Director's Reel: Robert Rodriguez on His Evolution from 'El Mariachi' to 'Sin City'

Robert Rodriguez’s breakout story is the movie industry equivalent of a garage band getting signed on the strength of the lo-fi cassette recording. “I did it as a practice film,” he said of the $7,000-budgeted El Mariachi, the Mexican-set thriller he released in 1992. “I didn’t know it was ever going to be seen by people.” That “practice film,” as he calls it, made its way to festivals in Telluride, Toronto, Sundance and Berlin, putting Rodriguez firmly on the map. More than two years later, Rodriguez is releasing his 16th major film, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which he co-directed by graphic novelist Frank Miller.

Yahoo Movies walked through the Texas-born filmmaker’s eclectic resume in our latest edition of Director’s Reel, which you can watch above, hitting on a handful of genres and phases Rodriguez has dabbled in: there’s his Mexico trilogy (in which Mariachi was followed up by Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico); his horror oeuvre (From Dusk Til Dawn, The Faculty); his unexpected detour into family fare (the Spy Kids series); and, most recently, his grimy forays into exploitation cinema (Planet Terror, the Machete movies).

And, of course, there are his ultra-stylish jaunts through Sin City, which fall in a genre all their own. “There’s no rules; you can do anything,” he said of shooting the films entirely in front of screen greens. “You don’t have to be traditional in your approach…. That’s the key to what to I’ve always done.”

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is now in theaters.