Thursday, September 2, 2010

Machete:Harmless Fun or a Statement on Immigration?

Is Robert Rodriguez’s latest exercise in excessive exploitation harmless cinema or does it make a dangerous statement about immigration?

This is the question that The Hollywood Reporter have asked about Machete, Rodriguez’s feature length adaptation of the faux trailer he created in 2007 for the double bill Grindhouse.

HR states: “Machete’s convoluted story explicitly takes place amid the current powder keg of an immigration debate and on the heels of Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration legislation. Crooked politicians, powerful drug kingpins, malicious border vigilantes, antsy day laborers, conflicted customs agents and angry revolutionaries seethe along the U.S.-Mexico border in Rodriguez’s film. In real life, confusion and violence have peppered both sides of the line.”

Rodriguez’s movies have never operated in the real world, instead taking elements from Mexploitation, American vigilante films and spaghetti westerns, whilst his Spy Kids franchise has also lacked realism.

Rodriguez responds to HR’s comments with: “It feels like this movie couldn’t have come at a more perfect time… even though we came up with it a long time ago… It doesn’t just deal with the guy who comes over the border to support his family; it deals with the corruption on both sides – the drug dealers, the guys who are getting paid to bring people here and the politicians who, any time they need a good platform, choose immigration. So the feds may now really do something.”

Rodriguez’s previous movies, as well as the original trailer, often revel in their exploitation roots, by portraying excessive violence and nudity. Sadly, many Americans will buy into Rodriguez' line of BS and think this is a statement about the Arizona bill without actually reading the bill or the U.S. Constitution for that matter. Let's face it-the tag line for this film in the Grindhouse feature was "They Fucked With The Wrong Mexican." Are these the people you want to shape our immigration policy?

Shame on the media for trying to make this film a political statement, and shame on Amercians for being dumb enough to buy into it.

Harkins Theaters (an Arizona-based theater chain) ought to refuse to carry this film.

Arizonans ought to boycott it.

I would have seen this, but will wait for it on NetFlix. As I have done with musicians who are vocal about this bill while misquoting the facts, I will not allow my money to directly benefit them.


  1. I've heard mention of this film, but paid no attention to it as it didn't catch my interest. But now, like you, I may have to check it out when it comes to Netflix. I've enjoyed the films of Rodriguez in the past.
    Recent developments in Mexico reported in the news about the murders of illegals, car bombings, and gun battles between army and drug cartels are starting to take a war-like middle eastern tinge and it's been building for several years. Only a matter of time before this starts coming across our border in a much bigger way as well. It's time we have an armed border and start rooting out the enemy in this country already instead of just putting up signs to warn U.S. citizens that they enemy has already occupied certain parts or AZ.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Lee-

    I, too have enjoyed some Rodriguez films in the past, but to put them forth as some sort of statement is simply insane.

    This film is about an illegal immigrant who beds a sexy border officer (Alba) and lops off arms and heads with his machete.

    How is this a statement on immigration, and once you get past the comic book plot, is this the kind of reform we want?


  3. Fuck Rodriguez, and fuck that other fucker, too!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'