This week's most ridiculous trailer: Machete

There's always that threshold, the line where culture becomes so awful that it somehow turns awesome -- and that's a hard line to force. The unwritten rule of things that are so bad they're good is that they must be unintentionally awful; most of the time, things that are deliberately bad to the end of being so-bad-they're-good fall flat like an unfunny joke. Machete, to a certain extent, is clearly going for that dynamic, with a trailer for a movie based on a fake trailer that was a conceit in another movie that was and is so ridiculous it's hard to believe it's true. But it is -- and it's a credit to director Robert Rodriguez that he appears to have succeeded. Let's take a look.

Just because it's interesting, let's look at both trailers: the real trailer for the real movie (above) and the fake trailer its based on (below). The fake trailer, obviously, is the more ridiculous, and consciously so -- the whole point was to satirize action/blaxploitation movie tropes ("mexploitation"?); like Grindhouse, the movie it ran with, it was a postmodern exercise in simultaneous fun-poking and embracing. And it turned out awesome.

Somewhat disappointingly, the real trailer for the real movie plays it straighter: Gone are the washed-out low-budget shots, the weirdly quiet music, the hammy voiceover work that characterize the so-bad-it's-good, replaced by the filtered lighting and frenetic cuts of the trailers of now. But the key elements are still there. Danny Trejo is still being the badass successor to Charles Bronson he was always meant to be, and it, by all rights, still appears to be a ridiculous movie featuring a ridiculous amount of killing and a ridiculous amount of B-list stars (DeNiro excepted, of course). It's an A-budget movie with B-movie ambitions, and even if Rodriguez is dialing it back a bit for the real thing, we're guessing he's got the chops to pull it off.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte