After Independence Day, Skyline and the repeated doomsday threats imagined by TV’s 24, you’d think Los Angelenos would have tired of watching their city reduced to so much smoldering rubble. Christopher Bertolini, author of the alien-invasion thriller Battle: Los Angeles, obviously hasn’t.
It might be one of the first films conceived as a trailer and later expanded into a feature. Machete, Robert Rodriguez’s story of a Rambo-like ex-Federale betrayed by his bosses and out for revenge, began as a tongue-in-cheek teaser for Grindhouse, the director’s 2007 homage to ’70s exploitation fare. But it soon evolved into something more.
“Once we made the trailer, I thought that was as far as it was going to go,” says Rodriguez, 42, who cast cousin and longtime friend Danny Trejo as the titular tough guy at the center of his cheerfully gruesome thriller, which opened Friday.