin, TX. He runs his own studio, runs it well and god bless him his movies are often totally worth the price of admission.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:02 PM on May 5, 2010


He runs his own studio, runs it well

One of the biggest components of my fascination with Rodriguez is how active he is in nearly every aspect of the films he makes. It's not enough that he writes them, and then directs as well, he also does the editing. And the score. And the camera work. And the sound production...

I mean, looking at the variety of jobs listed on his filmography is like an education into the different things that need to be done to complete a movie.

And that is a massive inspiration to me. That, given enough love for a project, a single, driven person could actually do a lot of the work themselves, and still end up with an amazing final product.
posted by quin at 1:19 PM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like Rodriguez because he's got a sense of humor. I mean, even the silly Spy Kids movies are OK because they're funny and different from most kids' movies. Plus they're all pretty weird.
posted by Mister_A at 1:44 PM on May 5, 2010


Jessica Alba ain't no Salma Hayek, that's for sure.
posted by gern at 1:46 PM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I remember reading interviews with QT and RR where they talked about what big hopes they had for it - how they wanted to make it a franchise, maybe even put out a double-feature every year with different directors. That's the perfect format for this kind of movie. I'd love to go to the Machete/Thanksgiving double feature, complete with fake advertisements.

What they should do is with each double-feature, get a group of young directors to put together a trailer for the movie they'd like to make. Those trailers get shown with the double feature. Then, the 2 most popular get made into full-length films for the next year. And so on.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:32 PM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]



Did anyone look at the names of the director's kids? Poor Rhiannon...

From wiki: They have five children: sons Rocket Valentino (b. 14 September 1995), Racer Maximilliano (b. 16 April 1997), Rebel Antonio (b. January 1999), Rogue Joaquin and daughter Rhiannon Elizabeth (b. 10 December 2005).
posted by jardinier at 3:21 PM on May 5, 2010


I find QT's films (and to a slightly lesser degree, RR's as well) increasingly tiresome because of the intensity of movie self-referentiality in them. I know it is meant as homage, but it strikes me as mostly just circular and pretentious. I love (in limited doses, anyway) actual exploitation movies from the 60s and 70s -- but part of why I love them is that they are so fully of their time. Simply copying them, even if tongue in cheek, produces something that is neither here nor there. Too high-brow to fit well with the old exploitation films, and too trite to stand on its own merits.

tl;dr: get off my lawn, damn noisy kids, don't make music like they used to, your favorite band sucks
posted by Forktine at 3:32 PM on May 5, 2010


There are two kinds of Grindhouse fans: People who like Planet Terror better and people who are wrong.

This is not to say that there is nothing good about Death Proof. Kurt Russell's awesomely chilling monologue about "his book" is one of Tarantino's best moments. Russell is -- just for a second -- Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter there. (Really, to be fair, it's probably Russell's best moment as an actor, and it's too bad it's in the context of such a deeply flawed movie.) And the last reel's genius, and as strong an argument for in-camera effects as has ever been made...but like 75% of the movie is just self-indulgent babble that is neither remotely convincing as stuff real people would say nor even good Tarantino-ism. It's a better movie as a single release -- both because it's had some good stuff added back in and, more to the point, because you aren't coming off a huge adrenalin rush only to sit through Tarantino's idea of an early Jim Jarmusch movie starring bikini girls or whatever the first act of Death Proof is going for -- but it's still not a good movie; or at any rate it's now like 45 minutes of a good movie plus 50 of a very problematic one.

Planet Terror, on the other hand, is a wildly ambitious mashup of John Carpenter, James Cameron and Stuart Gordon, and if there are occasional jokes that are too gross or just too lame to really work, the movie doesn't ever slow down long enough for you to dwell on them. Much of the humor relies on a familiarity with '80s action/horror movies, but it's also the '80s action/horror movie I think a lot of people always wanted to see -- which is why I think Rodriguez nailed what Grindhouse should have been going for (honoring the notion that our impression of these films based on posters, trailers, etc., is generally better than the films themselves), while Tarantino may have succeeded entirely too well at producing a simulacrum of the real thing...sloppy, talky, amateurish, etc. Put simply, Tarantino's film is ironic, and Rodriguez's film -- while a comedy -- is not. Genre fans (like me) are just gonna have a better ride with Planet Terror, the one that's not afraid to be seen having a good time.

