With its over-the-top violence (in one memorable moment, our anti-hero rips open a bad guy’s stomach and uses the poor sod’s intestines to repel from one story of a hospital to another), a truly surreal style of filmmaking, and a bloody-good sense of demented black humor, Machete succeeded in doing what Grindhouse had done three years earlier: it knowingly threw all ideas of “conventional” filmmaking out the window and just decided to have fun with itself — all the while paying the utmost respect to the crazy exploitation flicks that helped to inspire it.
And, if the mere fact that Rodriguez (with a little help from co-director Ethan Maniquis) has managed to outdo Tarantino with this exceedingly-sensational tribute to sleaze isn’t enough to sell you (hey, I loved Inglourious Basterds, too — but this is simply more my style), how ‘bout Rodriguez’ keen method of tongue-in-cheek casting? Does the thought of seeing former action star Steven Seagal — in his best performance to date — as the ruthless sword-swingin’ Mexican drug lord that killed Machete’s family tempt you? Well, then, what about Cheech Marin (also reprising his role from the original Grindhouse trailer) as Machete’s priest brother: a man of God who is perfectly content with helping his brother when it comes to ridding the world of a few political slimeballs (needless to say, the movie came under fire by Conservatives and religious zealots everywhere — which is all the more reason to hail it as a masterpiece)?
What? That’s still not enough? OK, toss in a few desperate heroines (Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba and Lindsey Lohan), make-up guru Tom Savini as an assassin, and Don Johnson (in his “debut” — a reference to the opening credits, which jokingly read “Introducing Don Johnson), and you have what was ultimately the best film of 2010, hands down!