'Mexploitation' Invades the Movies
Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, Machete bloodies up the box office, Archie Comics gets its first gay character, and Smigly is the new cartoon poster boy for the recession.
Summer wouldn't be complete without a gratuitous bloodfest—and Machete, by Grindhouse director Robert Rodriguez, certainly fits the bill. Danny Trejo jumps in the titular role as an undocumented immigrant caught between Mexican drug lords who are after him in the south and American politicians who want to deport him in the north. Machete's a "baaad-assss," as Trejo calls him, an ex-Mexican federale who goes on a killing spree in this sort-of satire that touches on the recent immigration crisis, complete with Robert De Niro as an overeager politician who calls immigration "an overt act of terrorism." The Daily Beast's Bryan Curtis writes that director Robert Rodriguez "takes America's panic over its southern border—the jitters that historian Ricardo Romo once called a 'Brown Scare'—and runs wild with it." It's racking up good reviews across the board and may just be the first film ever to subtly combine politics and AK-47s.