Twelve years ago, Desperado director Robert Rodriguez introduced the world to a character know as “Uncle Machete” in his family action-adventure film Spy Kids. Through years of interviews and press panels for myriad of Rodriguez’s films, an inside-joke shared between Rodriguez and actor Danny Trejo, who portrayed “Uncle Machete”, became clear: the filmmakers imagined that this bit character had a secret life as a brutal, badass revolutionary for the Mexican people. That joke later gestated into a ridiculous fake trailer, attached to Rodriguez’s Grindhouse. Despite a underwhelming box office intake, the fan outcry and support following Grindhouse gave enough traction for that fake trailer to become the 2010 feature-length film, Machete, co-directed by Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis, and starring Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin and Don Johnson.
Now, three years after Machete performed well at the box office, Machete is back in the exploitation-appropriate Machete Kills. The teaser trailer proves how apt of a title the film has, as Machete returns to absurd, bloody action in an even more ridiculous fashion than before. While it doesn’t tell much in the way of a plot, which is par for the course with its grindhouse influences, the trailer promises over-the-top characters, hard-hitting action, midnight movie fun, the feature-film premiere of controversial pop star Lady Gaga and the “introduction” of Carlos Estevez as “The President of the United States.”
If the sequel is anything like the first film, expect it to deliver and offer more fun than most movie-going experiences, as the tongue-in-cheek franchise never becomes malicious or disrespectful towards its loyal fan base. Rodriguez is carving quite the year for himself, debuting a Spanish-language television channel of his own design while filming both Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For back-to-back at his own Troublemaker Studios. Whether the filmmaker can pull off both sequels is another question entirely, and the fact that Rodriguez has not made a non-sequel since 2009’s Shorts and 2007’s Planet Terror poses a whole question in and of itself: when will Rodriguez hit audiences with an original project with as much power as El Mariachi or From Dusk ‘Til Dawn?
Nevertheless, Machete Kills hits theaters nationwide on September 13, 2013 from Open Road, similarly to the post-Labor Day release date of the first film, and will star returning players Trejo, Rodriguez, and Alba as well as franchise newcomers Sofia Vergara, Demian Bichir, Vanessa Hudgens, Zoe Saldana, Amber Heard, Alexa Vega, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Mel Gibson . To see who else appears in the Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World of exploitation homages, check out the trailer below.
– By Matthew Delhauer
Matt Delhauer is a graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey, with a degree in communications and digital filmmaking. As an avid fan of horror films since childhood, Matt has had years of exposure to the best, worst, and many in between. Outside of film Matt also holds knowledge in several fields of media and entertainment, from literature to television, which are all met with an eye for analysis and a love of entertainment. For more of Matt’s work take a look at his blog at www.gingergeekblogs.blogspot.com or follow him on twitter: @MattDelhauer