On topic: Machete. Yes. YES.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:59 PM on May 5, 2010 [18 favorites]


What does it mean when I can suspend my disbelief only up to the point of Stephen Seagal's right-angled hairpiece?
posted by zippy at 6:22 PM on May 5, 2010


Um, considering that he's of mixed Irish/Italian/Cherokee ancestry, there isn't anything particularly WASPish about Tarantino.

Ah thanks, I didn't know that. But as an Irish/Italian/etc., I don't think those first two parts qualify as "minority" status these days, and I have doubts about whether he grew up feeling like an ethnic 'outsider'. Still, stuff I didn't know.

I don't see his movies as being about white guilt, but more about redefining the role of the victim.

Well, I wasn't really trying to say that white guilt is a huge part of it. I'm really not even sure that it's a part of it at all...I mean, a guy can't have THAT much white guilt when he's appearing in his own movies to drop a bunch of N-bombs. If anything, I think it's more the case that he's trying to show -- in both instances -- that he's "down." And I don't think this is necessarily a major component of his work, either.

I'm mainly just pointing out how there is this theme running through his recent work of revenge by women and ethnic minorities. I am confident that this means something different coming from a (basically) white man than it would if he was a member of one or both groups, although exactly what this difference is, I cannot say.
posted by Edgewise at 6:59 PM on May 5, 2010


Um. Ok, now I've had the chance to actually watch the trailer and...

HOLY FUCK THAT IS AWESOME.

So many bonus points I can't count them up. Michelle Rodriguez didn't annoy me. DeNiro didn't make me want to throw things at the screen. And the Trejo, oh the Trejo. Marvellous. If it isn't any good, this will be the biggest disappointment in some time.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:06 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are two kinds of Grindhouse fans: People who like Planet Terror better and people who are wrong.

t[sure of itself];dr
posted by Edgewise at 7:10 PM on May 5, 2010


Put simply, Tarantino's film is ironic

This is probably where the root of our disagreement lies. How is Death Proof more ironic than Planet Terror? PT purposely uses a 'missing reel' as a gag for crying out loud.
posted by Think_Long at 7:52 PM on May 5, 2010


Wait a minute, I'm confused. Is he a Mexi-CAN? Or a Mexi-CAN'T?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:09 PM on May 5, 2010


PT purposely uses a 'missing reel' as a gag for crying out loud.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that was Death Proof.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:35 PM on May 5, 2010


Nope that was def pt. During the 'love scene'
posted by empath at 10:40 PM on May 5, 2010


PT purposely uses a 'missing reel' as a gag for crying out loud.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that was Death Proof.


They both used the "missing reel" gag, and both times it was for the sexy scenes. I guess the idea was that the sexy reel would have been either lifted by the seedy projectionist who was using it for his private viewing, or that it had been run through the projector after hours that it was no longer useable.

I hear that the "actual" release of each move separately restored some of that footage, but I'm not sure. I saw Grindhouse in the theater, but haven't seen either of the separate release versions of the two films
posted by hippybear at 11:20 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


it had been run through the projector after hours SO MANY TIMES that it was no longer useable.

editwindowpony
posted by hippybear at 11:22 PM on May 5, 2010


Death Proof restores the missing reel and Planet Terror doesn't.

I liked both but I preferred Planet Terror. I have a theory that you need to have been born in the eighties to really appreciate Planet Terror.

When you were growing up, let's say pre-teen, did you ever go over to your friends house and, as you were passing the living room on your way up to their bedroom to play with GI Joes or WWF figures or whatever, their older brother was in there watching something on VHS. You didn't know what it was but you knew you weren't allowed to watch it. You might catch a glimpse of some soldiers or something on fire or two muscular guys staring at each other menacingly but that was it. And it never seemed to be the same film twice. That's what Planet Terror is to me. Robert Rodriguez squeezed all of the films eight-year-old me wasn't allowed to watch into Planet Terror and I love him for it.
posted by minifigs at 1:14 AM on May 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jessica Alba ain't no Salma Hayek, that's for sure.

