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Machete to 'Kill' Fantastic Fest

Robert Rodriguez's latest to open genre film fest

By Richard Whittaker, 1:54PM, Wed. Jul. 10, 2013

Johnny Sampson's poster for Fantastic Fest 2013 (complete with tip o' the axe to Robert Rodriguez's favorite artist, Frank Frazetta)
Johnny Sampson's poster for Fantastic Fest 2013 (complete with tip o' the axe to Robert Rodriguez's favorite artist, Frank Frazetta)

It'll be an explosive start to Fantastic Fest with the shoot'em up thrills of the world premiere of Machete Kills. Expect director Robert Rodriguez plus stars Danny Trejo and Alexa Vega in attendance for what FF head honcho Tim League is threatening a "literally blood red" red carpet affair.

With only two months and nine days before the ultimate film geek summer camp, we were getting antsy about some big announcements. As the opening night film, Rodriguez's sequel to his 2010 Mexploitation pioneer Machete should deliver in bloody spades. The inimitable Trejo returns as the blade-wielding federale Machete Cortez, freed The Good, the Bad and the Ugly-style from a hanging before hacking and slicing his way to save the world from global annihilation.

Machete Kills follows in a tradition of genre-fave films that twitched the curtain on the fest, including Let the Right One In and Frankenweenie. Rodriguez said, "Fantastic Fest has quickly become the best place for fans to first experience the newest and coolest genre movies and blockbusters. I am honored and extremely excited for Machete Kills to have its world premiere right here in Austin and kick off Fantastic Fest."

The festival is threatening more guest stars on the night, so start taking bets on who it'll be from cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, FF veterans Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson, and some guy called Carlos Estevez.

Fantastic Fest 2013 runs September 19-26 at Alamo Lakeline. Visit for more info, and keep coming back to the Chronicle screens blog for more updates.
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