Friday, 11 October 2013

"Machete" - probably not an ideal date movie, but perfect for a chap in need of cheering up

For a variety or reasons, yesterday wasn't a great day for your blogger - it was what Machete, a 2010  Mexploitation film I'd recorded earlier in the week simply because I'd been intrigued by the pairing of Robert De Niro and Stephen Seagal. (This had set me wondering whether Sir John Gielgud had ever appeared in a film with Dolph Lundgren, and regretting the fact that Sir Ralph Richardson hadn't lived long enough to share the screen with Vin Diesel.)  
Danny Trejo
Hilaire Belloc called "a day without salt". I was just about to slope off to bed in a bad mood when - desperate to find something, anything to add some savour to Thursday 10th October, 2013 - I pressed the "play" button on

I had only intended watching Machete long enough to indulge in a few laughs at its expense - but, instead, found myself still sitting in front of the TV an hour and three-quarters later, applauding the end credits, and welcoming the news that two sequels were in the pipeline (the first of which - Machete Kills - was released earlier this year). 

The film is ridiculously violent (at one point our eponymous hero escapes from a gun-
Michelle Rodriguez
toting gang by using the intestines of one of his attackers as a rope), contains a bit of nudity and some profane language - but it's genuinely funny, brims with vim, vigour and verve, and all the main acting performances are thoroughly enjoyable - including De Niro's scheming Texas senator; Danny Trejo's somewhat simian title character (he only has two expressions - glum and angry - but they're good ones); Don Johnson (yes, him) as an immigrant-murdering psychopath; and Stephen Seagal playing an out-and-out Mex baddie (fans will be relieved to hear that he retains his traditional rubbish rug with the unfeasible peak, and that he is now so bloated he looks like he'd have difficulty performing any physical act more demanding than peeling a post-it note off his computer screen). Jessica Alba as a cop and Michelle Rodriguez as the leader of a resistance network are both thoroughly entertaining (and stunningly attractive).

If you're a chap in need of cheering up, and you're not squeamish about violence (it's all very cartoony in any case) you could do a lot worse than Machete. This will give you some idea of the treats in store:

Okay, "Machete don't text" may be a worthy one-line successor to "Charlie don't surf", but Machete breaks his own rule once in the film, leading to the following immortal dialogue:

Bad Guy: Machete sent me a text.
Contract Killer: What did it say?
Booth: "You just fucked with the wrong Mexican."

Enjoy! I certainly did.


  1. A very entertaining post. Thanks once again. I too very much enjoyed this film and "Machete Kills" is now on my LoveFilm list.

    Jessica Alba is a stunner [catch her in "The Killer Inside Me"]. Do not make fun of Steve Segall's widows peak - according to him nature has reversed itself [in the same way that Ernie Saunder's suddenly recovered from Alzheimers when he was acquitted]. Christian folk call them miracles.

    Danny Trejo. Where are you now Cy Hardin, Troy Donahue, Tab Hunter, Pat Boone and all these pretty boys - this is a guy with a face! I and will never forget him in "Heat" lying mutilated on the floor and di Niro "putting a cap in his head" to stop his suffering and then giving up his life to get revenge on that creep Waingro. Because of his looks [ Katy Jurado and Benicio del Toro had/have the same problem as did the great Mexican actor who played general Mapache - Emilio Fernandez] Trejo is condemned to be type-cast, but what a great job he makes of it.

    Talking about date movies. Do you remember di Niro in "Taxi" and his choice of movie on a first "date"?

    1. Did you know that Emilio Fernandez posed for the Oscar staue? No, honestly! Surprised it didn't end up with a sombrero.

      Yes, I do remember the "Taxi Driver" date movie choice. Incredibly embarrassing to watch, to this day. (I mean "Taxi Driver", not the porn film.)

      My favourite reference to a date movie in a film was in "Naked Gun" when Leslie Nielsen and Priscilla Presley exit a cinema arm-in-arm, laughing fit to bust, and the camera pans up to reveal they've just seen "Platoon".