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Machete Kills

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Machete Kills
Machete Kills.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Rodriguez
Produced by
Screenplay byKyle Ward
Story by
  • Robert Rodriguez
  • Marcel Rodriguez
Music byCarl Thiel
CinematographyRobert Rodriguez
Edited by
  • Robert Rodriguez
  • Rebecca Rodriguez
Distributed byOpen Road Films
Release date
  • September 19, 2013 (2013-09-19) (Austin Fantastic Fest)
  • October 11, 2013 (2013-10-11) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[3]
Box office$15 million[4]

Machete Kills is a 2013 American action exploitation film co-written and directed by Robert Rodriguez.[5][6] It is a sequel to Machete, the third film based on a Grindhouse fake trailer and the second spin-off of the Spy Kids franchise. Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Tom Savini, Electra and Elise Avellan, Felix Sabates, and Jessica Alba reprise their roles from the first film, and are joined by series newcomers Mel Gibson, Demián Bichir, Amber Heard, Sofía Vergara, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, Alexa Vega, William Sadler, Marko Zaror, and Charlie Sheen (credited by his birth name of "Carlos Estévez").[7] The film follows the titular ex-federal (Trejo) as he is recruited by the U.S. President (Sheen) to stop an arms dealer (Gibson) and a revolutionary (Bichir).[7]

The film was released on October 11, 2013, failing to recoup its budget of $20 million and received mixed reviews. Critics cited the overuse of plot points, poorly produced CGI, and the 'out-of-place' science fiction elements.


Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) and Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba) attempt to capture weapon dealers who have been supplying the Mexican drug cartels. The military men are then all killed by the gangsters, who in turn are wiped out by another intervening party. Its leader murders Sartana while Machete is arrested by corrupt Sheriff Doakes (William Sadler) and Deputy Clebourne (Samuel Davis). Doakes unsuccessfully tries to hang Machete but the President of the US, Rathcock (Charlie Sheen), intervenes. Machete is brought to the White House, where the president offers him US citizenship if he eliminates Marcos Mendez (Demián Bichir), a psychopath who is threatening to fire a nuclear missile at Washington, D.C. if the American government does not intervene to stop the rampant drug cartels in Mexico and the corruption of its government.

Machete agrees and travels to San Antonio, where he meets his handler Blanca Vasquez (Amber Heard), an undercover beauty pageant competitor. She sends him to Acapulco to meet a young woman, Cereza (Vanessa Hudgens), who can lead him to Mendez. Machete finds her in a brothel run by her mother, Madame Desdemona (Sofía Vergara), who attempts to kill Machete before he escapes with Cereza. She takes him to Mendez's associate, Zaror (Marko Zaror), who kills Cereza before taking Machete to Mendez's base of operations.

There, Machete learns that Mendez has wired the missile's launch device to Mendez' heart and triggered its launch in 24 hours. If he dies, the missile fires. After Machete kills Zaror, he also captures Mendez, intending to escort Mendez to the US and find a way to disarm the missile. Machete learns that Mendez is an ex-secret agent who tried to expose his corrupt superiors, only to be betrayed and forced to watch his family being tortured. The trauma drove him insane, creating his split personalities and leading him to join forces with the missile's creator.

Shortly thereafter, a hit is put out on them. Machete is targeted by several assailants, including Madame Desdemona and her prostitute assassins, a shapeshifting hitman called El Camaleón, and Doakes. Machete and Mendez manage to reach the US and kill Doakes and Clebourne only to be caught by a reborn Zaror and the same mercenaries who killed Sartana. Zaror decapitates Mendez and Machete is riddled with bullets.

Machete wakes up to find himself in a healing tank. He is taken to meet Zaror's benefactor—corrupt businessman, inventor and Star Wars fan Luther Voz (Mel Gibson), who reveals Zaror is a series of cloned warriors. He shows Machete Mendez's beating heart, preserved in a jar, and informs him of his plan to manipulate extremists throughout the world to detonate nuclear weapons while planning to escape in a spaceship to rebuild society in space. Machete then escapes with help from Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), who had heard about the hit on Machete. She informs him that the only one who can disarm Mendez's heart is Machete's old enemy, Osiris Amanpour (Tom Savini), who had repented and joined Luz's Network. Machete contacts Vasquez, who instructs him to meet her at a rendezvous point.

Arriving there, Machete is betrayed and ambushed by Vasquez, who is in league with Voz. As she is escaping into the desert, Machete gives chase and jumps onto the top of her vehicle but falls off after gunfire comes through the roof. Machete is then given a ride by El Camaleón, who tries to kill him one last time, but he escapes and El Camaleón ends up being shot to death by a group of racist rednecks just inside the US border. Machete then reunites with Luz and the Network. They infiltrate a fundraiser at Voz's base of operations, where Voz kills Osiris. Machete realizes Voz was the one who killed Sartana and fights him. He severely burns Voz's face, disfiguring him to the extent that Voz is forced to wear a metallic, silver mask. Meanwhile, Vasquez shoots Luz in her good eye, completely blinding her. Luz kills Vasquez in return but is captured by Voz, frozen in Carbonite and taken aboard his ship.

