Summer blockbuster season is a perfect time for the movie fans to show their true colors. For some, the appeal strikes with a comic book inspired action movie, as in Iron Man 2. For others, it might be a laugh-out-loud high concept comedy, as in Get Him to the Greek. But for cult geeks like myself, nothing beats the summer heat like the grindhouse grit of a Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez film.
Barely making the cutoff, Rodriguez is capping off this summer’s blockbuster season with Machete due September 3rd. Adapted from his very own fake trailer headlining 2007’s Grindhouse, it stars Danny Trejo. Trejo takes on his original role as a renegade former Mexican Federal, starring along with Steven Seagal, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, and a whole array of unlikely actors you wouldn’t expect to be in a film together.
Sure you won’t find middle age women going gaga over the newest Stiletto heels, or toys planning their route of escape from an evil teddy bear, or even Mr. T; but rest assure you’ll find your fill of blood spewing violence, chock-full of knife fights, machine gun brawls, and at last, Mexican Standoffs. Ah, what would a summer be without the dramatic buildup of an awesome Mexican Standoff?
In honor of this film’s advent, here is my list of the Top Ten Best Mexican Standoffs in cinema. So sit back, put your bluffing face on, and everybody please point your gun to the person on your right. The Top Ten Mexican Standoffs are about to begin:
10. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Two words explains why this short yet memorable standoff is so great: Kurtwood Smith. Smith has the mouth to talk fast with, fingers to dip wine in, and enough muscle to make you shit snow for a year. But will Mikey kill him? I don’t think so.
8. Shaun of the Dead
You know what? I lied. This is the most unconventional Mexican Standoff on the list, not to mention the funniest one. Armed with broken bottles and corkscrews, the film parody’s one of the best Mexican standoff scenes ever from Reservoir Dogs. The only thing better than seeing zombies battling it out with Shaun and Nick is watching it back to back with a Tarantino cult classic.
7. Straw Dogs
5. True Romance
Want to know how to make an awesome Mexican Standoff pie? You take a dash of Tony Scott’s smokey visual effects, a heaping bag of pillow feathers, and a generous sprinkle of witty Quentin Tarantino dialogue. Oh, and don’t forget the big dollop of Chris Penn on top. Now that’s what I call cooking with love. If a couple can survive a day like that, they can survive anything.
4. The Killer
3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
2. Battle Royale
It’s hard not to believe that a Mexican Standoff would not happen when you place a group of unwilling students on an island to fight to their death, but it will stop you in your tracks when you see it happen. The concept of the movie itself seems like one big standoff, as you wait to see if each student has the guts to kill their peers. In particular, the lighthouse scene is one that will just blow your mind, forcing you to rewind back and watch it again and again. What’s not to love about a Mexican standoff involving Japanese school girls, a game of “Who Poisoned the Soup?,” and the gattling of machine guys in a confined area?
1. Inglourious Basterds
– Chris Clemente