Lost opportunity in this trailer to reshoot the 'mom and daughter' scene from the first trailer with Hayek and Alba.

I, um, just need to be alone for a minute.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:59 AM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


because you aren't coming off a huge adrenalin rush only to sit through Tarantino's idea of an early Jim Jarmusch movie starring bikini girls or whatever the first act of Death Proof is going for -- but it's still not a good movie

There seems to be discrepancy in how these films were viewed and I can see why. I saw it as a double feature in the theater and thought they were both great and they played well with and off of each other.
One thing you have to understand is, Death Proof is a slasher-flick. You might say "but he had a car", and that's the point.
During the height of the genre's popularity, despite a strict formula developing within the genre, audience interest was maintained by developing new, increasingly "novel" ways for victims to be killed (as the SAW series is best known for), as well as increasingly graphic and realistic special effects
Tarantino was able to weave together multiple ideas, as he so often does, by making muscle cars the killing tool. There surely is something to be said about those types of cars, machismo, and the lack of penetrative implements that are usually prominent in those films.
I'm not sure what you thought was deeply flawed about it, but that movie matured in a very subtle way. The plot had a series of events that grew beautifully into a crescendo and had a very satisfying delivery that most movies just plain lack.

By the way, hippybear is right on about the deleted scenes. Rodriguez deleted scene was abrupt and got a few laughs but Taratino's deleted scene garnered groans of "aaawwws" and "whats?" because it was a real letdown that we didn't get to see that scene.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:26 AM on May 6, 2010


PT purposely uses a 'missing reel' as a gag for crying out loud.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that was Death Proof.


I totally forgot that DP had a missing reel in the original release too, I recently watched it on DVD so I guess that's the version I have in my head.

I submit that I may not have given PT a fair chance in this debate.
posted by Think_Long at 6:16 AM on May 6, 2010


This is the deleted scene from Death Proof. Awesome song, PG-13 lap dance.

I agree with kfb about Death Proof, more or less. The problem with Grindhouse as a whole was that both directors fell in love with the project so much that the running time swelled. Both movies are overlong, particularly when combined, and I think they made a mistake in putting Planet Terror first on the bill. An hour-and-a-half into the double-bill, Death Proof's first act grinds the momentum of the experience to a halt. I think audiences would have been more forgiving of the lazy, indulgent dialog if it had come at the start, and I think that the transition from the end of Death Proof to the start of Planet Terror would have had more emotional continuity. But man, do I find that first act self-indulgent, and man, do I find Sydney Poitier's character annoying.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:55 AM on May 6, 2010


Seems like the 20th Century Fox had it pulled off of YouTube. Anywhere else to see it?
posted by splatta at 9:45 AM on May 6, 2010


Jessica Alba ain't no Salma Hayek, that's for sure.

Lost opportunity in this trailer to reshoot the 'mom and daughter' scene from the first trailer with Hayek and Alba.


There's what, a 14 year difference between the two?

I mean, I like boobies and skin and all just like anyone else but it's not interesting to share that.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:45 AM on May 6, 2010


I have to see this.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:18 AM on May 6, 2010


Anywhere else to see it?

MeFi delivers.
posted by Kinbote at 10:45 AM on May 6, 2010


George Rekers should've hired Machete instead of that rent boy. Assuming that "lifting your luggage" falls somewhere between "roofing" and "septic," the luggage-handling would've only cost $100-125 per day.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:33 PM on May 6, 2010


wooohoooo !!!!!!
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:04 PM on May 6, 2010


the tommygun delivery that would one day give us how'd it get burned HOW'D it get BURNED howww'ditgetburrrrrned.

Aw, really late with this, but here you go. Heard the sequel was terrible, but you know, this was alright.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:14 PM on May 10, 2010


The Wicker Man remake with Nicholas Cage should've been referred to the Hague.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:50 AM on May 11, 2010


Sarah Palin: 'We're all Arizonans now'

By "we" I assume she means racists. Maybe they should all go live there, and make it a sort of Israel for teabagger racist douches. It would kind of suck for everyone currently living in AZ who isn't a racist ass but think of the benefits for the rest of the country once they've walled themselves in.
posted by Artw at 10:50 AM on May 16, 2010


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