From classic cult movies like Rolling Thunder, An American Werewolf in London, The Hitcher, and Escape From New York, Mexican American Film Director Robert Rodriguez lists the eight classic cult films that may have been an inspiration for his own work.
“All my movies, whether it’s a kid’s movie or an action movie, have a complete sense of freedom and fantasy where they’re not realistic at all but live within their own set of rules that are defined by that particular movie,” said Rodriguez, talking about the influence of Kurt Russell’s character Snake Plissken from Escape From New York (1981).
From the Mariachi Trilogy (also known as Mexico or Desperado Trilogy), From Dusk til Dawn, Spy Kids, and his current film series Machete the director creates his own unique films with stars like Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Danny Trejo, and many more to create what can be described as future cult classics.
When discussing each of the cult movies he notes as always resonating in his mind, Rodriguez makes connections between them and his films. The best eight classic cult films according to Rodriguez are:
Rolling Thunder (1970)
Escape From New York (1981)
Evil Dead II (1987)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Flash Gordon (1980)
Mad Max / The Road Warrior (1979 & 1981)
The Thing (1982)
The Hitcher / Near Dark (1986 & 1987)
In 2007, Rodriguez created a fake movie trailer called Machete to be shown in Quentin Taratino’s movie entitled Grindhouse. The trailer starred Danny Trejo as Machete Cortez and former Mexican Federal turned Machete-yielding antihero. The concept for the Machete trailer, and its eventual own film, may have been sprung from his love of Flash Gordon.
Rodriguez remembers how when he was younger he and his little brother, “saw the trailers on television, and my other siblings were laughing at it, saying, ‘You’re going to see that? That looks retarded!’ So they went to see this reissue of Song of the South, and my brother and I went to see Flash Gordon, and we got the better end of the deal. A good trailer for Flash Gordon came on before the showing of Song of the South, and they were suddenly pissed they chose the wrong movie,” something that may have stuck out for Rodriguez who turned the mock trailer into the first of two films.
Taking some of the scenes from the trailer and keeping to its concept, Machete the film was released in 2010 starring Danny Trejo in the same role joined by actors Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro, and many more.
One of his favorite cult films inspired Rodriguez Machete. For Rodriguez, Mad Max and The Road Warrior starring Mel Gibson “was an influence on Machete and Machete Kills because like Mad Max, the first one was made to establish the character, and then the second one, The Road Warrior, is a bigger adventure and you’re playing with myth and legend. The character has become larger than life, and you want the adventure to reflect that.”
The sequel to Machete entitled Machete Kills came out today, October 11th 2013, so you can see it now. Who knows, it may just inspire you to create future cult classic hits.