Marko Zaror

Marko Zaror in Redeemer

Sometime after making the highly entertaining, ass-kicking spy spoof Mandrill, martial artist and budding action star Marko Zaror wasn’t sure what to do with his time. He had begun considering going into real fighting — MMA style bouts that could help pay the bills. Then Robert Rodriguez called and asked him to make a memorable appearance in the otherwise unmemorable Machete Kills . It was back to acting and in the end, back to Austin where Kills debuted at Fantastic Fest 2013. It was in this moment, Zaror explains, that he decided that he wanted to come back with another movie. It was later that night, in Austin, over drinks with the two ladies in his life — his girlfriend and his mom — that Redeemer was born. Now here he is, back in Austin. Still kicking ass on the big screen.

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Danny Trejo Sherrybaby

Our official review of Machete Kills is pretty negative. Rightfully so, it’s a major disappointment following the purposefully cheesy yet still politically relevant first film. This time it’s all just silly, kind of like an Austin Powers movie for the Latino audience instead of 13-year-old boys — though the 13-year-old boys may still be the best audience for this. I want to recommend it solely for Demian Bichir, though, because he is a pleasure to watch every second he’s on screen. Maybe it’s just how great he is relative to the rest of the cast and movie, but I’d give him another Oscar nomination for this. If you think that’s ridiculous, you haven’t seen the movie (because that is ridiculous). If you don’t see Machete Kills, no big deal, even if you won’t know what’s going on when Machete Kills Again… In Space arrives. This week’s gateway recommendations have nothing related to any spoilers in the movie. Most are just better films starring parts of the sequel’s ensemble. I also almost thought about including Star Wars, not because I think any of you haven’t seen it but because I think you’d want to clean yourself in the form of a re-watch after seeing all the bad references here. Seriously, even if we’d never had 35 years of parodies, copycats, fan films and other works derived from and informed by Star Wars, the allusions here would still feel stale. The following ten selections are worth checking out whether you bother with Machete […]

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Machine Gun Woman FF

It seems strange that the resurgence of grindhouse pictures that has occurred over the last five years would come on the tails of a heavily produced and advertised film that bombed at the box office. I’m talking about the Robert Rodriguez- and Quentin Tarantino-helmed Grindhouse. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a picture that was so monetarily unsuccessful be so immediately influential. Whereas the duo’s film as if had been almost directly stripped from the 1970’s (if it weren’t for the contemporary talent in front of the camera, it would really be hard to tell) and put through manhandled hell, many other current pictures are more akin to recorded cassette tapes of Grindhouse.  Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman utilizes that same visual homage to exploitation pictures and applies them to a Grand Theft Auto-inspired story structure  about a young DJ in a Chilean dance club forced to find one of the country’s most notoriously accomplished hit-men[woman/persons]. It’s a mixed tape of low budget ’70s filmmaking with the appeal of modern day video game violence and setup, and it’s about as much of a mixed tape of success.

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Marko Zaror in Machete Kills

The cast for Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills has been swelling to epic proportions with everyone from Mel Gibson to Lady Gaga taking a shot at the baddest Mexican on the planet, but its adding one Chilean martial arts star to its roster. Mandrill star and Fantastic Fest favorite Marko Zaror has been announced as playing Zaror in the Machete follow-up. The character will serve as a henchman to Gibson’s role as main baddie and will likely come with the benefit of punching and kicking Danny Trejo. A lot. Says Rodriguez about the casting choice: “I’ve been a big fan of Marko’s for years, and I even created this role specifically for him. He is an incredible martial artist with physics defying speed and agility, and he has a great movie star presence. I’m sure we’ll be working together again soon.” Zaror was equally excited about joining the Machete Kills team, saying, “to get a chance to work with Robert Rodriguez was a dream of mine since I saw El Mariachi.  He has made some of the coolest characters ever.  I am honored to have had the experience to work with him and his exceptional team.”

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Tony Jaa

That’s it folks, Tony Jaa has called it quits (for the time being at least). Who could possibly fill the shoes of one of the most gravity defying kickers of ass today? Here are eight worthy prospects…

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ff-mandrill

With as lightening-fast as Marko Zaror is, we were incredibly lucky to catch him on camera for an exclusive Fantastic Fest interview. We assume the master martial artist and Mandrill director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza were lured in by the promise of free booze and shag carpet on the walls.

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ff-fantasticawards

Luckily we had a list of the winners sent to us because we didn’t remember all the names. Or where our pants went.

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ff-mandrill

A hitman who kicks unprecedented amounts of ass gets an assignment to kill the man who he believes killed his parents. The plot thickens when he falls for the man’s daughter and must decide between leaving her an orphan or forgoing the revenge he’s waited for his whole life.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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