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The path to Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete” was circuitous. When Rodriguez and his friend Quentin Tarantino made their 2007 film “Grindhouse,” they attempted to recreate a 1970s exploitation movie experience by providing two separate features, each one marked by missing reels, bad print jobs, and visual scratches on the print itself. “Grindhouse” also famous featured a series of previews for coming attractions that didn’t exist. Edgar Wright invented a film called “Don’t,” while Eli Roth invented a fictional slasher movie called “Thanksgiving.” Rob Zombie conceived of a horror movie called “Werewolf Women of the S.S.” starring Nicolas Cage, and Rodriguez himself kicked off the “Grindhouse” experience with a fake movie called “Machete.”
In the fake “Machete” preview, Danny Trejo played the title character, a vengeful Mexican mercenary, once a Federale, who gets into a series of seemingly unconnected violent shenanigans. He was also quite proficient at charming young women. Machete first appeared in Rodriguez’s “Spy Kids” movies as the title kids’ uncle, but was given the R-rated treatment by the “Machete” preview.
The fake preview became well-regarded enough that, in 2010, Rodriguez turned it into an actual film. Scenes from the preview were recreated and Trejo was game to star. Trejo, one of the most striking and badass actors of his generation, was amazing to watch. The film itself wasn’t amazing, but the fact that it existed at all was enough to buoy interest. “Machete” proved popular enough to get a sequel in 2013, and “Machete Kills” upped the first film’s inherent, exploitation silliness by a factor of 30. It was a movie that featured brassieres that fired bullets. The president was played by Carlos Estévez, better known as Charlie Sheen.
“Machete Kills” featured a fake preview for “Machete Kills Again… In Space.”
In 2023, Trejo is still interested.
Machete Kills Again… In Space
In a recent interview with Deadline, posted on the company’s Twitter account, Rodriguez was asked about “Machete Kills Again.” He related how Trejo, 78, still makes public appearances and still does informal polls of his crowds, asking them if they’d still be interested. Rodriguez may be as well, saying:
“Danny calls me all the time. He films the whole audience that he’s speaking to, and they’re all saying ‘Machete in Space!’ And then he turns the phone around and looks at me and goes [Rodriguez mugs]. That’s why I put a fake trailer for that on “Machete 2.” To kind of satisfy you. ‘Okay, this is pretty much what it would look like, but you can see it in two minutes rather than in two hours.’ And it never satisfies them. It never satisfies them. So we have to do one.”
Rodriguez also pointed out that he originally never intended to make “Machete” as a feature, but fan reaction was so overwhelming. He said that, on the Blu-ray for “Planet Terror,” he included live footage of audiences reacting to “Machete,” and pointed out that the cheers drowned out the audio. Rodriguez continued:
“They would bug us for five years: ‘When’s that movie coming out?’ I said it was a fake trailer. ‘No! But it looked real! When is it coming out?’ So, we gotta make it for ’em. So five years later I made that movie. It wasn’t meant to be a film. The audience just wanted it. So we have to give it to them. Because when someone wants something that bad … I’ve never had that with any movie before. And now, everyone is still ‘Machete in Space!’ You can’t give ’em enough!”
If audiences want it enough, Rodriguez will step to. And, yes, Trejo will show up. It may just be a matter of time.
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The post Danny Trejo Wants Machete in Space According to Robert Rodriguez appeared first on /Film.