This was originally just a spoof trailer that played with the Grindhouse films but Robert Rodriguez liked the idea so much that he decided to actually make the movie.
The result is a glorious homage to the type of straight to video action film that I grew up on.
Machete (Danny Trejo) is an ex-federale working as a labourer in Texas. When he is hired by a slimy political aide (a show stealing Jeff Fahey) to assassinate local bigwig McLaughlin (a wonderfully hammy Robert DeNiro) he becomes a target as the whole thing was a set up. The man behind it all is Machete's old enemy Torrez (Steven Seagal) and our hero must evade cops, criminals and hitmen to clear his name and get revenge.
Rodriguez has managed to make this work. I didn't see the Grindhouse films but they didn't do too well, this deserves to do better. It's a deliciously over the top violent escapade, the likes of which we haven't seen much of recently (although The Expendables springs to mind). Even the cheesy 70's style effects work as they add some humour to the gore. Also the fact that no woman can resist Machete evokes memories of films starring the likes of Wings Hauser and Mark Gregory.
All the cast seem to be having a good time and that comes through on screen and it was especially cool to see action warhorses Trejo and Seagal tear up the screen in the finale which also contains some nice comedy moments.
Highly recommended to anyone who likes a good old fashioned action film and can appreciate the style in which it was made.
Ric's Rating: 82%