Strap in (just like the tv) as it's going to be a bumpy ride
Strap in (just like the tv) as it’s going to be a bumpy ride

You remember that scene in Machete when the protagonist — Mr. Machete — pulls the guts out of a bad(er) guy, runs down the hall with those same guts spooling out of his still alive victim, and then crashes through a window — using that same spooling line of guts to stop his forward progress and then send him back through the window of the floor below? 

You might’ve thought at some point: Ok, I can buy the fact that he reached inside the body cavity of another human and pulled out a nice, thick hot strand of intestine to use as a rope. I can even maybe believe that he could manage to hold one to this slick mess, with one hand, as he leapt out of a building. I gotta admit though, I’m struggling to figure out how a wounded Machete, who is a long way from a doctor, knows just how many linear feet of guts he has to play with so he’ll able able to crash back through the window one floor down and not just fall to the ground below, still clutching his encased prize.

What you probably can’t reconcile are the bigger questions: 1) why did anyone make this movie, and 2) what kind of person would enjoy watching it? These were the questions posed to me by our 10-year-old as everyone in the crowded, heaving ferry that connected the island of Ometepe with mainland Nicaragua was forced to view this offering on the television strapped into the wall, directly above the bathrooms. My wife and our 8-year-old had already fled the scene to go stand in the wet, cramped bow of the boat. It was up to me to make sense of the nonsensical.

A lot of potential answers came to mind but were quickly discarded as they worked as reference points for me but would do nothing for my son (for example, the notion that this all made sense when you realized that Jersey Shore was once a hit show).

Instead, I fought fire with fire. “Can you believe that the guy who made this movie is the same guy that made Spy Kids?”

In retrospect my approach might have been a little harsh. I watched my son’s face as he mouthed the words “spy kids” whilst simultaneously attempting to tune out the bloody execution taking place on the nearby screen. 

“Are you sure?”

“Yep.” I didn’t add that we’d both attended the radio, television and film school at the University of Texas and he’d gone on to amassing fame and fortune while I … was stuck on this ferry watching one of his movies. I took an extremely small amount of solace from the fact that Mr. Rodriguez would likely receive no compensation for this particular screening.

“Did something happen to his brain?”

I shrugged, having exhausted my limited knowledge of the situation, and with no other options available, began watching the movie again. Our eldest son clasped his hands over his ears to drown out the screams from the movie whilst attempting to read a book, and our soggy, noisy, overloaded ferry continued its slow march to the mainland.

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