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Tu Vez Blast-From-The-Past Truck: “Desperado”

Marty McFly and Doc Brown had the Delorean to go travel through time; We have the Tu Vez Blast-From-The-Past Truck. Every week, we’ll hop in our time traveling machine, gun it to 88 MPH, and go back in time to bring you the best from the good ol’ days. Will it be a clip from an old telenovela? An old school music video? Stick around and find out!

In 1992, Robert Rodriguez burst onto the world of filmmaking with his classic film El Mariachi. The low low low low budget feature about a guitar player that becomes an unlikely hero launched his career. But it was clear that he wasn’t done with the El Mariachi character. With a little, (lots), of help from admirer Quentin Tarantino he got the money to make a sequel starring a cast of better known Hispanic actors. The result was an ultra-violent, ultra-sexy shoot-em-up called Desperado. In honor of the release of Rodriguez’s latest flick Machete Kills, we examine one of our favorite one Rodriguez movies.

Desperado has El Mariachi, (magically transformed from Carlos Gallardo into Antonio Banderas), shows up in a small town looking for a notorious drug lord named Bucho. After the narco from El Mariachi killed his girlfriend, El decided he’d take down all the narcos in Mexico, (good luck with that). Steve Buscemi, who plays his sidekick, goes to the local bar to tell the tale of El massacring a group of drug baddies in another town with his guitar case full of guns. El shows up at the same bar later and gets into an epic gun fight. He’s injured and is found in the street by a bookstore owner played by a young actress named Salma Hayek. She heals his wounds and tells him a little bit about Bucho. Meanwhile, in drug lord compound, Bucho sends a badass knife-throwing killer after El played by none other than the great Danny Trejo. Another amazing fight ensues but El comes out on top. Then Banderas and Hayek have one of the steamiest sex scenes I’ve ever seen in a mainstream movie, all to the sounds of Carlos Santana’s wailing guitar. The inevitable showdown happens between El and Bucho, (who turns out to be his brother). El calls some other mariachi killers with gun guitars and one of the best fire fights of the last 20 years happens in all its bloody glory. El wins, of course, and he and Salma ride off into the sexy sexy sunset.

Rodriguez would go on to make the Mariachi films a trilogy with Once Upon A Time In Mexico. The biggest legacy of Desperado was the careers it launched. It showed that Rodriguez wasn’t just a flash-in-the-pan fluke but a truly talented and original voice. Desperado led to Banderas going from a guy that was well known in Spain and into a Hollywood leading man. Desperado was Banderas’ stepping stone to the role as El Zorro. But the greatest benefit to humanity was giving the world Salma Hayek. For this alone Rodriguez deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

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