Machete jumps on the missile as it launches and disarms it in mid-air, while Voz boards the ship and departs with the Zaror clones, his supporters, as well as Luz and the surviving Network members who will be used as slave labor. The disarmed missile then plunges into the Rio Grande and Machete is rescued by President Rathcock, who asks him to follow Voz into space and kill him. Machete agrees and uses a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.0 rocket to depart to Voz's Station in Earth's orbit, where he is given a laser machete to start his mission.

In a post-credits scene, an outtake from the Luz and Blanca fight scene is included followed by a shot of President Rathcock in front of a space background inquisitively brandishing two of Voz's guns (the molecular disruptor and the same pistol used to kill Sartana) before firing wildly at an off-screen target.


Jessica Alba reprises her role as Sartana Rivera in an uncredited cameo appearance.


On June 10, 2012, Rodriguez announced that principal photography for Machete Kills had begun.[20] Principal photography took only 29 days, as shooting wrapped on July 28, 2012.[21]

The film was produced by Robert Rodriguez, as well as Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic, through their QuickDraw Productions, Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films, and Rick Schwartz of Overnight Productions.[22]

Lindsay Lohan, who played April Booth in the first film, did not appear in this installment. Rodriguez said that he liked Lohan's character but she "didn't fit into the story".[23]

The film has Charlie Sheen credited under his birth name Carlos Estévez. Expected to be a one-time move, it was Sheen's idea to use his birth name for the film, due to the film's Hispanic theme. The trailer and opening credits for the film use an "and introducing..." tag when showing Sheen's birth name.[24]

On June 20, 2013, the film's release date was pushed back from September 13, 2013, to October 11, 2013, to avoid competition with Insidious: Chapter 2.[25]


On October 9, 2013, Lady Gaga's Vevo released a lyric video for "Aura", a song from her third studio album Artpop, to promote the film.[26]


Machete Kills was not well-received by critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 30%, based on 121 reviews,[27] with the critical consensus "While possessed with the same schlocky lunacy as its far superior predecessor, Machete Kills loses the first installment's spark in a less deftly assembled sequel." At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating based on reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received a score of 41 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indictating "mixed or average reviews".[28]

Gaga was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress for her work in the film, but lost to Kim Kardashian for Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.[29]

Possible sequel

At the end of the first film's theatrical version, two sequels are mentioned, Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again. The trailer for the third film titled, Machete Kills Again... In Space,[30] precedes the second film as a "Coming Attraction".[31][32] In 2015, Trejo told Halloween Daily News that the third film is happening.[33] Since then nothing was announced about the movie.


  1. ^ "Machete Kills | Movie Posters". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  2. ^ "MACHETE KILLS (15)". Lionsgate. British Board of Film Classification. September 24, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Scott Mendelson (August 10, 2013). "Review: 'Machete Kills' Fires Blanks". Forbes. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "Machete Kills (2013)". Box Office Mojo.
  5. ^ Buchanan, Jason. "Allmovie". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  6. ^ Neumaier, Joe (October 10, 2013). "'Machete Kills,' movie review". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Amber Heard joins Brilliant Cast of Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills as an Assassin". 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  8. ^ a b "Machete Kills Cast Gets a Double Dose of Hot with Electra and Elise Avellan". Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  9. ^ "Mel Gibson Joins Robert Rodriguez's MACHETE KILLS". Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "Sofia Vergara Joins Machete Kills". Archived from the original on June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  11. ^ "Amber Heard swings 'Machete Kills'". Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  12. ^ "Demian Bichir Joins MACHETE KILLS and William Friedkin's TRAPPED; Was in the Mix for Villain Role in STAR TREK 2". Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  13. ^ "Fantastic Fest review: Machete Kills". Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  14. ^ "Fantastic Fest Review Machete Kills". Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c "'Machete Kills' Review". Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  16. ^ "LADY GAGA's 'Machete Kills' Character Poster Unveiled". Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  17. ^ "After The Cut – Machete Kills Adds Vanessa Hudgens". Archived from the original on August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  18. ^ RR gave the ok for a sneak peek...@machetekills KillJoy
  19. ^ "William Sadler Stalks Machete Kills". Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  20. ^ MACHETE KILLS today! (principal photography begins)
  21. ^ Twitter, Just wrapped MACHETE KILLS
  22. ^ "'Machete Kills' Will Slice Into Theaters on September 13". January 15, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  23. ^ Josh Wigler (2013-01-30). "Lindsay Lohan Not In 'Machete' Sequel, Robert Rodriguez Confirms". Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  24. ^ Adios Charlie Sheen, hello Carlos Estevez, June 6, 2013
  25. ^ "Open Road Pushes Back Machete Kills and Homefront". ComingSoon.
  26. ^ MTV
  27. ^ "Machete Kills – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  28. ^ "Machete Kills (2013): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  29. ^ NME
  30. ^ Robert Rodriguez Tells Vulture About Machete in Space, Sin City 2, and Fire and Ice
  31. ^ "Comic-Con 2011: Robert Rodriguez Updates on MACHETE Sequels and SIN CITY 2; Announces HEAVY METAL Remake". Collider. 2011.
  32. ^ ""Robert" Rodriguez's next projects: sin city 2, heavy Metal, frank Frazetta... and machete in space!'". io9. 2011.
  33. ^ Artz, Matt (April 2, 2015). "Danny Trejo Confirms 'Machete Kills In Space' Filming This Year [Exclusive]". Halloween Daily News.

External links