The movie virtually no one is waiting for is almost here. “Machete Kills,” the sequel to 2010’s box office disappointment and aspiring cult favorite “Machete,” somehow earned enough money ($26 million domestic) on a low enough budget (reported at $10.5 million) to merit its existence. That, or writer-director Robert Rodriguez just really, really wanted a sequel to what was originally conceived of as a joke.
Whether or not the original has achieved the uncertifiable status as a cult classic, the latest entry into the Rodriguez grindhouse canon features an equally if not more impressive list of players than its eclectically cast original. Kicking things off with a dramatic reveal of our hero being shot down from a swinging noose (shouldn’t he have cut himself down, you know, with a machete?), the trailer then rattles off the most random assortment of movie stars, pop singers, and tabloid celebrities this side of Star magazine.
First up, we have Rodriguez favorites Jessica Alba and Antonio Banderas — logical enough choices for a the sequel to a Mexploitation flick. Then we start moving down the line from the reasonable to the completely absurd: Michelle Rodriguez (makes sense since she was in the first one), Amber Heard (hot girl, check), Sofia Vergara (hot girl #2, check), Vanessa Hudgeons (someone must have seen “Spring Breakers”), Cuba Gooding Jr. (wait — really?), Demian Bichir (did he forget his Oscar nomination already?), Mel Gibson (WHAT?), Lady Gaga (she’s acting now?), and Charlie Sheen. Wait. No. Not Charlie Sheen. Carlos Estevez?
Though Gibson’s decision to appear in this rather than “The Expendables 3” deserves a column all to itself, the most alarming aspect of the “Machete Kills” trailer isn’t an iconic 80s action star forgoing the opportunity to appear alongside his beefed-up older brethren in a lucrative and insanely fun new franchise. It’s that Charlie Sheen has changed his name. Though some may mistake the quick shot to an assault rifle-wielding Carlos Estevez as his character’s name, the format indicates it’s the actor’s name, not his character’s.
So, are you going to give Spanish Charlie a chance? Are you the one eagerly awaiting “Machete Kills?” Which Rodriguez news has you more excited: this or his new market in Fantastic Fest, Fantastic Market|MercadoFantastico? Whatever your answers, make sure to check out the trailer below and look for “Machete Kills” September 13.