The cartoonishly violent romp of a movie stars Trejo as a former cop from Mexico turned vengeful vigalante out for blood. He'll go after bad cops, bad politicans, and bad drug dealers. The movie features over-the-top mayhem that includes "beheadings, skewerings and kill shots to the head by the dozen." It also features some serious star power: Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jessica Alba.
If you've never heard of Danny Trejo, trust us, you've seen him. The L.A.-born actor has had a prolific career -- including a stint as the star of the fake trailer for "Machete" in the campy movie "Grindhouse" four years ago. But you can catch him in many action flicks, from "Con Air" to "Predators" to "Spy Kids."
The spoof "Machete" trailer led to the full-length movie with Trejo at the lead. This would not seem the obvious path for a drug-addicted kid in and out of jail for 11 years. Sent to San Quentin for drug offenses and armed robbery, Trejo turned to boxing and a 12-step program, which began his turnaround.
And here is where the story goes Hollywood: Once on the outside, Trejo spoke at a 12-step meeting, and a young man called him for support. Trejo met him on the set of "Runaway Train." A fellow ex-convict recognized him, and offered him a gig training one of the stars, Eric Roberts. When he did so well with that, the director offered him a feature role in the movie. And Trejo was on his way.
The tattooed Mexican-American landed a role in "Desperado," and has served as a muse for director Robert Rodriguez ever since, appearing in 8 of his movies and leading him to the starring role of "Machete."
Though Trejo's star is soaring, one of his fellow "Machete" actors -- who has also had real-life troubles -- should be happy to have a bit part: Lindsay Lohan.
See a video short of Trejo returning to his childhood neighborhood in East Los Angeles as a conquering hero.
Watch Danny Trejo in the trailer for "Machete" (Viewer discretion advised: Violent content):